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 professionals who have lived experience. 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 accessible as we are able; geographically, financially, and no referral or diagnosis required.
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, social service workers, addiction counsellors 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 support. We pride ourselves on making DBT learning a fun, interactive, engaging and a 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
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 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.
Alyssa Smith, MSW, RSW Group Facilitator
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.
Hi, My name is Emily and I achieved an Addictions and Mental Health (ADMH) graduate certificate. Previous to my ADMH studies, I worked in Communications, and I support Dialectical Living in this arena as well. In my own life, DBT helped me to find a path forward in my life when I was struggling with intense emotions. Using the skills I’ve learned, I’m able to feel as though I am the one in the driver’s seat more often and ease the intensity of my feelings when I’m in distress. DBT has also helped me see beyond black and white thinking and pause more often to consider grey areas and the coexistence of opposing forces — or dialectics! For that I am incredibly grateful! As a facilitator of both the Intro and Advanced DBT Skills programs at Dialectical Living, I am passionate about sharing these skills and hope to meet you soon.
Natasha has completed a diploma in social service and has extensive experience and training in DBT. She has a strong passion for mental health advocacy and making people smile. Natasha also has experience working with individuals with autism and is skilled in readjusting or re-wording content and communication if it is not understood the first time. On her down time you can often find Natasha working on becoming fluent in American Sign Language as well as crocheting or reading.
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!