Please click on a question below to see the answer.
Q: What happens in a group at Sheena’s Place?
Q: Who can register for groups at Sheena's Place?
Q: How many people are typically in a group?
Q: How many people attend groups at Sheena’s Place?
Q: It is my first time coming to a group at Sheena’s Place. Where do I go?
Q: It is my first time and I am nervous. Do I have to participate?
Q: I think my family member/friend/co-worker has an eating disorder. How do I discuss it with them?
- A: Open your mind and suspend judgment, cynicism or doubt. Understand that an eating disorder is not a choice or an issue of vanity and try to avoid blaming statements. View the eating disorder as a coping strategy for dealing with emotions and conflict.
- Educate yourself about eating disorders to better understand what your friend/family member may be going through. Offer information about treatment options, programs and reading materials.
- Be trustworthy and honest. Let your friend or family member know that they are safe with you and that you will be there to listen. Do not make promises you cannot keep.
- Take care of your own social and emotional needs. Recognize that if you are emotionally or physically exhausted, you will be unable to provide much support.
- Allow the person with the problem to take responsibility for their actions. Respect their right to autonomy and privacy. Encourage them to live their own life, make their own decisions, and develop friendships and connections. Do not make excuses for someone’s eating behaviours.
- Acknowledge and act upon life-threatening situations. Call an ambulance or go to the emergency room.
- Reinforce the positive qualities of an individual and do not focus all attention on the eating disorder.
- Expect to be faced with denial of the problem.
- Be patient.
- Be optimistic and have hope.
- Respect the person’s choice for silence or to speak about the problem.
- Focus on issues of general health and well being, not appearance and weight, by emphasizing and complimenting characteristics other than weight or appearance.
- Examine your own issues regarding weight and shape. Suspend your own dieting behaviours (eat regular meals, shop for non-diet products, stop weighing yourself).
- Set limits to the behaviours you can and cannot tolerate. Do not try to take on more than you believe you can cope with.
- Be a friend, partner, mother, father, sister or brother, but do not try to take the place of a therapist.
- discussing food and weight.
- talking about the appearance, especially weight, of other women/men.
- engaging in power struggles related to eating and food.
- trying to control the person with the problem. Respect his or her ability to make decisions.
- breaking promises/confidences and being inconsistent.
- placing blame for the eating disorder on yourself, family members, or the individual struggling with one.
- teasing/bullying, especially concerning appearance and body shape.
- being ashamed of your daughter’s/son’s/friend’s eating disorder.
- putting pressure or deadlines on the individual for change/treatment.
- expecting a fast solution or recovery.
- displaying outbursts of emotion and anger.
Q: I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, however, I have an unhealthy relationship with food. Is Sheena’s Place right for me?
Still not sure? Give us a call and book an information session. This is a chance for you to meet one on one with a volunteer or staff member who can show you around Sheena’s Place, go through our program calendar, and see if any of our groups are right for you.
Q: My adult family member/friend/co-worker has an eating disorder, but is refusing to get help. What can I do?
When you have a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder it can also be hard on you. It is important to ensure you have a support system in place. We run a group called “Family, Friends and Partners” that you can attend to explore your experience of having a family member, partner or friend living with an eating disorder.