Family Connections™ Program

What is Family Connections™?

Family Connections™ (FC) is an evidence-based 12-week group that meets weekly to provide education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has emotion dysregulation or related problems. It is provided free of charge to participants.

The Family Connections™ program was developed by practicing clinicians/researchers (Drs. Fruzzetti and Hoffman) based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counseling people with emotion dysregulation or BPD and their loved ones. The program has been developed in consultation with family members and is coordinated internationally by NEABPD. Sashbear oversees and provides Family Connections™ in Canada.

Family Connections™ provides: current information and research on emotion dysregulation or BPD and on family functioning; individual coping skills based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT); family skills; and group support that builds an ongoing network for family members.

 

What can I expect?

All groups are currently being offered online using Zoom.

Family Connections™ is a peer-to-peer program offered in small groups. Groups are facilitated by trained leaders who are usually family members of someone with emotion dysregulation. Groups include discussion, videos, and skill practice. There is no charge for participants.

In addition to the 12-week format, Sashbear offers Family Connections™ in a two-weekend intensive format, usually in a larger group. 

We provide Family Connections™  in both English and French. For English groups, follow the links below. For French groups, please see our French website.

 

How do I sign up?

Please choose your region to add your name for the next available group:

British Columbia FC Groups 

Alberta and the Territories

Manitoba and Saskatchewan (coming soon)

Ontario - Toronto and GTA 

Ontario - outside GTA

Quebec (English)

Atlantic Canada 

 

French Groups - all provinces (coming soon)

 

FC Alumni Sessions

Sashbear also offers an online FC Alumni session each month. If you have completed Family Connections™ and want to practice and refresh your skills, register for our next FC Alumni session here:

Family Connections™ Alumni Sessions

 

What are participants saying?

“We are very grateful that this program exists and are eternally thankful for all the facilitators dedicated time and sharing their own journeys. They were beyond exceptional in their wisdom and support and guidance through the whole 12 weeks.”

“This program was great! We learned important lifelong skills to help us build connections with our son who was recently diagnosed with BPD and depression. Learning how to validate and set limits were the most important skills that we learned. This group experience helped to validate us by showing us that other families are struggling with their loved ones' diagnosis of BPD. We are moving towards a better understanding of our family's daily challenges. We can continue on our journey of re-establishing a cohesive family relationship knowing that we have these new skills to help us find the right path.”

Family Connections™ makes a difference! See more testimonials here:

Hope Changes Everything.

 

More Information

Download the Sashbear Family Connections™ pamphlet here.

Go to NEA-BPD Family Connectionsfor more information about the program in other countries.    

  • 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 itself..it 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