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 of upcoming groups

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.

Allison Easton

Allison is a weight inclusive Registered Dietitian and is a co-founder of The Nourish Collective. Allison specializes in eating disorder recovery and healing from disordered eating. At the center of her work is respect, honesty, and a practical, down-to-earth approach. Allison cares deeply for the health and well-being of her clients. Outside of work, her passion is family, animals, the outdoors, and gardening.

Rachel Tu

Rachel Tu is a yoga teacher and registered dietitian. She teaches from a trauma informed lens and specializes in eating disorders, food & body image work and intuitive eating for her nutrition counseling. She incorporates mindfulness and body movement approaches to reconnect people to a healthy sense of wellbeing. You can learn more about Rachel on Instagram (@foodflowthought) or foodflowthought.com.

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, Ph.D., is a Registered Psychologist with a passion for the prevention and early intervention of eating disorders and weight bias.  She is a Health at Every Size and social justice advocate.  She provides early intervention for youth who show early signs of poor body image and eating issues.  She is a passionate speaker & writer, and provides education & training about preventing eating disorders & weight bias for teachers, parents, and health care professionals.  She teaches restorative Iyengar yoga classes, provides holistic nutritional coaching, and practices spiritual approaches to recovery. To learn more, visit her website www.heartcenteredcounselling.com

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.

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.

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals whose primary purpose is to find and maintain recovery in our eating practices, and to help others gain recovery. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop unhealthy eating practices.

Email: gsaoffice@aba12steps.org

Phone: 780.318.6355.

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). All programs are suspended or online during COVID-19.

https://alberta.cmha.ca/

ph: 780-414-6300

If you are in need of assistance, call 211 (AB only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642

Caregivers Alberta.
Caregiver program helps caregivers balance their own well-being with the challenges of caregiving. Offers Caregiver Support Line and online programming for individuals or group setting during COVID.

Phone: 780-453-5088

Toll-Free: 1-877-453-5088

Email: support@caregiversalberta.ca

Edmonton West Primary Care Network
#124 Meadowlark Health and Shopping Center. 156 Street & 87 Avenue. Workshops on 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. The Family Centre offers programs to improve mental health and well-being. Counselling is available over the phone, online, and in person.

University of Alberta Counselling and Clinical Services
Aims to provide accessible and compassionate psychological and psychiatric services to U of A students. Counselling and clinical services offered online during COVID-19. Offices in SUB are closed due to COVID-19.

Phone: 780-492-5205

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

Momentum Counselling
Momentum is a mental health counselling agency, supporting clients who would otherwise be unable to access counselling because of long wait lists or financial barriers. Non-profit organization staffed by volunteer, Registered Health Professionals who provide Solution Focused Therapy. During Covid sessions are offered online or by telephone.

Phone: 780-757-0900

YMCA of Northern Alberta

Offers courses and programs on wellness, nutrition and mental health.

Silver Linings Foundation
Silver Linings offers support groups 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.

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. Peer support groups are local to the Calgary area and run by volunteers with lived mental health experience.

Alberta Health Services

Provincial Addiction and Mental Health Helpline.

Call 811 – dial 6
1-403-340-5466