Who can go to Support Group?
Anyone aged 18+ experiencing eating/weight/food related distress can access support group. Eating disorders affect anyone of any gender, ethnicity, religion, age, sexuality etc. so all are welcome.
I want to go to Carers’ Advice and Information Clinic but I’m not their carer. Can I still go?
Of course! At S.E.E.D we use the term carer to mean that you care about your loved one and are supporting them through their recovery journey, whatever your relationship is to them. We welcome parents, partners, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues and everyone else in between! If you are worried that anyone you care about is struggling with an eating disorder/ disordered eating and want to understand and support them then join us at carers’ advice and information clinic on alternate Fridays.
What is the difference between Support Group and Drop-In?
Our support group is a structured group which meets on alternate Friday evenings for an hour and a half. The group sessions include educational support with a dedicated theme each week. Our support group is a friendly, welcoming group where service users come to work through aspects of recovery in a safe environment.
Drop-in is held every Friday from 1-3pm. This has a flexible format where service users are free to turn up anytime between 1pm and 3pm and stay for as little or as long as they wish. The main aim of drop-in is to provide signposting information and help service users to navigate the often complex road through treatment and recovery. Service users are welcome to come with questions and issues they’re having to discuss with our trained facilitators, and there is a theme each week for those that wish to work through a group exercise or engage in a group discussion.
Will I be forced to talk in front of everyone?
No one will ever be forced to talk. We do encourage and provide space and time for everyone to participate, but for those that wish to stay quiet and listen, that is absolutely fine too! We find that service users are pleasantly surprised by how warm and friendly the groups are and quickly feel comfortable to open up. Our group sizes are typically small which we feel makes the experience less intimidating and gives everyone chance to get to know the group and feel safe enough to participate.
Do I need a referral to attend?
Absolutely not. Anyone 18+ can attend our services at any time whether they are in treatment or not. We are a support service as opposed to a treatment provider so there are no wait lists either.
I haven’t been diagnosed with an eating disorder, can I still come along?
Definitely! If you feel eating/food/weight are affecting your life and causing distress then you’re welcome at S.E.E.D. We encourage everyone to see their GP about receiving a diagnosis and treatment, but it is by no means a pre-requisite.
I’m really scared about turning up to support group on my own. Can I come with a relative?
We completely understand how daunting it must feel to turn up, especially alone. However, we feel it’s really important that service users and their family/friends are able to access confidential support alone. In our experience this makes it easier for people to get the most out of our groups and talk openly and honestly. Your family/friends are welcome to walk you to the door where you will be greeted by a facilitator who can discuss your needs with you 1:1 before welcoming you into the group.
I’ve seen that each group session has a theme. Why is this and will the whole session be on that theme?
We find that service users often feel stuck and are unable to verbalise, or are unsure about, what it is they need at that specific time. By providing a theme for each session we ensure that we cover a relevant recovery-based topic and provide information, support and encouragement which service users may not have been able to ask for. However, we always encourage service users to bring their own topics and questions and will never dissuade service users from discussing something they feel is more relevant to them at that time.
I feel too fat to go and think everyone will judge me. Is that true?
Eating disorders are about emotional distress, weight is merely a possible symptom. Anyone at any size can experience an eating disorder and it is impossible to tell just by looking whether someone has one. Therefore, it is impossible to be ‘too fat’ to attend. If you feel that way, it is likely due to your eating disorder/disordered eating so we’d encourage you to attend so we can support you. You will never be judged at S.E.E.D services for your weight, or any other feature, and we have ground rules in place to ensure specific weights are not discussed.
I can’t make it to every session. Is that a problem?
That’s no problem at all. We understand that life gets busy and sometimes making it to S.E.E.D will be tough. Everyone is welcome to attend groups as often or as infrequently as they like. There is no need to book in advance, just turn up on the day when you’re able to. Some of our service users attend every session while others come when they’re having a particularly bad week. It’s down to your personal preference and needs.