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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

September 28 – We are fortunate to again have Marg Notar, MSW, share her knowledge and experience working with clients, many of whom struggle with eating disorders, from the framework of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  Marg not only has a private practice but has been on the faculty at WLU’s Social Work program, teaching and supervising masters-level graduates.

October 12 – Open discussion and sharing

October 26 – Unexpected cancellation

November 9 Open discussion and sharing

November 23 – We welcome back Chloe Grande, MA, who in May shared with us her story of recovery along with her career as a writer and speaker on this topic.  In addition, Chloe’s mom, a retired family physician who has practiced in the fields of mental health, physical, sport and occupational rehabilitation, will join us. We are very much looking forward to hearing about both of their lived experiences. Check out Chloe’s website at

December 14 – We are fortunate to again have Shelagh Keesmaat, registered psychotherapist (RP) and recreation therapist (R/TRO), join us.  Shelagh recently began working in private practice with Flourish Psychotherapy Services serving adults (18+) via virtual therapy. Previously during her 25+ years at Homewood Health Centre, Shelagh supported clients coping with the challenges of mental health, addictions and eating disorders.  She combines psychotherapy and recreation therapy to help clients navigate body image concerns, foster a sense of belonging, (re)discover joyful movement and cultivate a fulfilling life.

December 28 – Open discussion and sharing

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. The link to register for this event follows.  Please register early if you wish to attend:

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 –

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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