At Rochester Eating Disorders Organization our experienced support group facilitators have been helping adults make peace with food since 1982. We offer support groups for individuals with symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating. Through weekly support groups REDO educates individuals on how to become more aware of their body’s own hunger signals, as well as better connected to their emotional experiences. We focus on helping group members understand the underlying causes of an unhealthy relationship with food so that they can establish new, more effective coping skills and support systems. REDO is not your traditional support program and we frequently incorporate the creative arts and mindfulness practices into sessions. We operate from an “anti-diet” philosophy with the goal of emotional and physical wellness for our group members.
• long-term weekly support groups
• free phone screening for support group placement
• recommendations for individual therapists and other providers
“We eat the way we eat because we are afraid to feel what we feel.” – Geneen Roth
We believe that food-related behaviors are symptoms of emotional distress. If we can identify and process the underlying issues then the food-related behaviors will resolve naturally as you develop healthier and more effective coping skills. Its as if you only had one coping skill in your coping skills “toolbox” and while it worked well for a time it isn’t as useful as it once was. However, because you relied so heavily on this one single coping skill for so long other coping skills never had a chance to develop. The reason it is so difficult to give up food-related behaviors is because doing so would mean you are giving up the entire toolbox.
We understand that food-related behaviors serve a purpose. Often group members discover that their food-related behaviors keep them from having to “feel” intense and uncomfortable emotions. The emptiness or fullness of their stomach provides them with a physical sensation that trumps anything in the emotional realm, allowing them to survive day-to-day life. Our groups focus on identifying emotions and then slowly learning to tolerate “feeling” again. While this can be terrifying, know that emotions are a package deal. You can’t simply eliminate the negative feelings and hope to keep the pleasant ones.
REDO groups also focus on relationships, both those in the present moment and those in the past. Our relationship with others is reflected in our relationship with food. When our relationships with significant others, family, co-workers, and friends are fulfilling and safe our relationship with food is more balanced as well. In group you will work on setting appropriate boundaries, being assertive in getting your needs met, and learning more effective methods of communicating with the people in your life.
Although this process takes time, REDO’s 30+ years of experience has proven it to be highly effective in the long-run. Improving your relationship with food is a journey that demands that you take your time and go at your own pace. At its core our process is self directed; it is a way for you to learn how to listen to and trust your own body again so that you may feel content and complete.