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Eating Disorders: Family and Friends Education and Support Group

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.

We are continuing with virtual Zoom meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30. To receive a link to join a meeting, please email us at

2024 Meetings

January 11 – Joy Guthrie, Registered Dietician, will again join us to add to our knowledge about a dietician’s role in helping those struggling with an eating disorder.  You will find her insights, strategies, and supportive comments most welcome. Check out her website at

January 25 – We are fortunate to have Alison Elliott, MSW, join us to describe the connection between ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ED (Eating Disorders).  Alison has been completing advanced degrees on this topic and she will share some of the latest cutting-edge research.  Alison is a therapist with many years of experience and currently has a private practice in Cambridge.

February 8 – Please plan to attend the annual free online FACES of Recovery event (7:00 to 8:30) organized by the Waterloo Wellington Eating Disorders Coalition.  Panel members will be those with lived experience, including family members, who will share their journey of recovery. A link for registering will be sent a few days before the event.

March 14 – Victoria Hanson, Dietician, and Bea Powers, MSW, both with CMHA’s Eating Disorders Program, will join us to share current information as well as key therapies and strategies used within the program. Check CMHA’s website for more information –

March 28 – Sharing and Discussion

April 11 – Katie Dunnigan, MSW, is a registered psychotherapist who specializes in healing those struggling with eating disorders using a Transpersonal Therapy approach; Katie herself found this therapy successful in healing from her own eating disorder. Check out her website at

April 25 – Sharing and Discussion

May 9 – Sharing and Discussion. Guest presenter Marg Notar, MSW postponed but will join us in the fall to share her knowledge and experience working with clients, many of whom struggle with eating disorders, using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

May 23 – Maja Brajkovich will be sharing her story of overcoming an eating disorder that she had struggled with from her late teens to her early twenties. Maja will talk about her journey towards recovery and how her personal experiences with different therapeutic techniques have motivated her to pursue a career in psychotherapy, particularly in the field of eating disorders.

June 13 – We welcome Shelley Restall, MSW, individual and family therapist specializing in treating anxiety, stress, trauma and eating disorders.  In her private practice, Shelley not only includes CBT and DBT strategies but also EFT-tapping. Shelley will present EFFT (Emotion Focused Family Therapy) strategies, particularly helpful in managing difficult communication. Check out her website at for more information.

June 27 – Cancelled

July, August – One meeting each month TBA

We have started a YouTube channel to provide clients with tips for staying on track with recovery through these unprecedented times:

Here are some resources from around the globe that may be helpful in maintaining you eating disorder recovery journey through the COVID-19 pandemic:

The Butterfly Foundation: 

This is an Australian website with helpful ideas about dealing with an eating disorder in the midst of COVID-19

Beat Eating Disorders: 

This charity from the UK has additional information about managing an eating disorder through COVID-19

Body Brave: 

This Hamilton-based charitable organization is offering online education and support groups for a minimal cost

National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC): 

Canada’s support service with headquarters in Toronto is posting links to many helpful resources.  They also offer a Helpline Monday to Friday: 1-866-NEDIC-20

Emotion-Focused Family Therapy: 

This website includes resources for parents supporting a loved one with an eating disorder which are particularly helpful with learning communication skills in these difficult, emotion-filled times.


Skill-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method, Second Edition, 2017 by Dr. Janet Treasure

This book is full of many practical suggestions  for helping a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder.

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