Intro to DBT - October 9th, 2018 / Advanced DBT September 6th, 2018

Meet the Team 2


Recognizing the extreme need for services, Dialectical Living was formed to provide Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills and support to those in need. We would like to reduce the needless suffering for many by offering more options to acquire skills learning and support with trained peers. We strive to create a safe environment to learn and grow. Our mission is to enable those who struggle with emotion regulation and their families and friends a better quality of life; as Marsha Linehan says “a life worth living”.

handsheartWe are a group of health care professionals who are passionate about helping others and teaching and using DBT skills. Each of us have lived experience in addition to health care backgrounds and have been touched by emotion dysregulation either ourselves and/or have lived or worked with others who struggle. We are social workers, nurses, teachers, and peer support workers who are leading successful lives using DBT skills.  We are family members, friends and/or loved ones overcoming emotion regulation challenges for ourselves and our families using DBT skills.

We hope to exceed your expectations with quality learning and supportive discussions.  We pride ourselves in making DBT learning a fun, interactive and supportive learning experience.

Our Bio’s

Julie Hayden, BA, BSW, MSW Candidate, RSW, PMP
Founder/Peer/Program Developer/Facilitator/Therapist

Julie 2Julie is a social worker with an extensive background in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training with Shelley McMain (UofT and CAMH) and also completing the Family Connections DBT program with Alan Fruzetti (NEABPD).   She is also a certified yoga teacher having studied yoga for mental health and addiction.   Julie is passionate about creating awareness for mental health and reducing stigma and has worked on anti-stigma campaigns.  “DBT needs to be taught in schools to teach youth how to be skillful in order to reduce the chances they will have mental health issues in the future.  Julie is the organizer for two groups on namely Toronto Borderliners and Toronto Borderliners Family and Friends, groups for those who struggle with Emotion Dysregulation and their family and friends.  Julie’s lived experience and her energy, passion and sense of fun interaction inspire compassionate positive change in others.


Karen Cox, B.Sc. (Health Education), BSW, MSW, RSW
Peer/Program Developer/Facilitator/Therapist

Karen CoxKaren enjoys promoting wellness, peer support, DBT, and a sense of community/connectedness. She has extensive experience in mental health, both as a professional and as a person with “lived experience.” Karen has had the honour of working with a variety of populations, including military, LGBT, homeless, those with severe mental health/addiction issues, and their families. She is active in the peer community, facilitates WRAP groups, and has a particular interest/expertise in trauma. Karen also maintains balance practicing yoga, doing crosswords, and cuddling with her golden retriever.

Celeste Shirley, BA, Honours, Kinesiology (Founder of The Yoga House)             Peer/Program Developer/Facilitator

Celeste Shirley

Celeste is a kinesiologst in addition to her teaching role. The role of a kinesiologist is to use exercise to rehabilitate you after an injury. Celeste has a passion for helping others both physically and mentally on their journeys toward a beautiful dialectical balance. Her diverse teaching background draws on a variety of exercise forms including yoga, pilates, meditation and breath work.  Celeste is described as a delightful, energized teacher and she has a beautiful smile to light up the room.

Chloe Rosemarin

Chloe has been with DL for 2 years and is facilitating groups with vigour and flair.  She enjoys the clients and is passionate about mental health advocacy.  She keeps up to date on mental health awareness and is involved in the community.


Melanie has been a peer support worker at Dialectical Living for over a year and has gained extensive experience in a variety of mental health settings for youth, undergraduate students and adults. She is passionate and committed to advancing accessible supports and services for those who identify with borderline personality disorder and emotional dysregulation, and increasing awareness and education for families, loved ones and the public. “


Elizabeth has been with DL for 2.5 years and is an amazing facilitator and DBT coach.  She has also taught our mindfulness program and runs our dropin groups.  Elizabeth practices what she preaches with a consistent mindful practice each day and has a lot of courage and strength.  She is very passionate about helping others and clients are drawn to her calm energy.


Erica is new member with DL and is helping to run our dropin groups.  She is a passionate and caring and her dropins are creative and inspiring.


Krista is working with Melanie to develop and run our aftershare program.  Krista has many years experience teaching mindfulness/aftercare programs and is passionately interested in rolling out our program shortly.


Nicole is fabulous member on our team.  She is a project manager keeping us on track and connected for projects.  We are currently working on an exciting project to be rolled out in the spring 2018.  Stay tuned!







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

Shelley McMain and Dialectical Living 6

Driving home the skills!


Ann Marie Mac Donald, Director of MDAO at 30th Anniversary Event

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

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