Jennifer Van Gorp

Jennifer Van Gorp

August 14, 2023

What is RO-DBT?

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is an evidence-based behavioral treatment for individuals who cope with their emotions by engaging in excessive self-control. These individuals are often described as being “type A”, perfectionistic, guarded, and hard to read. While our society usually puts a high value on our ability to exert self-control and delay gratification to achieve our goals, research has shown that too much self-control can hurt us, especially our relationships! 

Healthy long-term relationships require flexibility, adaptability, and open expression of emotions including the ability to be silly! People who are overcontrolled often struggle with these behaviors and types of thinking and can get caught in being overly focused on perfection and achievement. This can leave those individuals emotionally lonely and isolated from others. One of the worst things we can do to another human is put them in solitary confinement! RODBT teaches individuals how to become more openly expressive, which builds trust, and in turn builds social connection. 

What diagnoses does RODBT help treat? 

RODBT is considered a transdiagnostic treatment meaning there is not one diagnosis it is designed to treat. Many mental health diagnoses demonstrate over-control symptoms. There has been significant research, in randomized controlled research trials, demonstrating the effectiveness of RODBT in treating over-control symptoms in treatment-resistant anxiety and depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive personality styles, and anorexia nervosa.  

What does treatment look like? 

Outpatient RO-DBT (~30 weeks) 

  1. Individual sessions: 45min/week, focused on individual goals 
  2. Skills training class: 2.5 hrs (with 15 min break) 
    • Learn skills to: 
      • Increase self-awareness, and expand one’s ability to recognize and adopt alternative points of view 
      • Decrease inhibited and disingenuous emotional expression 
      • Reduce hyper-detailed focused and overly cautious behavior 
      • Address and loosen rigid and rule-governed behavior 
      • Decrease aloof and distant styles of relating 
      • Decrease high social comparison and envy/bitterness 
  3. Telephone consultation: optional but recommended 
    • To generalize skills use during difficult moments in between sessions 

How do I know if I'm better suited for RO-DBT vs. DBT?

Take this RO-DBT Quiz to see which modality might work best for you.

Welcome! On behalf of the Utah Center for Evidence Based Treatment (UCEBT), we are excited that you're interested in joining this volunteer community action group.

Are you a young adult (high school or college undergrad) who is interested in mental health and maybe making it into a career? Are you ready to get into the community and help promote mental health and social justice? If so, working with UCEBT's young adult community action group might be a great fit! 

Our psychologists will be meeting 2-4 times each month with young adult volunteers in the community to:

  • Discuss mental health issues facing young adults today
  • Brainstorm ways to address the most pressing issues
  • Plan outreach activities that support mental health and social justice in the community
  • Go out into the community and make a difference!

In addition to attending meetings, here are some things you might be doing:

  • Giving a presentation at a local high school about mental health
  • Joining our staff members to testify at legislative committee hearings
  • Staffing booths at events, distributing info to educate people on mental health

Here's a bit more information about UCEBT:

  • We are an out-patient mental health center in SLC
  • We provide evidence-based therapy and psychological evaluations
  • We are also a training center for psychology doctoral students
  • We provide trainings to mental health providers worldwide
  • We are women-owned, LGBTQ+ affirming, and this group, in particular, is led by women of color
  • We are a team of highly trained mental health professionals, predominately post-doctoral level psychologists
  • We have a staff of over 30 people, passionate about enhancing the mental health of our community 

Benefits of this volunteer group:

  • Exposure to the professional fields of mental health and psychology
  • Learn professional skills to add to your resume
  • Make professional connections in the community

If you are interested in joining this volunteer group, please complete the interest form and a group will reach out to you:

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.

Check out this episode that features UCEBT's Dr. Kimberly Applewhite as she discusses her journey to becoming a therapist and talked all things personal development, business administration, insurance paneling, and more.

The information about writing Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letters and who can receive them can often be confusing. There appears to be many resources of varying legitimacy available to clients and clinicians alike. It is our hope that this information helps to clarify the process for writing and qualifying for ESA letters.

Who can receive an ESA Letter? 

A client that has been determined to (1) have a mental health disability and (2) that their animal clinically helps with the symptoms of that mental health disability can receive a letter from a licensed mental health provider that supports an Emotional Support Animal. 

Who can write an ESA letter? 

ESA letters can be written by mental health providers that can assess an individual for disability. 

These mental health providers must be both licensed AND qualified to determine the disability. If the person is disabled due to a condition that the mental health provider can both diagnose and treat, then that provider can do an assessment for an ESA letter. 

If you are seeking a mental health provider to write an ESA letter, a good question to ask might be “can you assess for disability?” 

What is considered a “mental health disability”?  

A disability would be considered a condition that substantially limits one or more major life activity (e.g. walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, learning, etc.). An ESA would need to help alleviate the effects of one or more of the determined disabilities. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists several mental disorders that would qualify for disability: 

  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • Depressive, bipolar and related disorders 
  • Intellectual disorder
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders
  • Personality and impulse-control disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders

We highly recommend reviewing the information from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for more information on the mental disorders listed here.

Ethical considerations and conflicts of interest 

It could be considered a conflict of interest if a clinician is writing an ESA letter for their own therapy patient.  

If you are a therapist, consider referring your client to receive an outside assessment. If you are an assessment provider and not the client’s therapist (that is, there is no on-going relationship), it is considered ethical to provide a disability assessment for an ESA letter. 

Legal Obligations for ESA Letters 

The only two laws that directly apply to the use of ESAs for public accommodations are the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA, 2003) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA, 1968).  

Housing and air travel are the only two contexts in which an ESA is legally protected.

Emotional Support Animals vs. Service Animals 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Emotional Support Animals are not considered “service animals”. Service animals are dogs (no other animal) that are specifically trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability; these tasks must be directly related to the disability.  

An example of a service animal is a guide dog who helps an individual with severe vision impairment or who is blind. When it comes to service animals, having a doctor’s note does not automatically qualify a dog as being a service animal. The law on what defines a service animal is different from state to state and it is recommended to check the laws in your state. 

ESA Letters and Disability Diagnosis at UCEBT 

Because ESA letters require that the client has a disability, UCBET can provide a full evaluation on an individual’s psychiatric/neurodevelopmental condition and determine if that condition contributes to a disability according to SSA standards. 

However, just because UCEBT conducts an evaluation does not guarantee a diagnosis. Even if an individual receives a diagnosis, that does not guarantee that the diagnosis will qualify for legal disability.

If you're interested in pursuing a full psychological evaluation at UCEBT, please keep in mind that we do not accept insurance. Rates for a comprehensive assessment range from approximately $2,200 to $2,800 depending on a variety of factors. Please complete this online form for a free consultation to learn more.

Other Places to Find Qualified Providers

You may consider looking at Psychology Today and searching for providers that can provide a “disability evaluation”. 

Helpful Resources: 

Emotional Support Animal Assessment/Letter Checklist (National Board of Forensic Evaluations) 

Standards that should be followed when providing an ESA letter 

University of Utah’s documentation requirements for disability accommodations

Do’s and Don’ts for Certifying Disability Due to Mental Illness 

What qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits 

Utah’s Disability Determination Services

Disability Evaluation Under Social Security 

ADA's Info on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

We are thrilled to announce that UCEBT has been approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor events that provide continuing education credit for psychologists across the United States. This is a significant achievement for us, and we are honored to receive this recognition from the largest professional organization of psychologists in the United States.

The APA's approval of our organization as a sponsor of continuing education credit is a testament to the high-quality educational programs we provide to psychologists. Our organization has demonstrated that we meet or exceed the APA's rigorous standards for continuing education providers. We are proud to be included among the select group of organizations approved by the APA to offer continuing education credit to psychologists.

Since 2020, UCEBT has offered 28 continuing education events. We first started with having our events approved by the Utah Psychological Association and the National Association for Social Workers, Utah Chapter. Then, in 2022, we began adding CE credit approved by the Utah Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the Utah Mental Health Counselors Association, too. Now, in 2023, we are honored to be able to offer our continuing education events to psychologists outside the start of Utah, in addition to continuing to support our Utah mental health professionals.  


April 26, 2023

No Surprise Act

Good Faith Estimate Notice

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost. Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services. You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services. You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit

At the end of last year, we sent a poll to mental health professionals in our community to determine which continuing education (CE) topics you’d like to see from us in 2023. One of the most requested topics was regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

We are excited to present our upcoming CE presentation, “Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis in Adolescents and Young Adults”!

This presentation will address barriers to accurate DID diagnosis, including limitations in research on BIPOC and minority populations, tools to support DID assessment that address potential malingering, and strategies for communicating case conceptualizations to clients, who may have a strong attachment to a DID diagnosis.This talk will also provide a brief overview of evidence-based intervention for individuals with DID and individuals with traits of dissociation, but who do not necessarily fit a DID diagnosis.

Presented by Laura Rowley, Ph.D. from UCEBT and Triona McMaster, LCSW from Life Stone Counseling Centers.

Date: Friday, May 19, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. MST
Location: Virtual, via Zoom
Cost: Free to attend or $40.00 for 2.0 CEs
CEs: 2.0 CEs pending approval by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA

Register to attend for FREE

Register for $40 and receive 2.0 CE units

Home-Study Option: If you want to receive asynchronous CE credit for this event, make sure you sign up for our mailing list when you register. Within 2 weeks following the event, we'll email you the information for purchasing the home-study version of this presentation for only $20.

We look forward to seeing you there!

We are so excited to share that we won Best of State in two categories!!!

  • Community Development: Mental Health Services
  • Education: Mental Health Education

The Best of State awards are different than other types of awards. Best of State is not a popularity contest. Our nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges who judge us based on the following criteria:

  • Overall excellence, superiority and quality of a nominee's products, services or performance;
  • Creativity which nominees display to differentiate themselves from their competition; and,
  • Nominee's accomplishments to improve the quality of life in their community and state, and their efforts to make the world a better place.

There are different panels of judges for each of the ten divisions. Judges are selected from all over Utah and volunteer their time to review and score applications. Each judge has been recommended by a Utah Chamber of Commerce, an industry association, or a Utah mayor's office, as being a leader or expert in their particular field.

We are so grateful to be honored for our contributions to mental health in education and in our community.

April 05, 2023


How can I stay up to date on upcoming events?
To stay up to date on all scheduled events, please CLICK HERE to sign up for our mailing list. This particular list is specific to mental health professionals. 

Which organizations have been approved for CEUs?
All of our recent events are approved for CEU credit by the Utah Psychological Association (UPA), National Association of Social Workers, Utah Chapter (NASW-UT), Utah Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (UAMFT), and Utah Mental Health Counselor Association (UMHCA). Events prior to 2022 are only approved by UPA and NASW-UT.

Who can I contact for questions about events?
For all questions regarding events, please contact our Outreach and Marketing Coordinator at

Can I request a speaker/training/consultation?
Yes! Our clinicians love to provide presentations, trainings, and consultation for organizations and companies outside of UCEBT. For more information about these services, please click here. To request a speaker, training, or consultation, please complete this form.

April 05, 2023

Online Courses

You can view these presentations for free or take these courses as for home-study continuing education credit:

Culturally-Specific Contextualism in Evidence-Based Treatments

Taught by Kimberly Applewhite, Psy.D. |  2.0 CE units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Additionally, UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Purchase this course ($30) 120 minutes


Introduction to Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Taught by Kalee Gross, Psy.D. |  1.0 CE unit approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Additionally, UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Purchase this course ($15) 60 minutes


Ethical Guidelines for Supervisory Competence: From Theory to Practice

Taught by Robin Lange, Ph.D. and Rachel Hopkins, Psy.D. |  2.0 CE Ethics units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Additionally, UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Purchase this course ($30) 120 minutes


Using ACT and Internal Family Systems (IFS) to Address Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Taught by Jordan Kugler, Ph.D., Radha Moldover, LCSW, Rachel Hopkins, Psy.D. |  2.0 CE units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Additionally, UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Purchase this course ($30) 120 minutes


Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Diagnosis in Adolescents and Young Adults

Taught by Laura Rowley, Ph.D.and Triona McMaster, LCSW  |  2.0 CE units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Additionally, UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Purchase this course ($30)120 minutes


5 Myths About Psychodynamic Therapy

Taught by Nick Schollars PsyD  |  2.0 CE units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study credit. Purchase this course ($30) 120 minutes


"Tik-Tok Made Me Think I Had ADHD": What Clinicians Should Know About Their Ethical Obligations in Client Self-Diagnosis

Taught byLaura Rowley, Ph.D.| 1.0 Ethics CE units approved by UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA for home-study creditPurchase this course ($25) 60 minutes