A place to share or just to listen – in a non-judgmental atmosphere – with people who have experiences helping a loved one recover from an eating disorder. This mutual aid group provides: support and encouragement; information on how and where to get help; insights on books and electronic media; special guest speakers such as therapists and dietitians; and suggestions about how to take care of yourself while helping your loved one.
Regular Meetings: 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at CMHA WW, 130 Weber St. West (at Breithaupt Street) Suite 201, Kitchener. Enter from back parking lot to take elevator to 2nd floor. Please note that our meeting location will be changing beginning on September 26 to 1 Blue Springs Drive Unit 100, Waterloo
Family and Friends Support Group Meetings 2019
September 12 – Open discussion and sharing
September 26 – Guest presenter will be Therese Kenny, a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at University of Guelph. Therese has a special interest in treating eating disorders having herself recovered from one. Her research is exploring the complexities around “recovery”. She will also give us a preview of the workshop she is giving as part of the Body Peace online conference, Oct 4, 5 and 6 – Eating Disorders Sensitivity Training for Healthcare Workers.
Note: October 4, 5 and 6 – Please check out the online conference organized by Body Brave in Hamilton at https://livingbodybrave.com (Oct 4 in particular has some speakers and workshops of interest, including ‘Eating Disorders 101 for Caregivers’ by Lisa Burns from F.E.A.S.T.) Registration is $39 per day.
October 10 – Open discussion and sharing
October 24 – Joining us will be Wanda Wagler-Martin, MSW, who is the Executive Director of Shalom Counselling. Wanda’s topic will be ‘Understanding Anxiety’- its causes, symptoms and strategies. Anxiety is not only a part of most eating disorders experience but also most other mental health issues.
November 14 – Open discussion and sharing
November 28 – We welcome Suzanne Dietrich, Registered Dietician, who has a private practice in Waterloo (Gut Instincts) and also is with the Wellness Collaborative in Guelph. Suzanne’s topics will include the importance of embracing a ‘Health at Every Size’ approach and the implications on the body of starving / bingeing. She frequently works with those entwined in a diet mentality and disordered eating as well as working as part of a team with eating disorders clients.
December 12 – Our guest presenter will be Candy MacNeil, therapist in private practice in Guelph. Candy has specialized for many years in working with individuals struggling with eating disorders as well as their loved ones. She encourages family involvement whenever possible. We always appreciate Candy’s insights and cutting-edge approaches. Check her website at www.whatseatingyou.com for additional information.
January 9, 2020 – Joining us as our guest presenter will be Alison Elliott, MSW, who provides therapy in the Cambridge area and who formerly ran Danielle’s Place, a Support Centre in the Oakville area for those struggling with an eating disorder. Alison will talk about ‘body image’ and the challenges of living ‘counter culture’ to a diet culture.
January 23, 2020 – Open discussion and sharing
February 7, 2020 – Faces of Recovery event to recognize Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW). A panel of those with lived experience sharing their stories of recovery including family members who have supported them. Location – Guelph Youth Music Centre, 75 Cardigan Street, Guelph. 7:00 to 9:00pm. Free admission.
February 12, 2020 – Panel and discussion providing information and personal stories about disordered eating, chronic dieting, and eating disorders as well as resources available in our area. CMHA offices, 1 Blue Springs Drive (First Floor), Waterloo. 7:00 to 9:00pm. Free admission.
February 13, 2020 – Meeting cancelled. We encourage attendance at the Feb 7 and/or Feb 12 events described above in recognition of EDAW.
February 27, 2020 – CANCELLED due to weather
March 12, 2020 – We were able to re-book Wanda Wagler-Martin, MSW, the Executive Director of Shalom Counselling, as she was unable to join us as planned in November. Wanda’s topic will be ‘Understanding Anxiety’- its causes, symptoms and strategies. Anxiety is not only a part of most eating disorders experience but also most other mental health issues.
March 26, 2020 – Open discussion and sharing
April 9, 2020 – Jane Lennon will present on “The Value of Getting to the Root Cause”. Jane has healed from an eating disorder by completing a program based on Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology that gets to the root cause of disorders of all types. As a result of experiencing core transformation she left a busy corporate job, trained as a Life Coach and now, in private practice, supports stressed mid-life men and women, whatever the cause. She also hosts the Cambridge Midlife Stress Meet Up group.
April 23, 2020 – We again welcome Candy MacNeil, therapist in private practice specializing in treating eating disorders. Candy is much sought-after as a therapist and speaker. Her topic will be Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT), a fairly new treatment approach (developed in England) which has shown good results particularly with those who are rigid and over-controlled.
May 14, 2020 – We are fortunate to be able to re-book Shelagh Keesmaat, Recreation Therapist, as our guest presenter. Shelagh has worked at Homewood in addictions as well as the eating disorders treatment programs. She will discuss her role of introducing clients to healthy leisure choices, encouraging them to take risks and experience the relaxation they likely have missed during their illness. This ‘finding leisure’ process relieves stress, reduces triggers that lead to symptomatic behavior (such as compulsive exercising) and helps build a recovery-oriented lifestyle.