Support groups are a chance to meet with other people who may have similar experiences to you so that you can provide each other with mutual support.
We run a support group for anyone suffering from an eating disorder. We also run a support group for family and friends.
The Peer Support Group and the Family and Friends group both take place on the first Tuesday of the month from 7.00-8.30 pm at our building in Sheffield. You do not need to book or make a referral to attend - just come along. If you are attending for the first time then the facilitators will be happy to introduce themselves and explain more about the group so please feel free to come earlier for an informal chat.
The date for 2018 are as follows:
09 January, 06 February, 06 March, 03 April, 01 May, 05 June, 03 July, 07 August, 04 September, 02 October, 06 November, 04 December
In the group, you can share your experiences, or just listen. You are under no obligation to say anything, unless you want to, but the atmosphere is warm and supportive and it is easy to join in.
All groups are led by trained facilitators so everyone has a chance to speak if they wish to. The groups for people with eating disorders are for anyone over 16 years of age.
Is a support group for me?
When someone first attends a support group, he or she will often feel a tremendous relief. There is a sense of being understood, and group members talk of coming away afterwards feeling more hopeful and confident.
If you have an eating disorder and are not yet in treatment, a support group can help you take the first step. If you’re already in treatment, it can give you additional encouragement and a safe environment to share your experiences. If you've been in recovery for some time, but feel you need support occasionally, you can use the group that way. You don’t need to come every time.
Both for people experiencing an eating disorder, and for those who support someone, a support group provides companionship, information and positive input. It can be an important source of emotional and social support, and a chance to share and learn new, practical ways of dealing with the difficult situation you are in.
Being a member of a support group is about giving as well as receiving and group members often say how good it feels to know you have also helped someone else.
We have a simple set of ground rules for the group, these are:
CONFIDENTIALITY - what you see here, hear here, please let it stay here. We appreciate that people want to talk about the group and share with friends and family what was useful (or not) but we ask that you don’t mention people by name or discuss in detail what others have said.
RESPECT - please respect the opinions of others, even if you don’t share them. Please don’t judge one another, everyone’s experiences are very different. Please don’t interrupt people when they’re speaking or talk over others. We ask that if you have to leave the group early you let one of the facilitators know so we can make the rest of the group aware.
SUPPORT USEFUL BEHAVIOUR - We appreciate that sometimes when you come to the group you may be in a difficult place however we ask that you try to keep hope in the room and recovery focused if possible. People talk about food plans and weighing and measuring food but we ask that you don’t specifically talk about specifics in food i.e. amount of calories, sugar etc
IT’S OK TO SHOW EMOTION - it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be frustrated. You won’t be judged for showing your emotion in the group.
PLEASE DON’T MENTION EXTERNAL PROVIDERS OR THERAPISTS BY NAME - many people who attend the support group are also accessing services elsewhere, we understand that you may want to discuss your experiences and you are welcome to do so, but we ask that the providers and therapists remain anonymous.
THERE IS NO PRESSURE TO TALK - no one who comes to the group is forced to talk. We do a round robin of people’s names at the beginning, which we’d hope everyone would join in with, but after that we won’t ask people to contribute if they don't want to. The facilitator will open the group to anyone who hasn’t contributed at the end but if you still don’t wish to speak then you’re under no obligation to do so.