Self-Help Support Group
SWEDA runs a facilitated Self-Help Support Group for
sufferers and carers at SWEDA in Street. The group runs monthly, usually
on the first Wednesday evening of the month, from 7.00pm – 8.30pm,
occassionally dates do change, confirmation of future group dates can
be found on the homepage of this site.
If you're interested and want to know more get in touch with SWEDA's
Community Support Workersat SWEDA. Your can contact them on
your address and we can send you information too).
What is a self-help
Having an eating disorder, or indeed caring for someone with an eating disorder,
can leave us feeling very low and isolated. The group offers a place where people
who are affected by eating disorders can gain support from knowing that others
have had similar experiences.
Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA) has always
recognised the value of peer support— people affected by eating
disorders coming together to support each other, share their successes
and failures, their confusions and understandings and to encourage each
other along the road to recovery. In a self-help group the focus is on
what the individuals themselves contribute, rather than on the group
leaders. The group is facilitated by two SWEDA members of staff who will
be there to welcome you into the group; they are there to offer support
and keep the group safe.
Who is the group for?
Anyone who has an eating disorder, or anyone who is close to someone, or caring
for someone who has an eating disorder, is welcome to come along to the group.
If it would be helpful to come with a friend or family member, you are welcome
to invite them.
When and Where?
The group takes place once a month at SWEDA’s offices in Street. It is
usually held on the first Wednesday of the month; you can always find the dates
on the front page of SWEDA’s website.
Do I have to attend
No - you are free to attend the group as
often, or as little, as you want to, and will not be expected to make
any commitment to attend regularly. Some people come along to one session,
others use it as a more regular form of support, it really is up to
What do you talk about?
The group is there as a place for individuals to bring whatever is important
to them as they seek to recover from their eating disorder. We discuss many
different topics, such as:-
- What works and what does not work
- How do we feel about our bodies?
- How does it feel to be you?
- How does it feel for carers?
- The ups and downs
- Fears and hopes
Sometimes, people also share things that are significant and personal
to them that they feel they need to talk about.
Do I have to say
The group works on the basis that we all have very different experiences of
eating disorders; we aim to share our experience and encourage understanding;
however there is no pressure for anyone to talk or share if they do not want
Getting to the Group
Street is well served by local buses and there is a bus stop in Leigh Road
close to the SWEDA Offices.
If you drive there is local parking space,please contact SWEDA for more
In order for the group to offer everyone a safe place to talk and share experiences,
it is important that there is a common understanding about SWEDA’s
values and how the group operates:-
Ground rules for SWEDA’s Self-Help Group
Confidentiality - we need to feel safe so we ask
that what’s said in the group stays in the group.
Respect - We are all individuals and so we encourage
respect for our differences. What works for you might not work for
Listening - We all have our own experiences and
we all have something to say. Advice is not always helpful, but being
listened to is.
Pro-recovery - The group is recovery focussed
and understands that recovery can go up and down, backwards and forwards.
Privacy - The self-help group is facilitated to
enable us to ensure that the group remains a safe place where the
ground rules are maintained. Whilst SWEDA recognises the value of
friendship, the group is not intended to be a meeting point for contact
outside of the group. Whilst this may be beneficial, it can also
lead to people feeling overburdened by others’ needs or let
down, and can potentially jeopardise someone’s recovery. We
ask you therefore not to exchange contact details with other group
members. However, should you choose to exchange contact details and/or
meet or contact each other outside of the group, please be aware
that you do so at your own risk and SWEDA cannot be held liable or
responsible for any consequences that may arise from this.