Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

Intensive Group Therapy
At the Center for Hope of the Sierras, clients are exposed to a variety of guided group sessions designed to help each individual explore underlying issues and steps toward healing with a group of their peers.

Intuitive Eating
The focus of Intuitive Eating is to undo the damage caused by the false belief that dieting and food labeling are effective tools for a healthy lifestyle. By learning to re-connect the body and mind, individuals are ultimately able to experience the satisfaction of eating without anxiety, fear, shame, or guilt. The Intuitive Eating program incorporates cooking classes, snack challenges, make your own lunch day, restaurant outings, gradual self-portioning, and more to help individuals build the skills necessary for lasting recovery in life after treatment.

Food & Feelings Pre & Post-Meal Group
Learning to deal with the fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame associated with eating is essential to recovery. This group is held before and after every meal to help individuals understand and explore the emotions, struggles, and milestones experienced during meal time. The time allows our clients to express, rather than repress and internalize, these emotions while learning to exist without engaging in destructive activities in a state of calm and gentle balance between mind and body.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group
Dialectical Behavior Therapy has been shown to be incredibly effective when incorporated into treatment for eating disorders. The skills training groups focus on four specific skills modules: emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. The skills learned from DBT are aimed at helping individuals be more effective in both their interpersonal relationships and in their relationship with themselves and their emotions.

Anxiety Management
In the Anxiety Management group, individuals are guided through identifying the fear response and breaking the cycle of physical sensations, thoughts, and behaviors. Our clients learn mindful techniques to manage anxiety through deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.

yoga_21Mind & Body Connection
This cognitive processing group helps to bring the thoughts and ideas that fuel eating disorder driven emotions and behaviors into awareness. The group empowers each individual to distinguish between the healthy, rational thoughts and the destructive, negative thoughts derived from the eating disorder. This group challenges cognitive distortions while replacing them with healthy, self-loving thoughts based on an integrated, validated self. Mind & Body Connection encourages mindfulness and teaches individuals the importance of developing a new perspective on life and the power and effectiveness of processing unwanted negative thoughts in a mindful and gentle context.

Mindful Movement
In this group, individuals have a chance to challenge their own personal exercise philosophy and learn to separate the compulsive movement motivated by the eating disorder to a more balanced and mindful approach toward exercise.

Interpersonal Process Group
Individuals with eating disorders often refrain from expressing thoughts and feelings instead of openly discussing them. Process groups encourage individuals to share with others openly and honestly. The group emphasizes the importance of a non-judgmental attitude toward self and others, assertiveness, mutual support, interpersonal communication, and reflective listening. Boundaries, competition, and jealousy are examples of relational topics that are often addressed.

Relapse Prevention
At Center for Hope we realize the most important skills that a client can walk away with are the ones that will help them to sustain recovery after treatment. Individuals learn how to make effective use of treatment gains in ongoing preparation for discharge. This group helps individuals clarify the foundations of their recovery and develop proactive shifts, leading them to cope adaptively and constructively with sources of stress that are identified as potential triggers for relapse. A variety of modalities are utilized to achieve the objective of this group including open discussion of struggles without judgment, role play, identification of road blocks to recovery, exploring research risks and outcomes, experiential therapy, and occasional visits from program alumni who seek to share their wisdom.

Interactive Treatment Team
In the residential setting, each individual is involved in the development of his or her own treatment plan and time is set aside weekly for an individual meeting with the entire treatment team. During this time, each resident has the opportunity to discuss his or her treatment goals, struggles, and accomplishments, while receiving constructive feedback from the staff. The individual receives the staff’s support for increasing self-awareness and self-responsibility while helping maintain hope and courage to continue on the path of recovery.

Therapeutic Art & Imagery
One of the many functions of an eating disorder is to keep a person separated from and unaware of feelings, thoughts, and dreams. A critical part of recovery is connecting to emotional needs and learning how to meet those needs. The foundation of the Therapeutic Art & Imagery group is to provide an environment free from judgment over the artistic quality of the work and an emphasis on the process of exploring unconscious thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Participants use a variety of media and activities in a caring group setting with the ultimate goal of integrating these discoveries into their ongoing recovery.

Equine Therapy
Center for Hope recognizes that connections to animals can play an important role in the reconnection to one’s self. During the outdoor equine experience, clients interact with horses, nature, and each other in ways that have incredible impact on the individual and the group. Led by certified therapeutic equine instructors, this unique experience can help individuals increase trust and confidence, assume personal responsibility, improve self-awareness, develop anger management skills, reduce anxiety, decrease self-destructive behaviors, and build self-esteem.

Additional Unique Offerings
Our clients have the opportunity to participate in a variety of additional options such as mindful walks, yoga, and therapeutic massage at selected levels of treatment. Center for Hope also encourages use of dedicated personal time for musical expression, reading, or journaling. All groups and activities are designed to encourage self-care, self-respect, and an appreciation for the role of a gentle and mindful lifestyle.

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