Support Group Leader
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Support Group Leader

The vital role of a support group

If you ask a recovered or recovering sufferer who the most beneficial people in their recovery were, many of them will put friends and other supportive non-professional help above the professional treatment that they received. This isn’t necessarily because the treatment was bad, but as people we have an intrinsic desire to be loved, accepted and valued for who we are. Our wholeness can depend on whether we receive this. However good a professional is, they, by nature of their work, have to detach themselves to a degree from the situation, they have to keep distance because of protocol and they have to follow the systems laid down for them. Treatment is important and without it many sufferers will not recover. However, the role of friends, family, counsellors and the support of a group can not be over-estimated.

 How is it beneficial?

A support group is somewhere where a sufferer can come and be valued, listened to and heard, where they are accepted without reservation and can be honest without fear of judgement. It is somewhere where they can learn to live again, meet others who are fighting with them, feel less alone and gain tools to help them along the way.

The aim is to give the sufferer the tools, confidence and support to overcome their eating disorder and come through to a place of wholeness. It isn’t to treat them, to give counselling or to do it for them. Many support groups are also open to carers. This environment can increase their understanding of eating disorders and enable them to feel supported, loved and accepted through the painful experience of seeing someone they love suffer so greatly.