Group guidelines

Respect other group members

You are welcome to arrive up to 30 minutes before your group starts. Please leave promptly after it finishes. If you arrive more than 20 minutes after a session begins you will not be able to take part in the group that day. Please let the group know early in the session if you will be leaving early. Registration is necessary prior to attending groups.

Please silence all cell phones and other electronics.

Help create a community of respect by listening when others are speaking, trying not to interrupt, and by disagreeing respectfully if you have a different perspective or experience than what is being shared. If you are comfortable doing so, please advise the group of your gender pronoun(s) when checking-in.


Please do not describe any personal stories about other members of the group with anyone outside the group. This applies to the facilitator(s) as well. You may share with others your own contributions to the discussion, but not what others have shared or any details about other members, including names, appearance, or any other personal information.

We encourage group members to foster supportive friendships with each another. However, if you see other group members out in public, do not approach or acknowledge that you know each other unless you have discussed beforehand that you are each comfortable doing so.

Group facilitators are required to keep group discussion and personal information of group members confidential, with the following exceptions: by law, all facilitators have a duty to report (1) if there is imminent risk of serious bodily harm to a group member or anyone else; (2) if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor or an individual living in long-term care. Additional limits to confidentiality include: (1) if disclosure is required by law or court order; (2) as necessary, with a supervisor or member of Sheena’s Place staff team (eg. following an incident). Facilitators may be obligated to report professional misconduct by a regulated health professional or allied health professional.

Language guidelines

Since we welcome people at all stages of change or recovery, and since we don’t have formal assessments of our members, we do use language guidelines to help ensure groups are safe for everyone. These guidelines are in place not because certain topics are shameful or shouldn’t be discussed, but because based on client feedback, they can be very triggering and compromise the safety of groups. As a result, the following topics are off-limits:

  • Eating disorder diagnoses and symptoms (including exercise behaviours)
  • Specific foods, restaurants, and diets
  • Numbers (e.g. weights, calories, kilometres, etc.)
  • Direction of weight changes
  • Details about experiences of trauma

Broad language can be used (e.g. referring to being more or less symptomatic, experiencing a weight change, or having a trauma history), but please do not name specifics. We encourage discussion focused on processing emotions, sharing skills and coping strategies, and reflecting on group content.