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      Cultivating human beings, not human doings: Challenging discourses of self-care

      , Ph.D., R.C.C.

      International Journal of Social Pedagogy

      UCL Press

      Self-care, RO-DBT, child and youth care, vulnerability

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          To what do we owe the project of human doings over human beings? Self-care has long been sanctioned as the root of Child and Youth Care (CYC) practitioner resilience. This argument is faulty in its individualistic and “doing” ways. Instead, the author proposes that we need to connect with vulnerability and love as a means to accomplish self and other-care. Critiquing contemporary discourses of self-care, the author draws on Buddhist philosophy and Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT) as a means to deconstruct this.

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              Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Disorders of Over-Control: Signaling Matters.

              Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a transdiagnostic treatment designed to address a spectrum of difficult-to-treat disorders sharing similar phenotypic and genotypic features associated with maladaptive over-control-such as anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Over-control has been linked to social isolation, aloof and distant relationships, cognitive rigidity, high detailedfocused processing, risk aversion, strong needs for structure, inhibited emotional expression, and hyper-perfectionism. While resting on the dialectical underpinnings of standard DBT, the therapeutic strategies, core skills, and theoretical perspectives in RO-DBT often substantially differ. For example, RO-DBT contends that emotional loneliness secondary to low openness and social-signaling deficits represents the core problem of over-control, not emotion dysregulation. RO-DBT also significantly differs from other treatment approaches, most notably by linking the communicative functions of emotional expression to the formation of close social bonds and via skills targeting social-signaling and changing neurophysiological arousal. The aim of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the core theoretical principles and unique treatment strategies underlying RO-DBT.

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                UCL Press (UK )
                1 December 2016
                : 5
                : 1
                : 124-138
                Author notes

                About the author

                J. Nicole Little is an educator and practitioner who harnesses the unconditional love of animals in her work with children, youth and families and specializes in eating disorders across the life span. She is a RO-DBT therapist/trainer who lives in beautiful Victoria, B.C., Canada.

                Nicole Little, J.(2016). Cultivating human beings, not human doings: Challenging discourses of self-care. [Joint Special Issue, Love in Professional Practice]
                Page count
                Pages: 15
                Research Article


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                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 5, Issue 1

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