Welcome to group. This is a 6-week closed group that meets weekly for 75 minutes. Sessions are held on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:15 pm over Zoom. You will be sent the zoom link prior to the first session and we will use the same link for the 6 weeks.
The success of group therapy depends upon a high degree of trust between you, your group facilitator, and fellow group members. This document has been prepared to fully inform you and your parents about what to expect from group therapy and from your group facilitator.
What to Expect
In this six-week on-line group, you will explore how media messaging, diet culture, and weight stigma impact body image. You will be able to share and connect through discussion, advocacy, and art while developing strategies to promote empowerment and body acceptance.
We try to give everyone an opportunity to share. Each member has the right to speak and the right to remain silent. We give supportive attention to the person who is speaking. Only one person talks at a time. The group is intended to be a safe place to share feelings and to obtain and provide support, information, and encouragement.
Your Group Facilitator(s) and the Therapeutic Relationship
The relationship between you and your group facilitator is special and unique. You will be sharing information in group that is sensitive and personal. Your group facilitator is:
Lauren Barker, AMFT, # 114319, and Shannon Martha, MA, supervised by Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., CEDS-S, PSY15045
The Role of Your Group Facilitator
Your group facilitator’s primary responsibility is to create an atmosphere of safety and support in order for you to get the most out of group. Your group facilitator will encourage each group member to be honest, vulnerable, and respectful about his or her feelings and observations in the group. If you are ever feeling unsafe in group you are encouraged to discuss this with your group facilitator.
It is important that you feel comfortable in group to talk freely. Sometimes you might want to discuss things that you do not want your parents or guardians to know about. You have the expectation of privacy in group sessions. As a general rule, group facilitators do not talk to your parents about what you discuss in group without your permission.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In some situations, in accordance with professional ethics and state laws, your facilitator may disclose information without your permission. Some of the circumstances where disclosure is required by law are:
- If you, another minor, a dependent person, or an elder adult is being abused
- If you are in danger of hurting yourself, someone else, or another person’s property
If you are doing things that could cause serious harm to you or someone else, your facilitator will use their professional judgment to decide whether a parent or guardian should be informed. In these situations, your facilitator will talk with you about her concerns and discuss the best way to include your family in order to get the support that you need.
All members of the group will be asked to agree to a high level of confidentiality in the group sessions. This means that each participant agrees not to share any other group member’s identifying and personal information with others. It is appropriate to share your personal reaction and feelings about group with others, but please do not share other people’s stories with anyone outside of the group.
We collect outcome measures (Body Appreciation Scale) and we ask that each teen completes the scale prior to the first group and at the end of the last group.
The fee for the six sessions is $270. Payment of half ($135) is required to hold your spot and is not refundable. Payment for the second half ($135) will be due prior to the third session. Refunds and makeups will not be issued for missed sessions. Payment can be made by credit card on our website at: https://eatingdisordertherapyla.com/payment/ . Please note: we do not accept or submit health insurance forms for reimbursement for this group except for Anthem blue Cross members.
Contacting Your Group Leader
E-mail is a helpful tool for asking general questions of your facilitator, confirming appointments, and conveying relevant information and updates. However, e-mail should not be used as a substitute for therapy. Your group facilitator will not conduct therapy via email, and in such cases that lengthy or disclosing emails are received; she/he will invite you to talk about it during group. Please notify your therapist if you decide to avoid or limit, in any way, the use of e-mail. Otherwise, your therapist may communicate with you via e-mail when necessary or appropriate. Please do not use e-mail for emergencies and please note that e-mails, faxes, etc. are all part of the clinical records.
Your therapist can be reached during normal business hours Monday through Friday by calling Eating Disorder Therapy LA at 323-743-1122. Please note that we may not be immediately available to handle emergency situations. If you are in need of emergency assistance, call 911. Unless otherwise specified, your therapist will return phone messages within 24 hours.
This is a time-limited group. It is very important that you consistently attend scheduled group therapy sessions to benefit from the different weekly activities. Also, a group dynamic is formed when all members participate consistently. Please be aware that absences negatively influence the progress of yourself and the other group members. If for any reason you are not able to attend a group session, please inform your group facilitator.
Instructions for Group
- Please test your equipment and get on the call about two minutes prior to make sure there are no connection issues.
- Please be seated in a private space and a quiet room to reduce the likelihood of being disturbed.
- If there are other people in adjacent rooms, please wear headphones to protect the confidentiality of what is said in group.
- Please enable your video camera so the group can see your face.
- Please turn off notifications, phones and anything else that could be distracting to you or members of the group.
- We begin and end our meetings on time. If you will be late but still want to attend or need to leave early, please notify the therapist ahead of time.
Thank you for the time and attention that you took to read this document. We look forward to having you in group!
A copy of this agreement will be sent for signature by you and your parent/guardian prior to your first session.