Groups are LIVE ONLINE: Upcoming Intro to DBT starts Aug. 13 "Interpersonal Mastery" now posted in our School of DBT : Stay tuned for "DBT Surf and Refresh" to be posted soon

Meet the Team 2

Thank you to our many contributors over the years!

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”.  We also pride ourselves on making our services as financial accessible as we are able.

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.

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

Julie is a registered, clinical social worker with an extensive background in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training with Shelley McMain (UofT and CAMH) as well as with the Linehan Inst.  She is also trained in facilitating family groups having completed the Family Connections DBT program with Alan Fruzetti (NEABPD).   Coming from a place of truly knowing, in addition to her training, her skills as a therapist often help her client’s make changes they never thought possible.  Julie instills hope and courage in families of loved ones who struggle with emotion dysregulation helping families understand the disorder and find compassion in the chaos.  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 and is currently working on a documentary, “Life on DBT”.   Julie’s lived experience and her energy, passion and sense of fun interaction inspire positive change in others.

Elizabeth Osel – Peer Support Worker/Program Developer/Group Facilitator

Elizabeth Osel is a peer support worker with deep experience in DBT, DBT for families, mindfulness, mindful self-compassion, as well as other healing modalities. She has a long-time committed daily mindfulness practice, and brings depth, knowledge, and passion to every session she facilitates. Clients are drawn to Elizabeth’s peaceful energy and her emphasis on the healing power of self-validation, gentle mindfulness, and her teaching of radical acceptance infused with self-compassion.

Emily Duffin, MSW, RSW, Social Worker/Group Facilitator

Emily is a licensed clinical social worker (MSW) with five years of experience helping people adjust to their lives and emotions. Long before, she was inspired to take this path by her own experience of mental health recovery as a client, witnessing the power of therapy in producing meaningful change. Emily has experience across the mental health field including working in substance use treatment, Victim Services, and with LGBTQ+ populations. She was introduced to DBT during her master’s training at CAMH, as a skills co-facilitator and individual therapist, and has been practicing it both professionally and personally ever since. Emily approaches therapy and skills training in a way that is genuine, energetic, non-judgmental, informative, and usually involves a touch of humour.

Sarah Chikoski, BSW Candidate, Group Facilitator

Sarah is a third year Social Work student (BSW Candidate) with her own experience and knowledge, witnessing the power of self empowerment through peer support skills-based therapies. After achieving her BSW, Sarah plans to pursue her MSW with a focus on mental health recovery.  Sarah, was first introduced to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) while on her own recovery journey and has been practicing DBT ever since. She approaches teaching with genuine enthusiasm, a non-judgemental attitude, empathy and kindness tossed with a side of lighthearted humour.

Lindsay Byam – Program Administrator

Lindsay keeps us organized.  She is our front line support answering calls and emails and questions about our programs.  She also helps with marketing, human resources and sales.  Lindsay has a passion for contributing to mental health awareness.

Michelle Samarin  – Graphic Designer                                                  Michelle is an amazing graphic designer and has developed/created several pages in our book which is going to be published soon!

Nicole Cadwallader – Project Manager, Graphic Designer

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 Summer 2020 and she has been integral to making thing happen! Stay tuned!

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!

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