When someone you care about struggles with food, the symptoms of the eating disorder touch everyone in the family. The perplexing behaviors can bring frustration, fear and heartache. We know. Since 1993, The Emily Program has worked closely with families, friends, and other loved ones to help them cope with the consequences of eating disorders.
When your child struggles with an eating disorder
How do I get a family member or a friend to call and schedule an appointment?
It is very difficult to watch someone in your life struggling with an eating disorder. We understand. And we know that you may be unsure of how to help. These steps can help frame how you present your concerns to your family member or friend:
Ask to speak to the person in a private setting.
Explain your specific concerns to the person in a non-judgmental, compassionate way. Use “I” language like:
- “I’m concerned because you seem to be isolated and not wanting to be involved in any activities, especially when there is food involved.”
- “I see a large amount of food disappearing in the house and I’m concerned that you may be struggling with an eating problem.”
- “I see a change in your behavior during family meals, and there’s growing tension during meals. I’m concerned that eating and food is becoming a problem for you.”
- “Your mood seems to be changing these days and I’m concerned about you.”
Offer to stay with the person while they make the phone call. If the person is resistant to making the call, let them know that you will continue to check in with them.
How can I get information on eating disorder treatment outcomes?
The Emily Program uses an evidence-based approach to treatment. See this infographic for information on outcomes.
Get support for yourself. Being concerned about someone else who is reluctant to seek help can drain you mentally and emotionally. For more information, please call us at 1-888-364-5977 or contact us.
ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery
We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Family & Friends Support Group for a better experience in the group.
Virtual Event: Free Eating Disorders 101, Hosted by Gretchen Coleman, M.S., R.D., C.D., Dietitian at our Seattle outpatient location: 2nd Thursday of the month, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT
Upcoming dates: April 8th, May 13th, June 10th, July 8th, August 12th, Sept. 9th, Oct. 14th, Nov. 11th, Dec. 9th. Join us via Zoom.
Virtual Event: Free Eating Disorders 101, Hosted by Lauren Silberstein, Ph.D., L.P, Psychologist at our St. Paul outpatient location: 4th Thursday every other month, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT
Upcoming dates: Apr. 22nd, June 24th, Aug. 26th, Oct. 28th, Dec. 23rd. Join us via Zoom.
Free Family & Friends Sessions
The Emily Program offers free evening Family and Friends Support Groups open to the public. No need to register; just drop in. (Please note: This group is intended for family and friends providing support to loved ones with an eating disorder. If you are a client or potential client, please attend our ED 101 or Recovery Night events if you would like to learn more.)
Virtual Event: Friends and Family Night, Hosted by Melissa Harmon, MA, LMHC, Clinical Manager at our Seattle outpatient location: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT.
Upcoming dates: Apr. 1st, May 6th, June 3rd, July 1st, Aug. 5th, Sept. 2nd, Oct. 7th, Nov. 4th, Dec. 2nd. Join us via Zoom.
And: Apr. 15th, May 20th, June 17th, July 15th, Aug. 19th, Sept. 16th, Oct. 21st, Nov. 18th, Dec. 16th . Join us via Zoom.
"Emily Program Experts" Recovery Series
These community-based discussions around recovery are led by clinicians from The Emily Program.
Seattle (6:00-7:30 PM):
1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109
Upcoming dates: Please check back for upcoming dates
The warning signs of eating disorders can be difficult to detect. Make sure you know what to look for.
15 important tips for supporting your loved one on the recovery journey.
Hear powerful stories that will inspire, motivate, and affirm your choices for healthy living. Recovery Night speakers share their experiences and answer your questions.
The Emily Program is here to answer any questions you have about eating disorders and the recovery journey. We want to help.