Training for Family Connections Leaders - October 16-18, Toronto, Canada

The Sashbear Foundation is pleased to organize a training led by: Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD, Research Director, and Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno Co-developer of the Family Connections Program.


Framework of Program

The Family Connections © program was developed by practicing clinician/researchers (Drs. Fruzzetti & Hoffman). The program combines the real-life experiences and needs of families of persons with severe emotional and behavioural dysregulation with the expertise of more than two decades of professional work with families. Group leaders, who are family members themselves, have extensive personal experience in this area and have committed themselves to the training needed to disseminate and maintain the integrity of the program content.


Course Content

  • Skills training based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) in the context of a supportive group environment
  • Application and practice of skills
  • Education and research on severe emotional and behavioural dysregulation problems and borderline personality disorder
  • Family Perspectives and Experiences
  • Relationship Mindfulness Skills
  • Emotion Self-Management
  • Family Environment Skills
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Validation Skills
  • Problem Management Skills


Family Connections © program

To provide the foundation for a better understanding of this complex disorder. It is designed for family members of someone with severe emotional and behavioural dysregulation or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The Family Connections © program is designed specically to help parents, spouses, adult children, and siblings obtain knowledge and develop skills that will be helpful for their own well-being.

The program also helps family members to develop a support network.


Who shoud attend?

The course is open to family members and mental health service providers who wish to lead Family Connections © groups. Free of charge for family members from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)*.
*Participation cost of family members is covered by a generous donation received by Bayer


Event Schedule

Friday, October 16, 2015
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Dinner Included

Saturday, October 17, 2015
08:00am - 05:00pm
Breakfast and Lunch included

Sunday, October 18, 2015
08:00am - 04:00pm
Breakfast and Lunch included

Hincks - Dellcrest Center
119 Maitland St.
Toronto, M4Y 1E1



To participate in this training event you must fill in the following application form.

  • All applicants will be contacted by email.
  • Please allow up to 2 weeks for review process.
  • If your application is accepted you will be sent confirmation / registration / payment form.
  • Due to space limitations the number of participants from one organization may be limited.



Please email completed registration form to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lynn Courey at: 416-523-0495.

  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
  • Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • We are all in this together, you are not alone...
  • Validation before problem solving...
  • Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
  • Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
  • Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
  • Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
  • Accept me so that I can better accept myself
  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
  • Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
  • Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
  • Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
  • Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
  • Change what you can, accept what you cannot
  • Validation is not agreement
  • Validate, Validate Validate
  • Be supportive, let go of judgements
  • We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
  • Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
  • BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
  • The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
  • BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
  • 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
  • 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
  • I am not the disorder. I am a person
  • Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
  • Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
  • Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
  • Breathe
  • Mindfulness is not what you think
  • Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
  • Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
  • Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
  • Mindfulness does not come by takes practice
  • Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
  • Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
  • Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
  • What we frequently think we become
  • Turning my auto-pilot off
  • Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
  • It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
  • You are HERE!
  • Make each moment count!
  • I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
  • I am Love. ALL is Love
  • The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
  • It's OK, let it be
  • Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
  • The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
  • Whatever you do to make it mindful!
  • Kindness is pure wisdom
  • Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
  • Be gentle to yourself as well as others
  • When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
  • Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama

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NOTE: please do not use the button above to sign up for Family Connections (FC) - our Family Skills program. To sign up for FC follow this link instead Family Connections and register directly from that page.