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.

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.

Confidentiality

Please do not describe any personal stories about other members of the group with anyone outside the group. This applies to the facilitator 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.

There are exceptions to confidentiality. All facilitators have a duty to report (1) anyone who indicates they wish to harm themselves or others, (2) if there are suspicions of abuse of a minor, or (3) if there is suspected sexual abuse against anyone by a regulated 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. Our language guidelines include the following:

  • Do not use specific numbers in groups, particularly not naming specific weights, calories, kilometres etc.
  • We won’t discuss in descriptive detail people’s specific eating disorder symptoms or diagnoses, but rather will address them more broadly, e.g. eating disorder urges, behaviours, symptoms, etc.
  • Do not name specific food items or diet products in groups, but rather use broader language, e.g. trigger foods, fear foods, etc.
  • Since many members may be coming to group with previous trauma histories, we ask that members not go into descriptive detail about any abuse or traumatic event to ensure the safety of all group members.