Parents and carers.

We’re here for you too.

Supporting someone you love

We can assume that if you’re reading this, you have concerns about a family member or loved one and are considering reaching out for support.

If that is the case – it’s really positive you’re looking into options for their treatment. 

Young people sitting
Smiling woman

An eating disorder does not exist in isolation

Therefore, we believe that family members are crucial to someone’s recovery from their eating disorder.

Treatment here involves the family from day one. Starting with the assessment to frequent sessions of family therapy, as well as regular check-ins with our clinicians.

No two families are on the same path nor have the same story.

Why we want to support you

It is a unique and, at times, challenging role to be a parent or carer of someone with an eating disorder.

There can be a lot of tension as we witness those we love going through hardship, and we can often feel powerless in helping them.

Often, people talk of eating disorders as “family illnesses”, meaning that the experience of the eating disorder is not isolated to the individual with the diagnosis, but rather, touches all members of the family.

Feelings that occur may give rise to grief, confusions, or guilt, and can negatively impact the parent/carer’s relationships.

We believe that involving parents and carers is significant for recovery because the illness exists outside of treatment, and can impact all areas of a person’s life including social experiences, family life, relationships, work or schooling.

As a parent or carer, you will likely play some sort of role within these areas of your loved one’s life.

Family therapy with Orri

Our Consultant Family Therapist, Karen Carberry, explains how we support families and loved ones with family therapy.

“Holding that candle of hope is so important. People can recover from an eating disorder, and their family members too.”

How we’ll support you

Carer & Sibling Groups

Carers groups are run on a monthly basis. These sessions are facilitated by different members of our clinical team,and the areas discussed are directed from the carers to ensure they are relevant, and in the moment.

Caregiver Assessment

Evidence suggests that caring for other people can have significant impact on mental and physical wellbeing. For this reason, Orri has created a care assessment Carer Health Style Profile. This enables the caregiver to assess their own needs, and the Orri team will support and signpost help for them during this process.

Connecting With Others

Along with research, we recognise that the complexity of caring for someone may lead people to feel isolated in their experience. We offer opportunities for the caregiver to share experiences and gain advice and support from other people who are, or have been in a similar position.

“In Action” Support

A carer may wish to work closely with our Occupational Therapist to support their child/husband/wife either at the kitchen table, in food preparation and portion sizing, or when visiting shops to buy food. By working with our team, the carer can gain confidence and practice before working directly with the person they care for.

“Come Dine With Me” Meal Session

Alternatively, carers may wish to work alongside the individual and the Occupational Therapists to collaboratively gain confidence and gain a deeper understanding of the practicalities and emotions of ‘in action’ mealtimes. The aim of these sessions is to develop confidence in the relationship with food and each other, together with the planning the time after meals.

Access to individual professional’s expertise

Orri’s full team of experts will be on hand to discuss whichever area within the multi professional team the person requires.

Smiling woman

Only 6% of people with eating disorders are underweight.

Hearts Minds Genes, 2020

What you can do today

Look for advice from a specialist eating disorder professional.

Educate yourself and the rest of the family on eating disorders and the fact that they are not just about food, but are often rooted in emotional distress.

If you have a history of an eating disorder or disordered eating patterns, seeking help or support for yourself.

Seek support if you are struggling to parent or care for your loved one.

Talk with the other family members about how you can work together and speak in a unified, supportive voice.

Pick a time to talk when emotions aren’t running high. Where possible, avoid focusing on food or the symptomatic aspects of the eating disorder. Focus on the emotions.

Research and evaluate treatment options. As yourself which approach feels comfortable and in line with your values.

Consider support for siblings who can also be impacted.

Communicate with your loved one’s treatment team. Share your concerns and observations at home.

Find a community of people in a similar situation to you and seek their support.

Last but not least: do not neglect your own self-care. Making time for yourself and modeling self-care as a behaviour can actually assist with recovery.

"From our first meeting I knew my child would be in the safest hands. Orri gave my daughter the confidence and strength to face recovery. I will be forever grateful."

Parent of Client

Keeping your loved one connected to who they are

In person

Our in person day treatment exists to treat the whole person – mind and body – for full and sustainable recovery.

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Online treatment for eating disorder recovery, wherever you are

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