Parent/Partner Education and Support Program

The Parent/Partner Education and Support Program (PESP) is a service for anyone who has a loved one with an eating disorder. This may be a parent, sibling, partner, friend or adult child. Their loved one is not required to be participating in a Body Esteem Program and therefore may be under 18.

Both men and women are welcome in this group.

What is the aim of the PESP?

The aim of the PESP is two-fold:

  1. To provide information about the nature of an eating disorder and the nature of recovery from an eating disorder, in order to help people gain a deeper understanding of the process their loved one may experience.
  2. To provide support for the family members as they care for their loved one and to help them gain a deeper understanding of the process that they themselves may experience throughout the recovery journey

Both of these aspects are very important for increasing the level of support that someone with an eating disorder can access. If their family/partners:

  • know ways to communicate about eating disorder behaviours
  • understand the high levels of fear associated with food
  • can see some of the moodiness as part of the eating disorder and
  • are able to be strong about expectations and reality checking,

then the person with the eating disorder may feel very supported and accepted, which can lead to enhanced recovery.

Additionally, if the family/partners:

  • know how to get support for themselves
  • feel confident that they know what to do or what to say to their loved one
  • increase their sense of realistic boundaries and self-care practices and
  • know what treatment options are available,

they will feel much less anxious and disheartened, and so will therefore be more effective in their support-giving, which can lead to enhanced recovery for their loved one.

The PESP sessions generally consist of a combination of some personal sharing, prompted by a question, and some educational activities which are then discussed.

Understandably, many people who attend the PESP group have high emotions and worry for their loved one. BEP staff understands this.

How do I join?

If you would like to find out when the next group starts or to be considered for future groups, please telephone WOMEN’S Healthworks;

It’s not your fault.
You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it.
Eating Disorders can happen to anyone.
Your support is invaluable.