Posts Tagged ‘Support Groups’

Mealtime Tips

Chili soup

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that often lead to severe disturbances in thought patterns and behaviors. A key time when behaviors and thought patterns are illuminated is during meals. Those affected by eating disorders may dread or fear eating and experience anxiety, anger, and depression during mealtimes. 

What does Someone with an Eating Disorders Experience During Meals?

Individuals affected by eating disorders often cite mealtimes as a significant cause of distress. Since eating disorders typically accompany an intense preoccupation with food and body, they lead individuals into disordered eating patterns like restricting, bingeing, or purging. These patterns become solidified over time and become harder to challenge and break. In addition, those affected may experience significant distress over meals. Possible reactions and responses to meal times can include:

  • Anxiety, fear, or distress of the impending meal
  • Fear of the food served
  • Anxiety about eating, especially eating in public
  • Lack of appetite
  • Emotional disturbance 
  • Negative thought patterns like “I hate myself for eating this”
  • Unrealistic thought patterns such as “If I eat this I will become fat”
  • Activation of the body’s flight or fight response
  • Anger
  • Refusal to eat
  • Depression, anxiety, or experiencing an intense need to compensate after the meal is over

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Former Clients Reflect on Adolescent Programming

East Metro, The Emily Program

In recognition of our adolescent day program in the Twin Cities expanding to the East Metro, we wanted to share former clients’ reflections on their time in The Emily Program’s adolescent programs.

  • “The Emily Program has helped me a lot mostly because I am a kid and usually these (things) don’t make a whole lot of sense. Thank you.” – Adolescent client
  • “Our family is more open—not just about food, but with feelings. It’s amazing to see how much everything has changed and how willing they are to say how they feel.” – Adolescent client
  • “I feel surrounded and protected—something I didn’t have for many years. It’s nice to have that, finally.” – Adolescent client
  • “Sometimes, you feel like you’re doing the battle alone. Being with the other parents definitely made me feel more supported. There’s a whole bunch of other people going through the same thing with their kids.” – Parent of an adolescent client
  • “I’m here with my daughter. She’s only been in the program for 2 months but I see changes in her already. So it’s nice to know I still have hope.” – Parent of an adolescent client
  • “I want to thank my daughter for being strong enough to face her own issues with her eating disorder. She came to The Emily Program to take back her life and she helped me realize I can do the same.” – Parent of an adolescent client

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For Families

When someone you care about struggles with food, the symptoms of the eating disorder touch everyone in the family. The perplexing behaviors can bring frustration, fear and heartache. We know. Since 1993, The Emily Program has worked closely with families, friends, and other loved ones to help them cope with the consequences of eating disorders.

When your child struggles with an eating disorder

Our approach

Parents and families take an active role in the recovery journey. At The Emily Program, we use the proven Maudsley Method, also known as Family-Based Therapy (FBT), in our personalized treatment programs for children, adolescents, and young adults with eating disorders.

Care that is right for your child

We offer a full continuum of care, including outpatient, intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization and residential, all of which provide daily therapeutic meals and snacks, therapy sessions, and time for schoolwork.

You always have our support

After you complete your intake appointment at The Emily Program, you’ll have access to the Office Manager at your service location who will be your primary resource and support for all care needs and questions.

How do I get a family member or a friend to call and schedule an appointment?

It is very difficult to watch someone in your life struggling with an eating disorder. We understand. And we know that you may be unsure of how to help. These steps can help frame how you present your concerns to your family member or friend:

Ask to speak to the person in a private setting.

Explain your specific concerns to the person in a non-judgmental, compassionate way. Use “I” language like:

  • “I’m concerned because you seem to be isolated and not wanting to be involved in any activities, especially when there is food involved.”
  • “I see a large amount of food disappearing in the house and I’m concerned that you may be struggling with an eating problem.”
  • “I see a change in your behavior during family meals, and there’s growing tension during meals. I’m concerned that eating and food is becoming a problem for you.”
  • “Your mood seems to be changing these days and I’m concerned about you.”

Offer to stay with the person while they make the phone call. Offer to accompany the person to the assessment evaluation. If the person is resistant to making the call, let him/her know that you will continue to check in with him/her.

Get support for yourself. Being concerned about someone else who is reluctant to seek help can drain you mentally and emotionally. For more information, please call us at 1-866-673-8652 or contact us.

ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Family & Friends Support Group for a better experience in the group.

In Minnesota:

St. Paul

1st Thursday of every other month, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Upcoming dates: Aug. 1st, Oct. 3rd, Dec. 5th

The Emily Program
2265 Como Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108

Click here for directions

In Washington:

Seattle

2nd Thursday of each month, 5:00pm

Upcoming dates: June 13th, July 11th, Aug. 8th, Sept. 12th, Oct. 10th, Nov. 14th, Dec. 12th

The Emily Program
1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109
Click here for directions

Attend our Free Family & Friends Session

The Emily Program offers free evening Family and Friends Support Groups open to the public. No need to register; just drop in.

In Washington:

Seattle

1st & 3rd Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m.

Upcoming groups: June 20th

The Emily Program
1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109
Click here for directions

Recommended Links

Recommended Links

Warning Signs

The warning signs of eating disorders can be difficult to detect.  Make sure you know what to look for.

Guide for Family and Friends

15 important tips for supporting your loved one on the recovery journey.

Recovery Nights

Hear powerful stories that will inspire, motivate, and affirm your choices for healthy living. Recovery Night speakers share their experiences and answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Emily Program is here to answer any questions you have about eating disorders and the recovery journey. We want to help.

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Recovery Nights

Recovery from eating disorders is possible. Hear powerful stories that will inspire, motivate, and affirm your choices for healthy living. Always honest and bravely candid, our Recovery Night speakers share their firsthand experiences and answer your questions. Join us for our free Recovery Night events and tap into the energy and joy that happens when food is just food and healthy living leads the way.

Join us for Recovery Night

Hear speakers share their personal stories of dedication and perseverance on the road to recovery from eating disorders. Speakers include Emily Program staff, former clients, and community members. Recovery Night is free and open to the public; anyone is invited to attend, including clients, support people, and the community. We know healing is not an easy journey but you can find hope here. Find the Recovery Night schedule below.

Interested in support groups for friends and family? Find more information on The Emily Program’s ED 101 groups and Family & Friends support groups here

MINNESOTA

St. Paul – Como (6:30 PM):

2265 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Upcoming dates: Oct. 8th  

St. Paul Adolescent & Young Adult – Toogood (6:00 PM):

2230 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Upcoming dates: Oct. 9th  

East Metro (6:00 -7:00 PM):

576 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 250
Woodbury, MN 55125

Upcoming dates: Oct. 29th 

OHIO

Cleveland (6:00 PM):

25550 Chagrin Blvd.
Beachwood, OH 44122

Please check back for upcoming dates

WASHINGTON

Seattle (6:00-7:30 PM):

1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109  

Upcoming dates:  Sept. 18th

Share your recovery story

Your experience on the path to recovery can inspire others and affirm that there is hope. If you are willing to share your recovery story in a genuine and honest way, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

Cleveland, OH

Brittany Davis
1-888-364-5977 ext. 4220

St. Paul (Como), MN

Kelsey Stephens
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1146

St. Paul (Toogood), MN

Lucy Chermak
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1934

East Metro, MN

Kelly Pertzsch
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1177

Seattle, WA

Kelsey Thomas
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1808

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