Expert Education Series

Upcoming and Recorded Presentations


 Upcoming Presentations

Check back soon. See recorded presentations below.


Recorded Presentations

 Invalidation: therapeutic tool and a weapon of mass destruction

Francheska Perepletchikova, Ph.D.

Join us for a presentation on April 27 with Dr. Francheska Perepletchikova: DBT expert, researcher, and developer of DBT-C (DBT for children). Dr. Perepletchikova will be discussing the role and impact of invalidation.



Helping Youth Who Self-Harm - Part ll

Sheri Van Dijk MSW, RSW

As we’ve seen, helping youth who engage in self-harming behaviours is overwhelming and hard! Join us for a second webinar to delve a little deeper into information about self-harm that will help you understand your child’s behaviour. You’ll learn more about this problem behaviour and how it develops from a DBT perspective; how to validate your teen; and we’ll look at some behavioural principles to help you address the self-harm in a consistent and nonjudgmental way.

Sheri Van Dijk is a Social Worker, who has been working with clients with severe mental health problems since 2000. With extensive experience in a hospital as well as community setting, Sheri now sees clients in private practice, and provides consultation and training internationally to other clinicians. Sheri has had extensive training in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and mindfulness and has been providing DBT-informed therapy to individuals and groups since 2004. Sheri is the author of several books that focus on helping readers learn DBT skills and apply them to a variety of mental health problems; and in 2013, she published DBT Made Simple, with the aim of making the therapy more accessible to both clients and clinicians. Sheri’s latest book, The DBT Skills Workbook for Teen Self-Harm was released in March, 2021. 



Helping Youth Who Self-Harm - Part l

Sheri Van Dijk MSW, RSW

It’s hard for most people to understand why someone would purposely inflict pain on themselves, and yet this isn’t uncommon, with rates of youth self-harm ranging from 1.5 to 6.7% in community samples; and as high as 50% in adolescent psychiatric samples. While self-harming behaviours typically decrease in late adolescence, youth who engage in this behaviour repetitively seem to be at high risk for continuing to use dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies such as substance misuse even after stopping the self-harming behaviour. This, in addition to the fact that self-harm is one of the strongest antecedents of suicide in youth, makes this a behaviour that requires effective intervention. Of course, intervening is often easier said than done!

In this webinar, you’ll develop a better understanding of self-harming behaviours and why youth turn to this as a means of managing emotions. We’ll discuss ways you can help your youth by managing your own emotions in healthy ways, as well as how you can intervene more skillfully with your loved one. 

Participants will learn:

• What self-harming is and why people do it

• How to support your loved one without reinforcing the self-harming behaviour, through skills such as emotion regulation and validation


Sheri Van Dijk is a Social Worker, who has been working with clients with severe mental health problems since 2000. With extensive experience in a hospital as well as community setting, Sheri now sees clients in private practice, and provides consultation and training internationally to other clinicians. Sheri has had extensive training in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and mindfulness and has been providing DBT-informed therapy to individuals and groups since 2004. Sheri is the author of several books that focus on helping readers learn DBT skills and apply them to a variety of mental health problems; and in 2013, she published DBT Made Simple, with the aim of making the therapy more accessible to both clients and clinicians. Sheri’s latest book, The DBT Skills Workbook for Teen Self-Harm was released in March, 2021. 



What’s RO DBT? A Brief Introduction

Karyn Hall, PhDDirector and Founder @Dialectical Behavior Therapies Center and DBTWise, Houston TX

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is an evidence-based treatment for people who suffer from emotional and behavior over-control and require interventions designed to relax rigid or inflexible control. Learn the basic differences between overcontrolled and undercontrolled coping styles, why loneliness is so important to address in treatment and yet difficult for many to overcome, and some of the basic principles of RO DBT. 

Dr. Karyn Hall is the director and founder of the Dialectical Behavior Therapies Center and DBTWise in Houston, Texas. DBTWise is a training company for psychotherapists. She is the second RO DBT supervisor in the States, and is certified by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification in DBT. Dr. Hall blogs for Psychology Today and is the author of Mindfulness Exercises for DBT Therapists, SAVVY, and The Emotionally Sensitive Person. She is the co-author of The Power of Validation and a co-author of The Radically Open DBT Workbook for Eating Disorders: From Overcontrol and Loneliness to Recovery and Connection which will be published in May 2022. She is currently working on an RO DBT family program and manual.




Personality disorder in young people: now is the time to act

Andrew Chanen, MDOrygen, Melbourne, Australia, Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia

Personality disorder usually has its onset in the period between puberty and emerging adulthood (young people) and has enduring effects on education, employment, social relationships, mental and physical health, quality of life and life expectancy. Yet, diagnosis of personality disorder is often delayed and ‘late intervention’ or ‘no intervention’ is common, reinforcing therapeutic pessimism about people with personality disorder. Over the past two decades, a large body of research has provided a firm basis for establishing early diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, effective early intervention is not reliant upon availability of specialist psychotherapy. However, in order to fully realise this ambition, we must overcome discrimination from within the health professions and integrate early intervention for personality disorder with mainstream youth mental health services.

Andrew Chanen is Director of Clinical Programs and Services and Head of Personality Disorder Research at Orygen in Melbourne, Australia. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne. Andrew’s clinical, research and knowledge translation interests lie in prevention and early intervention for severe mental disorders, principally personality disorder, along with mood and psychotic disorders. He established and directs the Helping Young People Early (HYPE) prevention and early intervention program for severe personality disorder in young people. HYPE has been recognised with several awards for advancing healthcare. Andrew currently receives grant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. He has over 170 scientific publications. He serves on several Editorial Boards and on a number of expert mental health groups. He is a Past President of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders and the recipient of the 2017 Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Severe Personality Disorders from the Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Centre and Personality Disorder Institute, New York. 




Dialectics and Finding Balance

Gillian C. Galen, PsyD—Program Director at 3East Adolescent DBT Intensive Residential, McLean Hospital and Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry

Gillian C. Galen, PsyD, is a senior child and adolescent psychologist specializing in dialectical behaviour therapy. She has extensive experience diagnosing and treating adolescents and young adults who struggle with emotion dysregulation, anxiety, depression, trauma, and self-endangering behaviours, such as self-injury and suicidal behaviours. She is the co-author with Dr. Blaise Aguirre of several popular books on DBT, including the recent DBT for Dummies.




Conversations around Family Connection skills

Alan Fruzzetti, of the Family Connections program

Dr. Alan Fruzzetti entertains questions about Family Connection Skills.



I know what to do, I just can't do it!

Blaise Aguirre, MD—Medical Director at the 3East Continuum at McLean Hospital

Dr. Aguirre is an expert in child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and medication evaluation and management. He is nationally and internationally recognized for his extensive work in the treatment of mood and personality disorders in adolescents. Dr. Aguirre is the author of several books and lectures regularly in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East on borderline personality disorder and DBT. In this webinar, Dr. Aguirre discusses some of the challenges faced by people learning and using DBT skills during difficult moments and tips for overcoming these.



BPD Relationships and Trauma

Dr. Skye FitzpatrickDirector of the TULIP (Treating & Understanding Life-Threatening Behaviour and Post-traumatic Stress) Research Lab at York University.

Dr. Fitzpatrick discusses what is known about how BPD impacts family and partner relationships, including: how people with BPD navigate relationships, how BPD symptoms impact and are impacted by communication problems in a relationship, and trauma and PTSD in family members of someone with BPD.




Intersection of Mental Health and Substance Use in Youth

Adina Hauser—MSW, RSW clinical lead for the Transitional Youth Program at Michael Garron Hospital.

Adina Hauser addresses issues around the intersection of mental health and substance use in youth, and offers guidance on skills and strategies that may be helpful to family members when their loved ones turn to substances to cope.




Lived Experience of Recovery: A Personal Journey

Chyann Garrick—model, actress, entrepreneur.

Chyann shares insights about her lived experience of BPD, and her personal story of determination and recovery.




Pathways Forward: Cultivating Hope After a Suicide Loss

Alex Shendelman—Program Manager, Suicide and Homicide Loss Support Program, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto.

Alex  Shendelman discusses the impact of a suicide loss and how survivors of suicide can come to terms with the loss and potentially regain hope.




Current Research on Effective Treatments for PTSD and BPD

Dr Skye Fitzpatrick—Director of the TULIP (Treating & Understanding Life-Theatening Behaviour and Posttraumatic Stress) Research Lab at York University.

Dr. Fitzpatrick discusses how PTSD overlaps with BPD, and how it can impact relationships (eg., family relationships). She will also review the current understanding of treatments for BPD and PTSD.




Managing Grief and Loss(Audio only)

Alan Fruzzetti, PhD

This webinar was given in response to the loss of head coach Kevin Thorburn of ESWIM club to all those impacted by his passing.




Discover Mindfulness: What It Is and What It Isn't

Karen WaddellCFM Qualified MBSR Teacher 

One reason we might want to practice mindfulness is that most of the time we are unwittingly practicing its opposite. This is a gentle introduction to mindfulness by Sashbear supporter and MSBR teacher, Karen Waddell.




Understanding Emotion Dysregulation in BPD

Alex Chapman, Ph.D.

This webinar discusses what we know about how borderline personality disorder (BPD) develops, the role of emotions in BPD, some cutting edge research on the treatment of BPD, as well as how clinicians help people better understand and manage their emotions.




Coping with Emotion Dysregulation During COVID 19

Molly Martha Roberston, Ph.D.

This webinar discusses principles of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and how to tailor and incorporate specific approaches and skills to support family members with Emotion Dysregulation through the challenges of the current pandemic.




Mentalizing: what it is and how to do it

Carla Sharp, Ph.D.

Dr. Carla Sharp is Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston in Texas, and conducts research into Borderline Personality Disorder in children and adolescents. She has conducted several pioneering studies in this field and has published over 260 publications in journals, articles and books. In 2016 she was the recipient of the mid-career award from the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders. She was recently the recipient of the 2018 Award for Achievement in the Field of Severe Personality Disorder from the the Personality Disorders Institute and Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center.

Research shows that our capacity to mentalize help foster mutually rewarding relationships with others. In this talk, Carla Sharp, Ph.D, will introduce participants to the concept of mentalizing, and how it can be utilized to improve the quality of relationships with loved ones.




Superparenting 101:  Tips on raising a supersenser

Francheska Perepletchikova, Ph.D.Founding Director of the Youth-Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program that focuses on treatment of children, adolescents and young adults within the DBT model

Dr. Perepletchikova has a long-standing interest in emotion regulation, trauma-related psychopathology, suicidality and self-harm behaviours. She discusses some of the most essential aspects of parenting emotionally sensitive children.




Youth, Substance Use and Harm Reduction

Adina Hauser, MSW RSW

We are pleased to welcome back clinical social worker, Adina Hauser. In this presentation, she follows up on her well-received presentation from November: Managing the Complicated Relationship between Mental Health and Substance Use in Youth. This time she will introduce the concept of harm reduction and how this approach can help us support our youth who use substances.




Eating Disorders & Emotion Dysregulation: 

Dr. Anita Federici

In this presentation, Anita Federici, Ph.D., C.Psych., will address the following topics:

- Common signs and symptoms

- Current information on causes and maintaining factors

- Adapted biosocial theory for eating disorders

- How an eating disorder impacts emotion regulation

- Treatment options and pathways

- Strategies and help for parents (e.g., validating without enabling the ED).




Discover Falling Awake Mindfully:

Incorporating Present Moment Awareness To Your Day

Karen Waddell

Karen Waddell joins us again to follow up on her previous presentation "Mindfulness: What it is and what it isn't" in June 2020. In this presentation, Karen will discuss how we can "fall awake" and benefit from bringing mindfulness of the present to even the smallest moments of our day.


You can watch Karen's June presentation here:



Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility

Len Pierre

As part of Sashbear's commitment to the journey of Truth and Reconciliation, we invite you to join us for a presentation with Indigenous thought leader Len Pierre. 

Cultural safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health care system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving health care.

Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.









Helpful Resources during these difficult times

NEABPD, which oversees Family ConnectionsTM internationally, is offering a series of webinars for family members who are supporting a loved one with Emotion Dysregulation or BPD during this difficult time. They are covering many of the topics we discuss in Family Connections groups, including the Transactional Model, Validation, and Limits.

You may register for upcoming webinars here

These webinars are also being recorded and you can watch the recordings here


  • 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