Support

Our Support Groups

If you are in distress, please contact: Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642

National Eating Disorder Information Center (NEDIC) also has a helpline open until 9 pm EST  Toll FREE   1-866-633-4220

**Please scroll DOWN to see our full calendar of support groups and/or to register**

EDSNA offers support groups in Edmonton, Calgary and online, throughout the year.

Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Health, Addiction and Mental Health Branch, EDSNA is able to provide these low-cost support groups throughout the year for people both directly and indirectly affected by eating disorders.

Our groups are professionally facilitated and open to people with ANY type of eating disorder over the age of 18.  We don’t require a diagnosis or referral and registration is through our website.

EDSNA groups are:

  • Professionally-facilitated by people with extensive backgrounds in eating disorders.
  • Effective. An independent evaluation of the impact of our groups by  two graduate students from the University of Calgary demonstrated participants report increased feelings of hope, connection and empowerment, with decreasing levels of shame, stigma and isolation.
  • Support groups are not intended to take the place of professional treatment. Read below for more details on the difference between support and treatment.
  • Intended to support to those wishing to continue on the path of recovery in a safe, nonjudgmental environment
  • Limited to a small number of participants allow everyone to participate fully.
  • Very affordable. The fee can be waived if there is financial hardship by emailing info@EDSNA.ca.

All participants need to agree and adhere to the participant guidelines, found below.

Please read the following in order to participate in EDSNA Group Support. These will be reviewed by the facilitator on the first session. To ensure that EDSNA remains an organization noted for compassion, respect and safety, we ask for your support in following the rules and guidelines:

Confidentiality

It is critical that you hold in confidence the identity of, or information about, anyone you may know through EDSNA. The information that you share during your involvement with EDSNA will remain confidential within the groups except for the following:

  • You are in imminent danger of causing physical harm to yourself or others
  • There are reasonable grounds to suspect that there is physical or sexual abuse of a minor, elderly or person who is developmentally disabled
  • There are reasonable grounds to suspect that there is sexual abuse by a regulated health professional

If any of the situations outlined above becomes apparent, information will be provided to the appropriate authorities.

Open Mindedness

EDSNA tries to create an environment that respects differences of all kinds. People who come here are asked to demonstrate this respect to the best of their abilities. EDSNA is committed to providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination.

Pro-Recovery

EDSNA groups are established to empower, support, and inform recovery. We all commit to supporting one another, to the best of our ability, to find recovery, health and balance.

Food

Consumption of food is not allowed during group programming.  You are more than welcome to bring your own non alcoholic beverages.

Non-dieting Philosophy

EDSNA supports a non-dieting philosophy. To create a safe place for those who are struggling with eating disorders, we ask that participants refrain from talking about dieting, weight loss or weight gain, numbers or calories.

Commitment

Programs have limited enrollment in order to ensure maximum benefit of all participants.  If you do not think that you are ready or cannot attend the full session, please consider registering in a subsequent session.

Facilitators

Our facilitators are professionals with extensive training and experience in helping individuals deal with eating disorders. The facilitator is the group leader and responsible for the group as a whole.  They are to be treated with respect at all times.

Electronics

In order to protect the confidentiality of others in the group and in order to ensure that groups run without interruption, we ask that you turn off all electronic devices during programs.Taking photographs and/ or video or audio recording during groups is not allowed.

Acknowledgement

  • I have read the Guidelines for Participation and agree to be bound by them.
  • It is my sole responsibility to consult my physician to determine whether I have any restrictions which would limit my use of the support offered by EDSNA.
  •  I acknowledge that EDSNA is not offering or authorized to provide treatment.
  • I will assume responsibility for my own physical and emotional health at all times while participating in the support group.
  • I will be respectful of the privacy and rights of other participants of EDSNA programming.
  • I am confirming that I have read the terms outlined above and that I will conduct myself according to them.

Support

A validating group experience, rooted in the belief that everyone has the wisdom to determine the best route for themselves to recovery. It is a place of mutual respect, open communication and safety. It is a place where judgement is suspended and people are free to ask questions, vent frustrations or fears, explore answers for themselves and solace. It is a place where the participant is surrounded by people who ‘get it’ and the facilitator plays an important role but is not the only teacher in the room. No records are kept. All participants agree to abide by the rules of the group including confidentiality.

Treatment

Medical intervention aimed at addressing specific health concerns. Treatment is overseen by a qualified medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist who keeps records, oversees medication and operates under the guidelines of the health system.

Therapy

A professional, confidential and medically oriented process to achieve psychological health. Accurate records of the content of the meetings are kept. Typically, there is a stated objective or desired outcome.

EDSNA provides support, not treatment or therapy.

Support Groups are non-clinical

  • Participants can expect information, coping strategies and peer support.
  • The focus is on meeting the general needs of the group.
  • Confidentiality is sacred and information obtained about group members stays within the group.

Please consult the calendar below for the schedule for Fall 2018

Please note: For the sake of simplicity, only the starting dates for groups are indicated.

Please click on links for full details and/or to register.

  • These groups are divided into “People with Eating Disorders” and “Parents, Partners and Loved Ones”.
  • Both online and in-person support groups are available – please be aware of the city offering each group.
  • Each group runs for 6, 7, or 8 weeks, one evening a week, for two hours.
  • We also occasionally offer weekend workshops on a specific topic.

Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel with a minimum of 30 days’ notice, you will receive a full refund.
If you cancel with a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice, you will receive a refund equal to half the registration fee.
If you cancel with less than 2 weeks’ notice, you will not receive a refund.

Meet Our Facilitators

Michelle Emmerling

Michelle is a Registered Psychologist practicing in Edmonton. She has a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta and has professional training and experience working with a diverse range of mental health concerns from a variety of treatment settings. Michelle has spent the last 6 years specializing in an exciting and unique approach to working with individuals, couples, and families struggling with eating disorders called Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). Some of her areas of interest include: body image concerns, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, OCD and self-criticism. To learn more about her approach, please visit her site.

Jody Lamb

Jody is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse who currently works in an out-patient setting as a Mental Health Therapist. Jody holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology. She is in good standing with the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta. Jody has experience facilitating group and individual therapy sessions. She works primarily with adults experiencing mental health concerns including eating disorders, trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar, addictions, and personality disorders. She utilizes a variety of approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and psychodynamic therapy in her practice. Jody believes in supporting clients in their journey for optimum health and creating a safe environment. She loves nature, music, animals and exploring holistic health alternatives.

Renata Logan

Renata Logan is a registered psychologist with a special interest in interpersonal issues, chronic disease management, grief, personal growth and eating disorders. Basing her work in a holistic frame, Renata believes that the source for all healing and lasting, positive change is rooted in the mind-body-spirit triad, as well as the family-community connection. While her formal training has been in family systems with components of cognitive-based therapies, her work is expanding to include more body-centered therapies, including Emotion-Focused Therapy, Hakomi, Integrative Body Psychotherapy and Yoga Therapy. Renata particularly enjoys working with parents, helping to remind them of what unique wisdom they hold. Outside the therapy room, Renata enjoys outdoor adventures, cultural/artistic events, and treasured time with her loved ones.

Katie Poirier

Katie is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and also holds a Masters of Education degree. She has worked with clients who have experienced eating disorders, sexual assault/abuse (Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton), addictions and trauma. Katie believes in helping clients grow and flourish through a client-centered framework that emphasizes equality and empowerment. She brings compassion and humour to therapy to create a safe place for all to be heard. Her training background involves areas such as Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, and Hakomi. Click here to learn more about Katie’s approach.

Selene Yan

Selene is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She has ten years of experience in nutrition counselling. Instead of following rigid diet rules that often lead to shame and guilt around eating, Selene guides you to tune into your body’s inner cues. This practice of gentle awareness allows you to develop flexibility with your eating and live more fully in your body. Selene offers individual nutrition counselling in person in central Edmonton. Her services are also available over the phone or online to most Canadian provinces outside of Alberta. Selene has a special interest in working with binge/compulsive eating, eating disorders, and body image healing. She also practices from a weight-inclusive and Health at Every Size® approach. Selene celebrates the diversity of body shapes and sizes.

Kalin Herbach

Kalin is a weight-inclusive Registered Dietitian and co-founder of The Nourish Collective. She specializes in eating disorder recovery, and also helps folks heal from disordered eating. She is deeply passionate about helping individuals replace judgement and punishment with compassion and curiosity. Kalin feels so grateful that she is able to do this work, and form meaningful relationships with her clients.

Karen Wadson

Karen is a registered psychologist in Calgary with over 10 years of counselling experience. She practices from a client centered approach, which views the client as the expert on their own life, and she draws interventions from psycho-dynamic, CBT, solution focused and narrative therapies to assist clients in making the changes they would like to have in their lives. Her particular area of specialization is in the area of disordered eating and body image. She holds advanced training in the treatment of eating disorders through the International Association of Eating Disorder Prevention (IAEDP).

Carol Fredrek

Carol is a Registered Psychologist who specializes in eating disorders, body image, anxiety, depression, and trauma. For over 2 decades, she has offered skilled and caring therapy.  Carol incorporates research-proven therapy approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping). To learn more about her approach, visit this page. Be at peace with yourself.  Be at peace with food, your body, and your weight.  To learn more, visit her website at healingmatters.ca.

Dr. Angela Grace

Dr. Angela Grace is a Registered Psychologist, Shamanic Practitioner, Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor, and Clinical Advisor to EDSNA.  She is passionate about eating disorder prevention and holistic, integrated approaches to treatment.  Angela coordinates creative events for Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Calgary, is a National prevention expert, and founded Heart Centered Counselling, which has a focus on treating trauma, body image issues, and eating disorders in girls and women.  Angela also offers weekly yoga classes focused on women’s wellness. She utilizes a holistic body-mind-spirit approach for individuals and groups, including EMDR, Hakomi, and soul-centered approaches to healing. She also offers weekly yoga classes focused on women’s wellness. Angela believes that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has reclaimed her soul.
She can be contacted through www.heartcenteredcounselling.com or (403) 827-8529.

Sara Kreklewich

Sara is the Disorder Eating Consultant for Central Alberta. She is also a registered Occupational Therapist with over ten years experience. she is passionate about the area of mental health and believes in empowering clients to achieve their goals. She currently works in hospital and community mental health settings and has diverse skills, training and experience.
Sara has a strong interest and knowledge base in the area of disordered eating, depression, anxiety and relationship issues.

Patty Rempel

Patty has been working in the field of mental health with families and individuals for more than 25 years. She has experience in community clinics, schools, and inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a registered social worker and has a master’s degree in health education with a specialization in eating disorders. Presently she works as a mental health therapist for AHS in chronic disease management. She also has a private practice in Red Deer providing therapeutic interventions to those struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image dissatisfaction. Patty utilizes CBT, ACT and mindfulness based strategies in order to help her clients improve their relationship with body, food and mind. She thrives on supporting her clients to build self-acceptance through self-compassion.

Erin O’Flaherty

Erin is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping individuals struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating and persons tired of the harmful cycle of dieting. She specializes in helping individuals break free from all of this, getting in touch with their hunger cues and body’s needs through intuitive eating, and in helping them accept and their body by embracing the Health at Every Size® movement. Erin follows an “all foods fit” approach and believes a healthy diet does not have any restrictions or limitations. She is currently working towards becoming a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor and looks forward to supporting her clients with even more great skills and  resources.

Other Support Options in Alberta

Help Line for Eating Disorders

The National Eating Disorder Information Center (NEDIC) has a helpline: Call them, toll free, at 1-866-633-4220

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous
General Service Association of ABA
email: gsaoffice@aba12steps.org
phone: 780.318.6355. For a telephone recording of the Edmonton area meeting times and places, please call: 780.443.6077

Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton Region
Offers support groups for caregivers of people with mental illness. (NOTE: this is not solely for families facing eating disorders, but there may be common themes of self-care, healthy boundaries, overcoming isolation and stigma)
Drop in Group: Wednesday evenings. 6:30-8:30 pm.

Compass for Caregivers
a registered 9-week program. Visit their website for more details.

Edmonton West Primary Care Network
#124 Meadowlark Health and Shopping Center. 156 Street & 87 AvenueWorkshops on Managing Emotional Eating, Minding Stress, Mindful Eating, Healthy Exercise and Weight management. Visit their website, or call 780.443.7477.

Family Centre
Free drop in, single session, no appointment necessary. 6 different locations in Edmonton. Open 6 days a week.

University of Alberta Positive Body Image Group
To register and for more information, please call: 780-492-5205

MJB Psychological Services
Self-esteem and positive body image workshops for children and teens, using expressive arts. Run by registered psychologist and drama therapist, Michelle Buckle. To register and for more information, phone: 780.757.8255 or email: mjbpsychological@gmail.com

Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is a Twelve-Step program of recovery for individuals who struggle with compulsive eating. This includes anorexia, bulimia, food addiction and obesity. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the twelve steps of OA to those who still suffer. Website: www.oaedm.com or oa.org          Email: nlioaedm@gmail.com          Phone: 780-423-2546

WICSOE: Walk In Counselling
You don’t need a referral, just walk in! The counselors can help you develop a plan, find solutions and build your path to wellness.  A sliding scale is available for those who don’t have insurance. Visit: Suite 200, 9562 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB. Phone: 780-757-0900. Visit their website for more details. There will be a drop in art therapy class offered April to August.

YMCA GirlSpace

YMCA offers an after-school program for adolescent girls, ages 11-18 years. The program spans 20 weeks, and each week a new topic is presented that is important in girls’ lives, including body image, healthy relationships, and nutrition/exercise, to name a few. This program serves an important role as universal prevention for concerns, like eating disorders, and also helps those already struggling to get back on a healthy trajectory.  To learn more: YWCA-GirlSpace -General-Poster

Adele Fox & Associates
Adele’s experience with disordered eating began in 1998. She trained and worked in the Inpatient Eating Disorders Program at Toronto General Hospital. Over the past two decades, Toronto General Hospital has become a leader in eating disorder treatment, pioneering research, and a major training ground for specialized health care professionals. Adele runs several group programs dealing with eating disorders of all types. email: adele@adelefox.com

Silver Linings Foundation
Silver Linings offers an 8-week support group for parents and loved ones coping with the many challenges of caring for someone they love with an eating disorder.  They also offer support groups for those directly affected.

Dr. Angela Grace
Dr. Angela Grace has a passion for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Along with individual counselling, she facilitates holistic healing groups for recovery of eating disorders and body image issues, incorporating mindfulness, yoga, and self-compassion. Yoga for ED Recovery 2018.  As well, she is a newly certified Body Project facilitator and is offering a group to empower women to create a positive relationship with their bodies: The Body Project Feb 2018

Food Addicts & Recovery Anonymous
Using a 12-step Recovery Model, based on the Alcoholics Anonymous, this organization offers Using the 12-Step Recovery Model based on Alcoholics Anonymous, this organization offers help and hope to those struggling to control the way they eat – those who are overweight, underweight, bulimic or food-obsessed.FA meetings in the Calgary area:

  • Mondays, 7-8:30 pm,  Parkdale United Church, 2919 – 8 th Avenue NW,Calgary
  • Wednesdays, 7-8:30 pm, St. Peters Anglican Church, 903 -75 th Ave. SW, Calgary
  • Saturdays, 10-11:30 am, Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary​

Contact David: calgaryfoodaddicts@gmail.com or 403.803.8456 

Support Works
Peer-to-peer support. Although they don’t offer groups specifically for eating disorders, they do have groups on conditions that often co-exist with eating disorders, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD and bipolar disorder.

49th Community Health Centre
Sara Kreklewich is the Disordered Eating Consultant for Central Alberta. Based at the in Red Deer, Sara can provide information, referrals, counselling and other services to those affected by eating disorders. Call at 1-403-340-5466.

Patty Rempel 

Patty is a Registered Social Worker and has a Master’s Degree in Health Education with a Specialization in Eating Disorders. Pr She also has a private practice in Red Deer providing therapeutic intervention to those struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image dissatisfaction. She utilizes a variety of evidence based approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and the mindfulness based strategies that compliment these therapies so well.  Patty will be offering a support group in Red Deer for adults with BED/Bulimia/compulsive overeating.  403-597-5546