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You are here: Support for Australians experiencing eating disordersOur Services Support Groups › Carer Support Groups

Eating Disorder Carer Support Groups

Get support with self-care and helping someone overcome an eating disorder
 - for family and friends

Online from anywhere in Australia

  • Join FREE from anywhere in Australia
  • A safe and conversational space facilitated by our specialist counsellors
  • For anyone aged 16 +
  • You don’t need to register – just log in
  • Join anonymously if you like.

When: First and third Friday monthly, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm AEST
(Note: you can only log in if there is a group on at this time)

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Step-by-step tech guide

Hobart, Tasmania

  • Get strength and support from others who are on the same journey
  • Our facilitators have experience of caring for someone with an eating disorder.

Find us at: The Basement, 105 Macquarie Street Hobart
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
2018 dates: Tuesdays - 11 September, 9 October (CANCELLED), 13 November, 11 December

You don’t need to register, just come along!

Accessibility: We are located in Hobart CBD near Franklin Square.
Fee: Gold coin donation.

Adelaide, South Australia

  • Get help with problem solving and working towards positive change from our specialist professional counsellor
  • Learn from others with similar experiences - you don’t need to do this alone!

Find us at: 226 Fullarton Road, Glenside
Time: 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm
2018 dates: Tuesdays, 4 September, 2 October, 6 November, 4 December
Registrations essential: Call our Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE or email support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
Accessibility: We are in Glenside, a short walk from Glenhill Rd and Glen Osmond Rd buses. This is on-street parking in surrounding streets.
Fee: $20

Sydney, New South Wales

  • Get strength and support from others who are on the same journey and our specialist professional counsellors
  • Learn from others with similar experiences - you don’t need to do this alone!

Find us at: Butterfly House, 103 Alexander Street, Crows Nest
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
2018 dates: Wednesdays, 26 September, 31 October, 28 November, 19 December
Registrations essential: Call our Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE or email support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
Accessibility: We are in Crows Nest, 12min walk from St. Leonards Station and 2 min walk from Willoughby Rd buses 257 and 343.  There is on-street parking in surrounding streets.
Fee: $20

Looking for a face-to-face group somewhere else in Australia?
Locations may change or be added, so please check back again soon.

FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about our carer support groups

What can I expect in my first group?

You will be welcomed into an accepting space. The group is focused on how best to support your loved one through their recovery journey and will discuss topics related to making positive change and self-care.

What happens during the group?

There is no set discussion and participants are encouraged to share their own experiences as honestly and as safely as they feel comfortable. You are welcome to listen if you are not ready to speak. The shared experience of the group relies on a willingness to show compassion to others and oneself.  

How is my privacy respected?

What is said in the group stays in the group. Your privacy and confidentiality are respected. 

I identify as a diverse identity, is this a safe space for me?

The Butterfly Foundation recognises that eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of race, colour, culture, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender identity.  Our services are an inclusive and safe space for all members of our community.  

I am not sure if the person I am caring for has an eating disorder (or they have not been diagnosed). Can I still attend?

If you are unsure whether a loved one is experiencing an eating disorder or has not been diagnosed you are welcome to come along.

Meet The Team

Michelle Sperling - Manager Recovery Support Services & Sydney Facilitator

Michelle Photo

Michelle facilitates Sydney recovery and carer support groups.

Michelle is a registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist. A highly-experienced eating disorder clinician, Michelle often facilitates our groups, and is Manager of Butterfly’s Recovery Support Services.

Having worked in a wide range of settings including individual counselling and recovery and carer support groups and programs, Michelle also provides carer support services to the IOP Family Day and support counselling for Butterfly events featuring speakers with a lived experience.

Michelle is trained in evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Family Based Therapy (FBT) and Narrative Therapy.

Michelle uses a holistic approach to treatment and is passionate about working with carers and lived experience, advocating that full recovery is possible.

Archana - Sydney Facilitator

Archana Photo
Archana facilitates Sydney carer support groups.

Archana facilitates the carer support group and has also facilitated the recovery support group.  In addition to working on Butterfly’s National Helpline Archana is completing a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling, and holds a Bachelor of Counselling. 

She recently co-facilitated a six-week workshop “Understanding Eating Disorder Recovery for Carers”, helping carers to develop practical skills to help their loved one through recovery. 

As a mother of two girls, Archana feels passionate about empowering carers in supporting their loved one through their recovery. 

Lisa Morrison - Adelaide Facilitator

Lisa Morrison photoLisa facilitates Adelaide recovery and carer support groups.

Lisa is a qualified counsellor and social worker, has facilitated Butterfly’s recovery and carer support groups in Adelaide for nearly 2 years. Lisa has also  worked as a counsellor for Uniting Communities, in private practice and as a client support worker at Eating Disorders Association of SA.

Lisa encourages a responsive and connective environment within the support groups, allowing the conversation to unfold as the group shares and supports each other. She often has music playing as people arrive, allowing people to relax whilst colouring in or reflecting on some questions that are available.

Jo Cook - Hobart Facilitator

Jo PhotoJo facilitates Hobart recovery and carer support groups.

Jo is a founder of TRED (Tasmania Recovery from Eating Disorders), which merged in 2017 with the Butterfly Foundation. Jo is a qualified counsellor with a Grad Dip in Psychology, a Bachelor of Counselling and has also trained with Carolyn Costin, a pioneer in eating disorder recovery in the USA.  She demonstrates her skills by bringing an empathetic approach to the support groups.

Jo is a passionate advocate for the improvement of eating disorder health services in Tasmania. She believes the lived experience of people experiencing eating disorders and their carers are important towards improving treatments. 

 Jo holds several positions as a board and committee member of various organisations including the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders and the NEDC Expert Advisory Panel.

Caitlin - Hobart Facilitator

Caitlin facilitates Hobart recovery and carer support groups.

Caitlin has been co-facilitating the Butterfly support groups since 2016 and has lived experience as a young carer of her two younger sisters who experienced eating disorders. 

She is able to relate to this perspective as a sibling in the support groups, and both her siblings are now recovered, young adults. 

Caitlin is currently completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology and additionally has experience as a Lifeline crisis support volunteer. 

She wholeheartedly believes that recovery is possible and she joined as a facilitator to spread this message and provide hope to people experiencing eating disorders and their families and carers.

Rebecca - Hobart Facilitator

Rebecca facilitates Hobart carer support groups.

Rebecca has lived experience as a carer for her daughter who developed an eating disorder at 19.  Both Rebecca and her ex-husband work in the medical field, but they became frustrated at the difficulties of finding the right care for their daughter. 

Rebecca and her daughter relocated to Sydney for 10 months following her daughters’ hospitalisation and participated in Butterfly’s Intensive Outpatient Program. Rebecca’s daughter is now 22, traveling the recovery road and doing well. 

Despite the move to Sydney helping Rebecca and her daughter it was isolating to be far from home. This has led Rebecca to join as a support group facilitator because she is passionate about improving the availability of care to Tasmanian's experiencing eating disorders.  She brings compassion and understanding to the support groups by providing experience-based support to carers.

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Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  

 

We can help you with knowing when to talk to your friend and what to say. ›

Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  

 

We can help you with recognising issues and what to do. ›

Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

We have a range of advice & resources ›