Strong social support systems can help people in bulimia nervosa treatment effectively cope with the changes they are diligently making. As they move through the levels of bulimia nervosa recovery, these individuals need to have ample opportunities to receive support from their friends, family, and peers. To serve this need, bulimia treatment center professionals make it a priority to provide their clients with access to many different types of support groups.

The support groups come in many kinds of helpful formats to best serve the needs of past and current clients. While attending these groups, clients can work on building the social support networks that will aid in their recovery. They will need to continue to rely on these networks and reach out for support in other ways after graduation to remain recovered.

People with eating disorders and their families can greatly benefit from learning about the importance of support groups in bulimia nervosa recovery. With this knowledge, they can start building strong social networks that will help on the journey toward becoming and remaining recovered.

How Support Groups Aid in Eating Disorder Recovery

As people move through the treatment process, they may encounter many challenges along the way, including setbacks that may increase bulimia nervosa symptom severity, frequency and duration. They must rely on positive coping skills to sail through these challenges and continue to work toward eliminating bulimia nervosa side effects. When eating disorder treatment centers aim to involve clients’ support networks in the care process, they give their clients one of the most powerful healthy coping tools.

Leaning on social support as needed to cope can effectively keep disordered thoughts and behaviors at bay. The social connections also tend to help improve clients’ outlooks and satisfaction with life. Through support groups, people with bulimia nervosa can build their social networks and find people they can reach out to when in need.

In addition to acquiring the support they need, clients can give back to people in their social networks by offering their own unique perspectives, insights and coping tools. Even simply sharing their journey with their support groups can help others gain footing in working toward their own bulimia nervosa recovery goals. As they help others along on their eating disorder recovery journey, clients may find that it helps strengthen their motivations and increase their resilience in handling tough challenges.

Importance of Bulimia Nervosa Support Groups for Families

The process of recovering from an eating disorder requires clients to challenge their disordered thoughts and replace dysfunctional behaviors with healthier alternatives. Families often need to address their own dynamics to ensure they are set up to support their loved ones after they graduate from eating disorder treatment. Family members also need to remain involved with the treatment process to provide their loved ones with help coping and planning for the future.

Through group therapy sessions and support groups, eating disorder treatment centers help ensure families can remain involved every step of the way. By participating in these groups, family members can receive the support they need as well to remain strong for their loved ones. Families often come together as a group to listen to each other’s stories and challenges with compassion. This assists clients and their family members in gaining the insights they need about the purpose and benefits of eating disorder treatment – and what to expect through each level of care.

While attending support groups, family members can learn a host of new information about bulimia nervosa side effects, treatment approaches, and outcomes. The opportunities for education allow families to gain new perspectives that can help create better understanding and shift disordered dynamics. By addressing family dynamics during treatment, therapists can help their clients return to a healthy and well-adjusted household that will support them in bulimia nervosa recovery.

Types of Support Groups Available in Bulimia Nervosa Treatment

Bulimia nervosa treatment centers offer many different types of support groups – and there are even more varieties outside of treatment. These support groups are centered around therapeutic models that encourage clients to let go of disordered thought patterns and behaviors. They also promote the development of helpful skills that will assist clients in handling stressors that arise from day to day.

While in treatment, all support groups are attended in person, though many people choose to go with some online groups as well after graduation. Even with digital support group options available, attending meetings in person offers immense value through direct contact and closer connections. Treatment centers tend to use the two following group structures, which center around the clients’ and families’ needs.

Peer Group

Peer groups focus on exploring different facets of the recovery journey, including negative thoughts and how to replace them. Therapists may use a variety of therapy models during these peer group sessions to assist their clients in processing events and building coping skills.

The dialectical behavior therapy model, for example, focuses on building skills around mindfulness, interpersonal relationships, distress tolerance and the regulation of strong emotions. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, assists in processing events and building tolerance to distressing thoughts and situations. Through the use of multiple therapy models, care teams can enrichen support groups, making them a place of learning and growth as well.

Family Groups

Bulimia nervosa treatment centers also host family group sessions where multiple family units come together to share and bond. Therapists will center these groups around different types of events that promote the continued recovery of their clients. Families may come to the treatment center to share a meal as a group, for example, and assist their loved ones in facing and coping with their triggers.

Throughout these family group meetings, therapists act as a guide and source of support for all the clients and their family members in attendance. They may help facilitate the flow of conversation and keep everyone discussing helpful topics to maximize the value of their group sessions. Therapists encourage their clients and family to build bonds with other people in the group to expand their social networks.

As they create these bonds, they can lean on and support each other as needed to move toward becoming recovered. This level of support is also vital after people with bulimia nervosa graduate from inpatient and outpatient eating disorder treatment.

Reasons to Continue Attending Support Groups After Graduation

Remaining recovered requires a dedication to maintaining adaptive thought patterns and using healthy coping habits effectively. This ensures that people with eating disorders can withstand stress and face the challenges they may encounter in daily life. Sticking with the plan is much easier when clients have a social support network to rely on when times are tough. Social support can also play a major role in celebrating successes and renewing motivations to remain recovered for life.

For this reason, support groups will always remain an important part of daily life after graduating from bulimia nervosa treatment programs. Although people do not need to attend these groups on a daily basis to reap the rewards, regular attendance has its benefits. With frequent visits to individual and family support groups, people who have recovered from bulimia nervosa can maintain their motivations and remain on track in remaining recovered.

Support group sessions help promote mindfulness and honesty in self-assessments. People can better gauge how they are doing and what they need to remain recovered when they gain insights from their support system. They can also help their peers in staying the course and use their healthy coping skills to manage challenges along the way. This creates mutually beneficial relationships that can help protect against the return of disordered thoughts and behaviors.

How to Find Support Groups After Graduating from Eating Disorder Treatment

To provide what graduates from eating disorder programs need most, support groups must offer a judgment-free place to give and receive support. The support may come from eating disorder therapists, peers in treatment and family members while attending the group sessions. Not all groups are made equal, however, as they require the oversight of trained professionals to provide the most value.

Finding effective and well-monitored groups can take a lot of effort as graduates from bulimia nervosa treatment programs to vet the moderators and test the waters. Beyond making sure the groups have proper moderators, it is important to see if the group composition and structure works for people’s individual needs. Different groups will work great for some people and not at all for others. Graduates must commit to looking until they can find one that works to join the best support groups for their individual needs.

After graduating from eating disorder treatment programs, clients can start their search for helpful support groups by tapping into their treatment center and community resources. Online platforms can also provide places for people to come together in remaining recovered from eating disorders.

Alumnae Resources

Eating disorder treatment centers provide extensive alumnae resources to assist their clients in remaining recovered after graduation. As a part of these resources, clients can return to attend therapy groups to find the guidance and support they need while facing real-life challenges on a daily basis. These groups bring together alumnae and their families along with current clients at the treatment center. This comprehensive group structure offers the full range of insights and benefits to graduates of bulimia nervosa treatment programs.

As current clients share their bulimia nervosa symptoms, graduates can reflect on their progress through treatment and share the coping skills that helped them overcome similar challenges. This helps to bring their treatment journey full circle as they give back to their peers and renew their motivations to remain recovered.

Graduates can attend these alumnae groups with a single call to the treatment center. They will set up the visit and attend to the needs of their alumnae to help them stay on track in their bulimia nervosa recovery journey. Treatment centers can also provide alumnae access to outside providers and groups in their areas as needed for continued support.

Community Groups

In certain areas, eating disorder treatment center alumnae can find support in groups set up by community organizations. These groups are often moderated by eating disorder therapists or mental health professionals trained in supporting fully recovered individuals. The attendees may come from all walks of life as is found in eating disorder treatment centers. This allows people to gain a wide range of perspectives that provide new ways of looking at challenges and finding adaptive coping skills.

Clients at bulimia nervosa treatment centers tend to receive information about these community groups while working on transitioning back home after graduating. They are encouraged to set up their first group visit immediately upon returning home to seamlessly transition into utilizing outside resources.

Online Platforms

As people move on in their daily lives, busy schedules can impede regular attendance at eating disorder support groups. At this point, it may be beneficial to utilize online platforms to seek support. These support groups can be found on standalone forums, social media platforms and other websites across the internet landscape.

Great care is needed to join the right groups with strong moderators that keep everyone operating within the rules. The guidelines for the group should align with the best treatment practices used for bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. Otherwise, the group chat could introduce triggers that cause bulimia nervosa symptoms to return.

Overall, eating disorder treatment centers are typically the best route in finding helpful support groups for people with bulimia nervosa. Clients can trust the level of care they will receive there aligns with the best practices and support their bulimia nervosa recovery journey.

Committing to attending support groups through treatment and beyond helps people eliminate bulimia nervosa side effects and keep them away for good. Whenever clients need additional support, they can reach out to these groups for guidance and care. With each session, they will benefit from giving and receiving personal insights, as everyone shares their stories of bulimia nervosa symptoms and their journey toward recovery.

Source

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039404/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy

https://www.scienceofeds.org/2013/07/03/hide-or-seek-social-support-and-eating-disorders/

Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.

Oliver-Pyatt Centers is grounded in mindfulness and the belief that each person has the capacity for a mindful relationship with food and their body. Present in every aspect of our program, this philosophy encompasses nutrition and eating, as well as movement, with an emphasis on becoming free from negative habits, behaviors and rigidity. We work from a place of empathy and wisdom, using a medically grounded, psychologically gentle approach.

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