Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders Social Support Group

Group Description

I found that Austin is lacking an active, free support group for individuals who are struggling with eating disorders (such as Bulimia, Anorexia, Binge-Eating Disorder, etc.) or that have struggled in the past.

This group is for people of all ages who have any type of eating disorder, or for those who are currently in recovery, to give and receive support from others who really understand.

Additionally, because eating disorders can often be isolating, this group is also a "social" group in which to make friends. While we will meet to discuss everyone's progress in recovery, I also hope to sometimes meet simply to do some fun activities.

We try to have meetups twice a week in various coffeehouses in the Austin area and occasionally schedule fun outings to see movies, play mini golf, paint pottery, etc. All of our social meetings are ALWAYS free unless we have an extra fun day planned and the organizer for the group will note the cost for that particular event.

Our group was formerly known as the Austin Eating Disorders Support and Social Group (AEDSS), but as of June 2011, we have joined with the local non-profit, the Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders (AFED) in order to provide more resources and support for group members. We are now the AFED Social Support Group and proud to be a part of such a great non-profit.

Please check out AFED's website to read about some other groups you can join: AFED offers a parent and loved ones support group (for those with someone in their life struggling) and also a discounted Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group for individuals currently fighting an eating disorder. DBT Therapy is one of the most effective ways to help manage ED-related behaviors and to treat those struggling with an eating disorder.

Attendance Policy: We ask all members to let us know at least 24 hours in advance if they are unable to attend a meeting they previously RSVPed "yes" to. This allows group leaders to cancel meetings where no one is able to attend. Members not adhering to this policy more than twice will be asked to leave and rejoin in 3 months if they are still interested.

Privacy: Please also be aware that you are free to join our group without posting your last name in order to protect your privacy and to avoid having others possibly find you as a member of an eating disorder support group.

*Note: The AFED Social Support group is just for support and is not meant in any way to replace professional therapy. No one in the group is a professional therapist and we are all just individuals looking to support one another. However, we can and will provide information about receiving treatment in Austin or surrounding areas. All group members will be asked to sign a waiver stating AFED and our group leaders are not to be held liable for anything.*

-Confidentiality: everything we say at group stays at group
-Respect any political, religious, and lifestyle differences
-Engage in attentive listening (sharing encouraged, but always optional)
-Use appropriate language
-Be aware of time; everyone has a story and everyone should get a chance to share
-Speak from your own experience and remember that what works for one person may not work for another
-Please ask for what you need if you're not getting it
-Please refrain from discussing any weights, comparisons, or anything related to numbers
-Do not describe your workout regimen or fixate on exercise since this can be triggering
-Speak up if someone says something that is triggering and not helpful
-Feel free to suggest any professional resources in an impartial way; however, remember that some people can become uncomfortable to find out if you are seeing the same specialists
- Do not give unasked for advice
-Lastly, be welcoming and kind to new members! It takes a lot of courage to come to a meeting!

-To provide a supportive, friendly environment
-To provide information and resources
-To be a safe place to share without judgment

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