Have you ever wondered what it would be like to join an eating disorder support group? After many years of hosting support groups for eating disorders, we wanted to address some of the common questions that come up for individuals who are considering joining a support group, and share a little about the support group experience at McCallum Place.
Would I even benefit from a support group? Support groups provide an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, as well as firsthand information about what has worked and not worked while navigating wellness. What we believe is so wonderful about support groups is the sense of community they provide, and the empowerment that can be gained from a kind word and understanding ear.
Will I fit in? Eating disorders affect people of all genders, races and ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic statuses. The same “type” of eating disorder can also look different across individuals. Our support groups are facilitated by trained professionals whose job it is to ensure the support groups are safe environments for all! McCallum Place offers support groups for individuals who are actively struggling with or recovering from an eating disorder, as well as groups for family members and loved ones of a person with an eating disorder. If this is you – and you have a desire to receive support from others/a desire to learn more about yourself and the function of an eating disorder in your life – you will fit right in.
Will it be awkward? Like starting anything new, you may feel a bit uncomfortable at first! But those feelings tend to go away even just after the first few minutes of your first group. More times than not, we hear group members express feelings of surprise for how quickly they feel comfortable in the group environment.
What should I expect? All participating group members are given an opportunity to provide personal check-ins about their day, week, or present status and receive support and feedback from other group members. Support groups are kind of like workshops in that one group member shares something, and the other group members offer their own insights as way of support. And this process repeats until each person has shared and received feedback. The feedback and support group members provide one another is the backbone of support groups, but no one is ever required to share if they do not feel comfortable. Each of our support groups meet every week (excluding holidays), run 1 hour in length, are facilitated by a trained professional, are free of cost, and do not have any commitment requirements (come when you can).
If you are thinking about joining one of our support groups but still feel unsure, please reach out! We would love to talk to you, and help you find the support that is right for you!
Whether in-person, electronic video chat, or over the phone, we believe a support group can have powerful positive impact. In an effort to create more opportunity to feel a bit more connected during a time that feels so disconnected, and in response to suggestions from our group members, we are making the shift from telephone to teleconference with video via Zoom for our support groups. Please note that if you do not have access to a device with a video camera, you can still call in with audio only.
For questions regarding groups, please contact Veronica Delgado, Clinical Director of Programming and Clinical Relations, at VDelgado@McCallumPlace.com