Workshops for parents and carers
- Empowering Families overview
- Workshop details
- Who are the workshops suitable for?
- Your local group
- Professionals and Group Facilitators
'The workshops provide outstanding support for carers. I feel much better equipped to play a constructive role in my son's recovery.'
We are looking to run workshops in Northwich, Chesterfield and Preston soon, among other areas. Please see the Helpfinder - search your area under the 'Empowering Families' drop-down. If there is no current local Empowering Families group listed, search your area under 'Beat Self-Help Groups' then contact the group direct to register your interest. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Empowering Families: Workshops for parents and carers
At Beat, we recognise that an eating disorder has a profound effect not only on the person who is unwell, but also on those who care for them. Family/carers are in a unique position to support their loved one to tackle the eating disorder, but can feel excluded from services. This can lead to feelings of frustration, guilt and disempowerment. Carers frequently ask Beat for specific, clear guidance on how best to help their loved one.
As part of Beat's ongoing commitment to improve services, we have launched Empowering Families; a course of eight skills training workshops which equip carers with the latest insight and tools detailed in 'The New Maudsley Method' (see 'Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved-one with an Eating Disorder', Treasure, Smith and Crane, 2007, visit our bookstore) pioneered by the Maudsley Hospital in London, a leading inpatient and research unit.
The New Maudsley Method has been developed to support carers to increase their understanding about the illness and offers professional techniques for dealing with the difficulties created by the eating disorder, including:
- Dealing with challenging behaviour
- Specialised communication skills
- Avoiding traps that may maintain the disorder
- Supporting recovery
The Empowering Families workshops support a collaborative care ethos in which professionals, carers and sufferers work together towards recovery, empowering carers to become expert change coaches, using professional skills and information to support their loved one to break free from traps that prevent recovery, while looking after their own needs.
The emphasis of Empowering Families workshops is on information giving, skills-learning and practice, rather than the general peer support that is offered by Beat support groups. We recommend that carers currently attending support groups continue to do so while attending Empowering Families workshops.
We recognise that each carer is the expert on their own situation and ultimately, we don't have the answers, but through the workshops we can offer insight into the processes behind the disorder, and a toolbox of skills which carers may decide to try.
We offer a course of 8 workshops (7 + 1 refresher session around a month after the 7th workshop). Workshops are around 2 hours long, which usually includes a short break. It is requested that carers complete the course of 8 sessions where possible, rather than dipping in and out. In some areas, an additional preliminary session is offered (please see contents, below).
Once started, workshops are closed groups. Although partners of people already attending who are also primary carers may be welcomed into the group at a later stage, this is at the discretion of the facilitator.
Workshops are free to attend, although some groups may ask for a small donation (around £2) to cover the costs of facilities.
- Shared understanding of Empowering Families
- Shared understanding of eating disorders
- Risk and maintaining factors
- Emotional processing and eating disorders
- Personality and eating disorders
- Understanding the sufferers experience; why is change so hard?
- How carers can cope with eating disorders
- The eating disordered brain & consequences of insufficient nutrition
- Animal models of caring (Treasure et al 2007)
- The Reassurance Trap
- Advanced communication skills: Reflective listening skills, Questioning and summarising skills
- The Stages of Change model: Communication in each stage of change; What hinders change?
- Understanding and modifying challenging behaviour
- Using Motivational Interviewing to increase commitment to change
- Planning and goal setting
- Praise and affirmations
- Accommodating and enabling
- Managing problem eating
- Managing other challenging behaviours (including OCD)
- Dealing with conflict
- Supporting maintenance
- Dealing with relapse
- Discussion of last month's practice
- Review sessions 1-7
- Moving forward
In some areas, a 2-hour preliminary session called 'Understanding Eating Disorders' is available for people who have little to no knowledge of eating disorders, and would like to learn about the basics before starting the workshops. Please check with your local facilitator.
- What is an eating disorder?
- Eating disorder signs and symptoms (AN, BN, BED, EDNOS)
- Possible causes of eating disorders & introduction to maintaining factors
- Conditions commonly found alongside eating disorders
- How carers can help
- Treatment options
- Empowering Families Workshops
Additional Information and resource pack
Who are the workshops suitable for?
If you are affected by the eating disorder of your child, partner, parent, sibling, other relation or friend, these workshops are open to you.
The person you care for may live with you or live away, they may have had an eating disorder for a long time, or you may only just have become aware of the problem.
If you are not sure whether the workshops are suitable for you, please feel free to discuss with your local facilitator and/or attend the introductory session which gives excellent insight into the workshops, with no obligation.
A quote from a carer who attended the Empowering Families Workshops:
'We all lead such hectic lives, I can see why the lure may not be great to make time to go along to the workshops. However, for any carer out there who may feel sceptical or hesitant about going along, as I was, I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial these sessions are, no matter what level of expertise you may have attained or what stage of the illness your son or daughter may be going through. Aside from the serious messages there is the opportunity to see a lighter side and to exercise an often absent sense of humour with real people who understand. There is something in these workshops for everyone and everyone's opinion is treated with validity and respect.'
Your Local Group
Please search for a course of workshops near you using the HelpFinder, 'Empowering Families' option (see above), or look on the Events page.
If you would like to attend but there is currently no group running near you, please register your interest with your local group (search the HelpFinder using the 'Beat Self Help Group' option).
We are working hard to make workshops available in as many areas as possible. We currently have trained workshop leaders in most areas in England and are working to open as many groups as possible.
Professionals and Group Facilitators
Please contact email@example.com if
- You are interested in commissioning Empowering Families workshops for your eating disorders service
- You have a free room or other facilities that workshops could be carried out in
- You have any other information or questions.
Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you.
'Our relationship has improved massively. I really can't recommend theworkshops highly enough, I almost feel like a different person now.'