Summer Program Series: Radically Open DBT Intensive for Over-Controlled, Shy Teens in St. Louis with Dr. Kirsten Gilbert

Summer Program Series: Radically Open DBT Intensive for Over-Controlled, Shy Teens in St. Louis with Dr. Kirsten Gilbert

DBT Class With Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kirsten Gilbert

When your teen experiences stress, anxiety, and perfectionism, you want them to find the best options for help. One great resource in the St. Louis area is Kirsten Gilbert, PhD. Kirsten is leading a RO-DBT class this summer, starting June 17th.

What’s the story behind the program, and why do you like the work?

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is an evidenced based adaptation of standard DBT that targets 'over-controlled' personality. Although self-control is valued in our society and is helpful, too much self-control, in the form of over-control, can lead to a variety of problems that easily go unnoticed and are difficult to treat. Over-control is often characterized by inflexibility/rigidity, rule-governed and perfectionistic behaviors and over-controlled individuals are often shy, risk-averse, tend to suppress or hide emotions, don't like making mistakes and often feel socially awkward, anxious, or lonely. Over-control is a personality style that characterizes many disorders, including some forms of depression, anxiety, and anorexia nervosa.

I like this work because we help over-controlled teens relax rigid rules, be open to new situations and feedback, help them learn how to play more and how to socially connect with others.

In society today, teens have so much pressure to always be working harder, longer, and to be perfect, and RO DBT recognizes that some individuals are almost TOO good at this. These teens need to learn how to be flexible, interact socially, and learn how to make mistakes every once in a while.

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Anxious Parenting Series Week 5: Perfectionism and Parenting Your Highschooler

Anxious Parenting Series Week 5: Perfectionism and Parenting Your Highschooler

Is the Drive to Succeed and Be the Best a Double Edged Sword?

Friends, I don’t know if I would own my private practice if I wasn’t a bit of a perfectionist. I’m not sure if I would have the drive to put in all of the time, energy, and effort into running a business if I didn’t feel this nervous undercurrent about being successful.

And at the same time, I know that anxiety feels like a motivator because it wants us to keep using it. It tricks us into feeling that we wouldn’t work without it.

So every day in my business, and every day that I’m working at home or checking emails past normal business hours, I take a step back and remind myself: I’m working hard because of my values, not because of my anxiety.

Because anxiety is always going to end up getting in the way.

It will grow too big and it will keep us from succeeding. Which is what we must teach our successful teenagers as well.

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October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

Perfectionist kids, teens, and college students have trouble ignoring their perfectionistic tendencies and focusing on the challenge at hand.

Our brains prevent us from fully engaging because they get so worried about what a poor grade, poor score, or poor performance means about us. Many times, the kids and teens I work with will engage in an anxious spiral. It usually looks something like:

  • If I get less than an A on this test, that means I have a bad grade

  • If I have a bad grade, that means I’m doing poorly in this class

  • I might even fail this class

  • And other classes

  • And I’ll barely graduate highschool

  • And I won’t get into the college I want

  • And I won’t be able to go to medical school

  • Which means I’ll never be a doctor

  • My life will be ruined

But when we take a step back, we can see that the anxiety spiral is little bit out of control.

There’s no way, when we use logic, that getting less than an A on your test means that you’re life is ruined. Our anxious minds just tell us this because they want us to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

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