Family DBT "Compassion in Chaos" has a new look - check out topics!

Families in Need: Compassion in Chaos

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For Families of persons with emotion dysregulation:  

Looking for some support to cope with covid and loved ones who may be escalating during this difficult time? Getting support for yourself is crucial in order stay healthy.

Compassion in Chaos workshops/support groups are now running every Monday from 6:30 to 8:30pm Eastern.  We will be learning skills each week and supporting each other.  This group has both a psycho-educational component and a support discussion component. 

This group is held online.  We use zoom and will send out a link prior to the start of each group.

You will need to register for each group to secure a spot

During Covid we are discounting our groups to do our part to reach those in need.  Usually $55.00 now $40.00 or $60.00 for two attendees 

Our line up of topics in the months to come.  Lots to learn!

Compassion in Chaos Drop-In Program, Fall-Winter 2021-2022

October 4th Crisis Analysis and Prevention: “How does this keep happening?!”
When our loved ones act out, it feels like they’re going from 0 to 60 in the moment; however, thoughts and feelings can go off the rails well before rage, self-harm, or substance use happens. Understand your loved one’s crisis moments for prevention and insight. Analyze your own chain
reaction to your loved one and see where you can improve. With Julie and Elizabeth.

October 11th: Thanksgiving Break

October 18th Understanding Emotions: Foundations of Mindfulness of Emotion
Why are emotions valuable? What is happening when your loved one has a strong emotion? Begin to build your awareness of your own emotions and understand the pitfalls of your loved one’s emotional reasoning. With Julie and Elizabeth.

October 25th The Iceberg of Emotional Reactivity: What’s Underneath an Emotion?
Our loved ones have certain emotions because they are trying to avoid others. We do too. Not understanding what we’re really feeling can sabotage relationships. Learn how to explore the feelings hidden beneath emotional reactions. With Julie and Elizabeth.

November 1st React, Suppress or Be Mindful? Why and How to Choose Mindfulness?
What’s to gain by being mindful instead of suppressing or acting on an emotion? Learn how noticing emotions as sensations in the body can help us let the painful stories and judgments go. Learn the steps of Mindfulness of Emotion. With Julie and Elizabeth.

November 8th Calm Amidst the Storm: A Meditation Training in Compassionate Attention
Learn how to safely allow a strong emotion about your loved one to be present without acting it out. Instead, mindfully surf it and send your self some compassion. This training is great for people who suppress emotions and those who “act out” emotions. Start a values inventory to
understand what matters most in your life. With Julie and Elizabeth.

November 15th Check the Facts: The Power of Checking Our Negative Assumptions
Our judgments about our loved ones can send us spinning into a harmful reaction. Instead, we can Check the Facts and face our catastrophic thoughts calmly. Practice becoming aware of how your loved one is influenced by their negative distortions and judgements so you can help them. With Julie and Elizabeth.

November 22
Change Unwanted Emotions and Urges: The Powerful Skill of Opposite Action
When we have emotions that don’t fit the facts followed by urges that threaten to move us away from our goals and values, the skill we turn to is Opposite Action. Learn Opposite Action for when acting on your emotion is going to cause more harm than good, so that you can be the one in the driver’s seat, not your emotion. Help your loved one learn to “act opposite”. With Julie and Elizabeth.

November 29th When It’s Just Not You: Solving Real World Problems to Change Emotions
Sometimes we’ve tried all kinds of “inner” solutions, and nothing is working! This can be because the source of our unwanted emotion is out in the world, not inside of us. DBT has a skill for this: Problem Solving. Help your loved one strategize and execute problem solving for more
lasting emotional change and identify problems that need solving in your own life. With Julie and Isabel.

December 6th Core Interpersonal Effectiveness in DBT: The DEAR MAN Skills
Become mindful of your priorities going into a difficult interaction to avoid getting off track. Know which skill to choose to obtain your objective with your loved one—or with anyone! These skills are great for relationships of any kind, personal or professional. With Julie and Isabel.

December 13th DEAR MAN Practice: Putting Your Core Interpersonal Skills into Action
Rehearse the DEAR MAN skills to be ready for difficult, real-life scenarios. Learn how to combine the skills to maintain your self-respect while still validating your loved one AND getting something done! With Julie and Isabel.

December 20th Validation is Oxygen, Steps 1-3: Listen, Reflect, and Check Validation is the ultimate tool for building relationships of any kind and deescalating conflict with your loved one. We will walk you through the first three steps and practice them together, because validating your dysregulated loved one takes repeated practice! With Julie and Isabel.

December 27th: Winter Holiday Break


January 3rd Validation Is Oxygen, Steps 4-6: Their Causes, Your Actions, and Be Genuine When we consider the causes behind our loved one’s dysregulation, validation flows more easily. Learn that validation is more than words: it’s actions. There is space in validation for our own radical genuineness: it’s a dialectic. With Julie and Isabel.

January 10th Self-Validation: Healing from Hurt While Supporting a Loved-One
Invalidation is any message we get that we shouldn’t feel what we feel or be how we are. We may have internalized invalidating messages from our loved ones or in childhood. How can we begin to reverse the cycle? Our emotions will often stick around until we validate them and show them understanding—learn how to do this kind act for yourself. With Julie and Elizabeth.

January 17th Self-Compassion 101: Meeting Disappointment and Hurt with Self-Compassion
Meet difficult moments with your loved one with more self-kindness in three easy steps. Learn to feel less alone and more connected in the world. Disarm your inner critic with Mindful Self Compassion, a now widely studied and clinically practiced discipline. With Julie and Elizabeth.

January 24th At Peace with My Emotions: Radically Accepting Painful Stuff, Steps 1&2
Break the cycle of fighting where your loved one is current at—or any other issue that requires acceptance. Learn the first two steps for making space for a painful reality in order not to make it worse. See your negativity begin to lessen and melt away with radical acceptance. With Julie and Elizabeth.

January 31st Curious and Compassionate: Radically Accepting Painful Stuff, Steps 3&4
Continuing from last week, investigate what’s going on and learn to be curious instead of reacting when a strong emotion about your loved-one comes up. Continue to build your self compassion skills with step four of the training. Remember, more compassion for yourself means more compassion for your loved one! With Julie and Elizabeth.

February 7th Mindfulness of Thoughts: Becoming Less Reactive to Painful Thoughts
Learn to see thoughts as thoughts, NOT facts. This is the key to mindfulness! Do an exercise to become aware of the stories you are telling yourself and let them go—become more aware of your loved one’s judgments and interpretations. When we can watch a thought without reacting, this is the beginning of freedom. With Julie and Elizabeth.

February 14th: Valentine’s Day Break

February 21st Being Mind and Doing Mind: Combatting Caregiver Burnout with Being Mind
Do you feel guilty when you allow yourself a break? Are you burning out from the constant worrying about and caring for others? Learn how to recharge and savor simple moments of Being Mind, while still allowing for Doing Mind in one of the main Dialectics in DBT. With Julie and Isabel.

February 28th Behaviour Change: Give Up Unwanted Behaviours and Encourage New Ones
Learn reinforcement techniques to reduce unwanted behaviours and encourage wanted behaviours. Use reinforcement to build new healthy habits for yourself and encourage change in your loved one. Keep or renew those 2022 New Year’s resolutions! With Julie and Isabel.

March 7th The Dialectic of Addiction Recovery: Aim for the Best and Plan for the Worse
How does DBT approach addiction recovery, or cravings and slips of any kind? Help your loved one in their recovery and learn Dialectical ways to approach your own goals for personal behaviour change. With Julie and Isabel.

March 14th All Skills Review: An Interactive Trivia Game to Refresh All of the Skills
Gather your entire toolkit together so it’s ready for the world! Clarify any questions about the skills you’ve learned and get a brief introduction to any you missed. Have fun with your colleagues in the group playing DBT trivia! With Julie and Isabel.

March 21st
Reflect Back to Plan Ahead: Lessons Learned and Goal Setting
Reflect with your colleagues in the group on your skills journey and the lessons you are learning in dealing with your loved ones. Plan which skills you will use more of in the year ahead. Hear about what’s up next for Compassion in Chaos in Spring-Summer 2022. With Julie and Elizabeth


Also, it’s a good idea to put yourself on our mailing list so you will be updated on upcoming help for both you and your loved ones, in addition to community events.  Click here to put yourself on our mailing list (We promise we don’t send out unrelated things!)

Dialectical Dispatches

Dialectical Living at Mindfest 2019


DBT Training with Shelley McMain – UofT School of Social Work and CAMH

Shelley McMain and Dialectical Living 6

Driving home the skills!


Try on your wise mind!

wise mind

Dialectical Living at Addiction Concert in Washington DC – Unite to Face Addiction Oct. 4th 2015 – The day the silence ends!