Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is when several patients are treated together in the same room—or as is often the case today, the same zoom meeting—as other patients with the same problem, usually with one or two leaders or therapists.

Group Therapy can be helpful for people with eating disorders and their supportive loved ones. Learn more about the different types of groups and their benefits. All these types of groups can be conducted either in-person or virtually over a platform such as zoom.

Types of Groups

There are several different types of groups for eating disorders.Eating Disorder Group Therapy in California and Online [Image description: purple scrabble tiles spelling "Eating Disorder Group Therapy"]

Support Groups. Professionals or peers lead support groups. Members talk about their situation and receive support and feedback from others. The group leader functions as a facilitator. Group members connect and share resources, strategies, setbacks, and upcoming challenges. They mutually support one another.

Psychoeducational Groups. Psychoeducational groups focus less on developing relationships and more on sharing information. The group leader plays a more active role and structures the group. They focus on a topic such as educating group members about their illness. Members often learn skills and coping strategies.

Process Groups. Process groups focus on developing a connection between group members. Interacting with peers in a safe space provides an opportunity for healing connections. The leader helps group members connect and understand how they relate to one another.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

Online zoom group therapy in California [Image description: a man in a blue shirt having a virtual meeting] Represents a potential person with an eating disorder in California
Photo by Diva Plavalaguna, Pexels
Group therapy is sometimes more accessible. In times when many therapists have waiting lists—as is the case today—groups may have openings to get started faster. Because one therapist can help multiple people at the same time, groups can also be more economical.

Group therapy can be effective. Being in a group with other members who have similar struggles can be healing. You may find others who share similar thoughts and feelings. You may feel less alone, and you may feel understood in ways that you may not with other peers.

Identification with others who have similar experiences can promote learning. You can gain knowledge from both the other group members and the leader. Hearing from others who are making progress can offer hope. Supporting others can facilitate growth and strengthen your own recovery.

Eating disorders thrive in isolation. Sharing your struggle with others with a sympathetic peer group can help reduce shame and lead to important relationship healing that translates into other relationships.

Many people augment individual eating disorder therapy with group therapy.

The Cost of Eating Disorder Groups

At Eating Disorder Therapy LA, most of our groups are covered by insurance. We also have a low-cost meal support group and a free support group for people with ARFID. We offer scholarships for our Parent ARFID Group.

What to Expect in Eating Disorder Group Therapy

It is normal to have some fear about entering a group. Most people feel anxious the first time. Your group therapist will welcome you to the group and share any group rules ahead of time. Group members agree to confidentiality about personal things shared in the group.

Your group leader will create a safe space where all members are given the opportunity to share. Most of our groups are small with about 5 members or less attending each week. The exception is our monthly ARFID Parent group which often has 8 to 10 attendees.

Groups Offered at Eating Disorder Therapy LA

Eating Disorder Therapy LA offers the following groups, all online:

Eating Disorder Group Therapy in Los Angeles, California [Image description: a group of people shown from the shoulders down, sitting in chairs] Represents people attending an eating disorder group in Los Angeles, California

Begin Group Therapy in California

Beginning group therapy at EDTLA is easy. There are three ways to join our groups:

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