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  • Gabrielle Morreale

Group Therapy& ED Recovery


By Hannah de Groot MEd.


Loneliness is universally one of the most painful and challenging emotions to face. It can exacerbate our struggles and bog us down to a place that feels impossible to come back from. Whether it is fueled by relational traumas, feeling misunderstood or self separation, isolation is a major contributor to mental health struggles, especially eating disorders. Eating disorders can be incredibly isolating. If loneliness is a feeling you have been struggling with recently, know we are sending you virtual hugs and all the support we can offer.


As someone who has lived with an eating disorder before, I am all too familiar with feeling isolated from others and all alone. I remember skipping hangouts with friends to spend extra time at the gym, and avoiding family dinner so I didn’t have to face fear foods. I felt so alone, and like no one understood me or my needs to compulsively exercise or restrict. Not only did this isolation fuel my eating disorder, but it also created space between me and the people I love. I felt so isolated and misunderstood. Looking back, a major part of my recovery process was realizing that I was not alone. Having open discussions with others going through the same thing was eye opening and allowed me to see that my struggles were normal. It helped me understand that the problem wasn’t me, but rather societal systems in place that nudge people in the direction of disordered eating. With the support and love from others going through similar situations, I felt empowered to face my struggles head on, and supported in my victories and challenges.


Group therapy can be a moving and powerful part of any mental health journey, and especially in eating disorder recovery. While it is important to have a knowledgeable and supportive team of professionals, being in a group of others actively recovering can be motivating for many reasons. For one, group therapy provides a safe place to release emotions and pent up frustrations, and share recovery victories with others on the same journey. We all know how powerful it is when someone shares a story with you that really resonates, and that ah ha moment when you think “wow, that person really gets it”. It can be cathartic to share tears and laughs with others who understand not only the process, but the deeply rooted emotions of a recovery journey. Moreover, group members hold each other accountable. Having a team to support you during challenging times and to cheer you on after victories creates powerful bonds. Checking in during group holds members accountable for their recovery goals, creates space to offer feedback for those who need help, and provides a safe community to facilitate progress. Group members often feel empowered by their peers and motivated to reach goals. Lastly, learning from the experiences of others normalizes the process, and is an awesome reminder that you are not alone. No matter how isolated you may feel, being part of a group provides a community of others who know and understand exactly how you feel.


If you are interested in group work, we would love to help you! Recovered and Restored is running many groups this fall, and as always, we would be honored to be part of your recovery journey. Our awesome clinician Abby Emmert will be running two groups, one for teens with eating disorders and another for young adults with eating disorders. Abby has run these groups in the past and her group members have been incredibly successful in their recovery. Our wonderful Becc Leatherman will be running a group to support parents of children with eating disorders. Parents LOVE this group, as it helps them understand the needs of their children, figure out the best ways to help, and provides support for this challenging process. I will also be running two groups - one for high school athletes with eating disorders and one for collegiate athletes with eating disorders. Both groups are new, and I am so excited to develop and be part of this group. If you have any questions or concerns related to groups, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Wherever you find yourself in your recovery journey, know you are not alone!


To sign up for any of the groups listed above, please reach out to Gabby Morreale at (215)206-1749 or gabby@recoveredandrestoredtherapy.com <3