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Meet the Team 2

Meet some of our team members and get to know their favorite skill!

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.


We 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 Spivey – Peer Support Worker/Program Developer/Group Facilitator

Elizabeth Spivey is a peer support worker with experience in DBT, DBT for families, mindfulness, mindful self-compassion, and ACT. she has a long-tme committed daily meditation practice and brings depth, knowledge, and passion to every sessions she facilitates. Clients are drawn to Elizabeth’s peaceful energy and her emphasis on the healing power of self-validation, gentle mindfulness, and radical acceptance infused with self-compassion.

Chloé Rosemarin, Registered Social Service Worker, Peer Support Worker, Group Facilitator, DBT Coach

Chloé is a group facilitator who comes to DBT with a trauma-informed lens, as well as strong knowledge of substance use and how it intersects with emotional pain. Chloé has been passionate about mental health education for over a decade, and has previously worked in supportive housing dedicated towards people managing their mental health and/or substance use. Chloé is known for being very straightforward which many people find helpful when they don’t know where else to turn. When not working, Chloé can often be found knitting, cooking, or volunteering in the community.

Lucy Xie, MSW, RSW, Group Facilitator

Lucy is a Registered Social Worker with her BSW from University of British Columbia and MSW from University of Toronto. Lucy has experience working in mental health & addiction with specialties in operational stress injury, brain injury rehab, attachment issues, and women’s mental health. She is passionate about clinical practice, research, education and advocacy around issues related to BPD and complex PTSD. She combines sound clinical knowledge with enthusiasm, humour, and radical genuineness.

Rachel Ginsberg, MSW, RSW, Group Facilitator

Rachel is a registered social worker and a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s Master of Social Work program. She is a new and enthusiastic practitioner of DBT and a facilitator with Dialectical Living. Her work includes individual and group counselling at a family health team as well as several years of experience as a teacher in both Canada and Mexico. In addition to facilitating groups, Rachel has designed online courses for DL—keep an eye out for these on our website! When she is not working, Rachel enjoys travelling, cooking, and teaching Spanish. 

Isabel Ilumin, BA, SSW, BSW

Isabel is a Social Service Worker with a Bachelor of Social Work. While she provides community outreach and the creation of social media content for Dialectical Living, she is working on her Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Her lived experience coupled with her experience working with marginalized communities and those challenged with dual diagnosis brings an authentic approach to client relations. She works with clients from a person-centred approach offering an empathetic level of presencing and allyship.

Alyssa Smith, BSW, MSW, RSW.
Alyssa is a registered social worker who has a strong passion for DBT. She received her BSW from Western Michigan University and her MSW from University of Toronto. She has experience is a variety of settings, such as education, mental health and community services. She is constantly trying to add to her skills as a clinician. A fun fact about Alyssa is she is working to become fluent in American Sign Language to provide therapeutic support to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

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 2021 and she has been integral to making thing happen! Stay tuned!

Thank you to our many contributors over the years!

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!