Can Group Therapy Help Treat an Eating Disorder?
Appropriately caring for someone suffering from an Eating Disorder can be challenging. Many influences, including physical, emotional, psychological, social, and cultural factors, shape the foundation of eating disorders. Often, pinpointing the exact cause can be challenging to understand.
One evidence-based treatment method that is increasing in clinical excellence is group therapy. Group therapy is highly beneficial for those suffering from eating disorders because it helps clients and families support one another and validate that they are not alone. Engaging in shared experiences can be very therapeutic, which is often supplemental to the individual therapy experience.
Having a shared experience can help aid in understanding and promote growth and development. This article will focus on the benefits of eating disorder group therapy.
What is Group Therapy & How is it Beneficial to those Suffering from Eating Disorders?
In a therapeutic setting, group therapy can incorporate any number of shared experiences and activities. Typically, group therapy focuses on a particular topic to process, which also generates shared validation and understanding.
Groups can be large or intimate and can typically vary between three and twenty-five people or more. The leader of the group is typically a licensed clinician who leads and guides the conversation while ensuring that each group member feels seen, heard, comforted, and included. Sometimes, depending on the size or acuity of the group, there may also be an addition of a group co-leader to help facilitate discussion.
In the group setting, participants can share their stories, receive and process feedback, along with obtaining validation for their feelings. The group setting fosters vulnerable interactions and encourages each individual to engage in their shared experiences, to foster connection in a world of isolation.
It is estimated that over 30 million Americans suffer from Eating Disorders. In addition to individual therapy, group therapy provides a way for those in suffering to build connections with others who may be suffering similarly. It is also highly beneficial for those further along in their recovery journey to share their stories of challenge and triumph to validate others.
For clients suffering from eating disorders, the ability to utilize their voice in a safe space can harbor authentic existence, and mutual understanding. Typically, these group settings can foster trusted relationships to assist with accountability in refraining from eating disorder behaviors. The type of support that is found in a group therapy setting can prove to be highly beneficial in such an isolated world.
Different group therapy activities:
Group therapy can occur in a variety of different settings. Here at Selah House, we provide several options for healing and self-reflection, including:
- Equine therapy
- Art therapy
- Spiritual groups
- Movement groups
- Thought processing groups
- Writing groups
- Body image groups
- Nutrition groups
- Meal planning groups
- Body awareness groups
In our equine groups, our clients and families benefit from experiential learning when interacting with our family of horses. Our equine specialized and licensed clinician work alongside the client and family to process each encounter, along with discovering new pathways to their recovery.
In our nutrition groups, a Registered Dietitian works alongside clients to discuss the healing power of food and utilizing food as fuel in the recovery process.
Our thought-processing groups help clients find a connection in their shared experiences with one another. Many times, our group leaders will incorporate evidence-based skills groups to encourage thought-provoking conversations and dispel cognitive myths or distortions.
As discussed, there are a variety of ways to encounter connection in a safe space through eating disorder group therapy activities, At Selah House, we believe that a comprehensive treatment plan, equipped with individual, group, family, and nutritional therapy, along with board-certified medical care, is essential to sustainable recovery.
Our Selah Difference
At Selah House, we understand that eating disorders often occur in isolation, which is why we work collaboratively with you to foster supportive validation and connection. If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, look no further, we are here and we are ready to help. Our Admission Team is here 24/7 to answer questions and provide guidance during your time of searching for freedom. Call us today at 765-641-0022 or complete our Contact Form to experience our Selah Difference.