Alsana’s next Family Week is coming up on February 25-27, 2014. Many family members are nervous about attending their first Family Week experience. One of the common reasons expressed is that everyone may perceive them as the reason for their loved ones eating disorder. Nothing could be further from the truth, and research backs this up! Family support in recovery is essential!
The Academy of Eating Disorders (AED) issued an important position paper for physicians on the role of family in eating disorders. The bottom line: families are a critical part of the recovery and treatment process for those with eating disorders, and not a primary cause of eating disorders, nor should there be shame or blame directed at parents or loved ones.
Taking part in Family week means being an essential part of the recovery journey, a very important part. Family Week provides many positive experiences for those attending, including:
- Educational sessions to learn more about eating disorders
- Opportunity to share with families from a common perspective
- Interact with and hear recovery stories from those who have successfully completed treatment for an eating disorder
- Therapy sessions both with and without a loved one in treatment at Alsana
- Learning how to provide positive family support in recovery, and make preparations for home visits and homecoming
- Special sessions on co-occurring disorders
- Chance to get to know staff and spend time with a loved one in the comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces that Alsana provides
Those who are in treatment at Alsana are often just as nervous about a reunion during Family Week. Often, family members don’t consider that someone in treatment feels very changed as they slowly gain mastery over their eating disorder, and they fear that their loved ones will no longer recognize the inner person that they become or be critical about the changes that they have made. Family Week is a time to be compassionate towards each other.
Those who have taken part in Alsana’s Family Week are often amazed at the positive changes they see in their loved one with an eating disorder, and also by their own transformation during this very experiential three days. We encourage families to contact us if they are a bit unsure about what to expect at Family Week, and share their concerns.