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How Do Eating Disorder Groups Help?

Learn about eating disorder help groups from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video.


There's really a diversity of eating disorder help groups around. Lots of different formats, run by lots of different types of professionals. Some may not be run by professionals, at all, but may be a group of patients, or recovered patients, that are supporting each other through recovery.

There are types of groups, formalized groups, such as Overeaters Anonymous, that offer help to people with eating disorders, and for some people, these types of Overeaters Anonymous models can be quite helpful.

I like to send some of my patients to group treatments. Groups can be a wonderful augmentation to a preexisting treatment plan, involving an individual therapy, work with a nutritionist, supervision by a physician that can monitor medical status, while a person is grappling with an eating problem. A support group can be incredibly helpful at gaining the perspective of other people that are struggling with similar problems, or have struggled with similar problems.

I tend to like support groups that have professional, a mental health professional, running the group, that can really supervisor how these groups are being run, and make sure that there's no negative, or destructive process pervading the group that can actually worsen the process of trying to recover from an eating problem.

So, that's something I strongly recommend. Look for someone with a strong background, that's supervising these groups, that is take the lead with the group, but otherwise, group therapy can be a wonderful help. It can even take the form of supervised meals at times, and can be a great piece of treatment, and trying to recover from these problems.

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