Group Therapy Program

AED Team in kitchen used for group sessions
The team in their clinic's new kitchen are (l-r) Sandra Leduc, Dietician; Dr. Brad Mac Neil, Psychologist; Cathy O'Brien, Social Worker; Dr. Pallavi Nadkarni, Physician; Tricia Barrett, Clinic Secretary; and Sara Maylin, Nurse Practitioner. Special thanks to The Bank of Nova Scotia for their generous donation and support.

Nutrition Groups:

Normalized Eating Group
This is a one-hour session that is a prerequisite for patients entering the program.  The Dietitian provides education on Canada’s Food Guide and portion sizes using food replicas.  A meal plan accounting for various activity levels is provided and will help guide food goals in upcoming groups.

Meal Planning Group
This is an open group where clients have an opportunity to ask questions about their specific meal plans and/or about general meals. This is also the time to receive help completing a one-week menu plan based on the Dietitian’s individualized meal plan. This is a one-hour weekly session where clients come with the agenda.

Nutrition Group
This one-hour open group encourages interaction among participants. The Dietitian leads this group to educate about the physiological aspects of eating and dieting.  Topics of discussion may include normal eating, digestion, metabolism, feared foods, and exercise etc.  This weekly group will repeat topics each month.

Therapeutic Meal Support Group
This is a 30-60 minute group occurring three times per week; twice at lunch and once at morning snack, This group will provide you with an opportunity to become more comfortable eating with others and eating challenging foods in a supportive environment. You will be encouraged to set goals specific to your recovery and to not compare yourself to others as everyone is on their own path towards normalized eating. You are responsible for bringing your own non-diet food and beverage.
WHEN: Weekly on Tuesday & Thursday Afternoons TIME: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
WHEN: Weekly on Wednesday Mornings TIME: 9:30 am to 10:00 am

E.A.T with P’s
In the near future, there will be an opportunity to practice grocery shopping, planning and preparing of meals (prior to eating the meals) in the newly renovated kitchen. You will increase your knowledge and skill in the kitchen; looking at kitchen basics (equipment and food), food safety, recipe reading, and meal planning.
**Please note that this will require a longer group time of ~3 hrs. Date/time: TBD

Therapy groups:

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a novel therapy for eating disorders that focuses on changing our current actions to be more in line with our values. Group content focuses on indentifying core ideals and committing to valued action. Participants will learn strategies for taking a step back from distressing thoughts and feelings, being in the present moment, and changing their relationship with unwanted thoughts and feelings that can accompany the eating disorder. Throughout this group you will enhance motivation for recovery, valued living, acceptance, and a reconnection with the bigger picture of things that are most important to you. This group is open to all patients as soon as they complete their initial assessment; it is weekly and ongoing. 

Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT)
CRT is an interactive treatment that uses practical cognitive exercises and group process to enhance one’s level of cognitive flexibility. Participants learn about their own thinking style(s), how it is affected by the eating disorder, how it affects day-to-day routines, and how developing cognitive flexibility can enhance both day-to-day life and the ability to get the most out of the other group treatments in our program. This group is open to all patients as soon as they complete their initial assessment and is weekly and ongoing.

Coping and Living Mindfully (CALM)

Coping and Living Mindfully (CALM) is an interactive adjunct therapy group focusing on learning to cope with life’s stresses and challenges in a healthier way. In this group patients learn skills for emotion regulation, distress tolerance and relaxation/anxiety management, and how to apply these skills in treatment and recovery. 

Core Group Therapy for Eating Disorders
The Core Therapy Group is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) group based on current best practices in the treatment of adult eating disorders. The group is offered over 16 sessions with a shorter 12-session university student track available at different times during the calendar year. Content of the group includes psychoeducation, self-monitoring of eating disorder thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, goal setting for food and behavioural changes, development of healthy coping skills, and use of CBT strategies and tools in order to challenge eating disorder thoughts and behaviours, and move forward in recovery.  The Canada’s Food Guide Nutrition session is a prerequisite for individuals wishing to participate in the Core Group.  Attendance in Nutrition and Meal Planning Groups are strongly recommended while taking part in this group.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Body Satisfaction
CBT for Body Satisfaction is an eight-session treatment group (with booster sessions) based on current best practices in the treatment of negative body image. Participants will have completed the Core Therapy Group prior to entering this group. Content of the group includes, psychoeducation, self-monitoring negative body image behavior, link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, graduated exposure with response prevention (ERP), common negative body image cognitive distortions, and thought challenging and cognitive restructuring. Special topics include the role of the media and ideal images, our areas of self-evaluation, and lapse and relapse prevention planning. Completion of the Core Group Therapy for Eating Disorders is a prerequisite for participating in this group. 

Family and Friends Meeting
This evening meeting is designed to provide education and information to family and friends of individuals with eating disorders served by the clinic. It is an opportunity to increase support, ask questions, discuss concerns and learn helpful ways of coping while they assist a loved one in her/his efforts to recover. It is offered four times throughout the calendar year.

Treatment Track for Males with Eating Disorders
As part of the Adult Eating Disorders Clinic of Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) the Treatment Track for Males with Eating Disorders offers evidence-based treatment for men struggling with eating disorders in the Southeast LHIN. Male patients are referred to this separate treatment track by the Adult Eating Disorders Clinic team following completion of their psychiatric and interdisciplinary assessments. The track for males is provided on two afternoons a month by the team Clinical Psychologist and is a first of its kind service for males in the community. Eating Disorders in males often go unrecognized and many men struggling with the illness do not receive evidence-based care they need. The Treatment Track for Males is a service aimed at bridging that gap and reaching men in the community struggling with disordered eating.

For more information on how to make a referral to the Adult Eating Disorders Clinic and the services offered, please refer to the Referral Section of the website or feel free to contact clinic directly.