Families with loved ones in recovery from eating disorders can often benefit from a network of support. Just as those with eating disorders benefit from eating disorder support groups, families find solace in expressing their feelings and learning ways to cope with issues that arise during a loved one’s battle.

Center for Discovery offers support groups that enable families and loved ones of those with an eating disorder to have a safe space to speak and learn while processing their own emotions. In support groups, loved ones can arm themselves with tools to help their loved ones in recovery, which can be a form of self-care for family members. Support groups for families also offer educational tips and advice to enhance the knowledge and understanding of eating disorders.

Who should attend an eating disorder support group?

Eating disorder support groups are for anyone affected by an eating disorder. As the partner, parent or sibling of someone struggling with anorexia or binging and purging, you are witnessing a loved one routinely engage in bizarre and dangerous behaviors. Listening to your daughter wretch in the bathroom after meals or watching your wife lose half her body weight is terrifying and can leave you feeling helpless, powerless and devastated. By engaging with others in support who are experiencing the same feelings, it is possible to find answers and solace. Whether you are a parent, a sibling or a friend of someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, it is incredibly helpful to be surrounded by people who not only understand but also can provide comfort and advice.

Family support groups may be generalized, or there may be options tailored to more specific needs. For example, there are support groups especially for parents of a child with an eating disorder, spouses of individuals with eating disorders, siblings, caregivers and more. Connecting with a group in a safe environment, whether it is in person or online, can be an invaluable resource for any loved one involved. National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) provide support groups and educational materials for individuals who have loved ones in eating disorder recovery.

Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.)

Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.) is a network geared toward parents and siblings of individuals with eating disorders. F.E.A.S.T.’s founding principles include, “Parents do not cause eating disorders, and clients do not choose eating disorders,” and, “Siblings and parents are affected by a family member’s illness; their needs deserve full attention, too.” From in-person seminars, self help online resources and family activities to online virtual discussion groups, conferences, blogs and news articles F.E.A.S.T provides the help and support for family members of those who are struggling with an eating disorder.

Center for Discovery offers many different support groups to support those with eating disorders and their loved ones. Our groups include support for CFD alumni, individuals in recovery, adolescent individuals in eating disorder recovery, siblings and partners of CFD alumni, loved ones of CFD alumni, loved ones of individuals in eating disorder recovery and binge eating disorder support groups. If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out to us at Center for Discovery today.

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