Family Connections Leaders Training

Are you interested in volunteering to become a trained Family Connections  Leader?

2020 Family Connections Leaders Training

Family Connections Leader Training will be held in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales in February 2020. Special guests presenters Professor Daniel Flynn and Dr Mary Kells will be offering the two day family connections leader training.  

Family Connections is an evidence-based program for families and friends of people with borderline personality disorder that provides peer support, psycho-education and skills anchored in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). 

The Family Connections Leader Training is to train clinicians and carer-peers with the view to facilitate groups for family/ friends of people with Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD traits or Emotional Dysregulation.

The two days of training will enable participants to join family connections as a leader of the internationally renowned Family Connections  program. This training is only for those who wish to run NEABPD Australia’s Family Connections groups as volunteer leaders and can commit to running a group within three months post training.


Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, 35 Poplar Road, Parkville, Victoria 3053

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, The Russell Strong Auditorium, 199 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba QLD, 4102

The University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2033

Dates & Times

1 & 2 Feb 2020 – VIC
4 & 5 Feb 2020 – QLD
10 & 11 Feb 2020 – NSW

Registration: 7:45am
Event: 8:00am to 4:00pm

Prompt 8.00am start


Carers: $120
Health Professionals: $195

Eligibility to register

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Mental health professional OR Carer-peer i.e. partners, parents, adult family members or friends of person with borderline personality disorder/emotion dysregulation
  • Participants must attend in pairs OR agree to be paired for the first round of co-facilitating the Family Connections program
  • Carer-peers who attend will be paired with a mental health professional prior or during the training
  • Participants will go on to facilitate a free Family Connections program within three months of completing the training
  • Don’t have a venue? Enquire about our new Family Connections Telecommunications Program where you can co-facilitate your program online with our support.

Registration & Payment

Step 1

Please send your application form to 

Click here to download the application form. 

**Carer Peers are required to complete the 12 week Family Connections program prior to engaging in the Leader training

**Availability to run the program within 3 months post training (no longer than 6 months post training)

Step 2

Once your registration has been approved via email correspondence please proceed to payment.


Refund Policy

If the training is cancelled at any time, participants have the option of rescheduling to another date or receiving a full refund. No further monies will be paid for any other expenses that the participant has or may incur.

**No refunds will be provided.

Please ensure you meet the eligibility criteria prior to payment and are able to commit to co-leading your first family connections program within a reasonable time frame.

Thinking of Attending?

There are limited places so please check before enrolling to ensure you are eligible. Training will be only offered to those who would like to become a co-facilitator of the Family Connections program in their local area.

Whilst the FCLT trainers will be mindful of participants distress, this Family Connections Leaders Training is not intended to address the well being of those who attend. That is, this is not a Family Connections group.

By the end of the training attendees will have the skills to run a Family Connections group in your local area. A commitment to run a group is essential and advice and processes for this will be discussed at the training. Newly trained leaders are supported by the Family Connections National Manager, as well as Family Connections Program Manuals and resources which are provided for all Family Connections Leaders.

The training does not require prior knowledge of DBT and will be a ‘nuts and bolts’ training needed to deliver the Family Connections program. Much of the training will have the trainers delivering the materials as they would at an FC program using this as a foundation for discussion and for participants to then practice themselves.

Trained and experienced DBT therapists will not learn new content material but rather will learn from family members about their experiences, integrating this and their existing DBT knowledge into the Family Connections program along with the peer support and psycho-education dimensions and supporting family members of those with BPD.

We invite you to attend the Family Connections Leader Training on the understanding that you will commit to leading free Family Connections programs within the next three to six months of the training. The training is to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from a decrease in substantial pain and suffering.


In keeping with Family Connections licensing, tradition and culture, all Family Connections work is provided without professional charge to participants. Thank you to the trainers who have so kindly donated their professional time and to Orygen, Metro South Hospital and Health Services, and The University of New South Wales for the use of their venues.

Family Connections Leaders Trainers

Professor Daniel Flynn

Professor Flynn is a Clinical Psychologist and Principal Psychology Manager co-ordinating Adult and Child/Adolescent Mental Health Services in the HSE across Cork County. Daniel graduated from UCC with a degree in Applied Psychology and Masters in Heath Psychology. He subsequently trained as a Clinical Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland and the University of Ulster in Jordanstown.

Professor Flynn has accumulated 20 years experience of working in mental health service in Ireland. His clinical interests are in working with individuals who struggle to regulate emotions and engage in high risk self harm behaviours. He is also interested in the impact of these behaviours on families. He has been involved in delivering interventions, training staff and researching in this area using a model known as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). He has a number of academic journal publications and has presented at local and international conferences on this area. Daniel is also involved in training Clinical Psychology staff and is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Psychology in UCC.

Dr Mary Kells

Dr. Mary Kells is a Principal Clinical Psychologist working in Adult Mental Health in the Health Service Executive in Cork, Ireland. She is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. Mary completed a BA in Psychology at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and an MSc in Applied Psychology at the University of Ulster. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at NUIG in 2008.

Mary is interested in delivering and researching interventions for people with severe emotion dysregulation, and also for their families. Mary completed training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) in 2010 and received her accreditation as a DBT therapist in 2016. She completed training in Family Connections in 2011, and became a trainer in 2016. As well as providing training in Family Connections to clinicians and family members, Mary continues to deliver both the DBT and Family Connections interventions to individuals with high risk self-harm behaviours and their families in local mental health services. Mary has published research on the effectiveness and application of DBT and allied interventions in community settings.


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