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

Eating disorder recovery support groups

Get recovery support in a safe space
 - for anyone living with an eating disorder or body image issue

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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: Every Monday 7:00pm – 8:30pm AEST. 
(Note: you can only log in if there is a group on at this time)

Due to the Australia Day national public holiday the online support group will not run on Monday 28 January.

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Step-by-step tech guide

Hobart, Tasmania

  • Get support and learn from others’ experiences – you don’t need to do this alone.
  • Run by our facilitators who have a lived experience of an eating disorder or body image issues.

Find us at: Level 1 Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Place
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
2019 dates: Mondays - Recommencing 4 February, 4 March, 1 April, 6 May, 3 June, 1 July, 5 August, 2 September, 7 October, 4 November, 2 December

Registrations essential: Call our Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE or email support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Age: 18yo and over.
Accessibility: We are in Hobart CBD near Franklin Square.
Fee: $20

Supported by the Crown, through the Tasmanian Department of Health. 

Sydney, New South Wales

  • Get support and guidance from others on the recovery 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
2019 dates: Tuesdays - 15 January, 19 February, 19 March, 16 April, 21 May, 18 June, 16 July, 20 August, 17 September, 22 October, 19 November, 17 December

Registrations essential: Call our Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE or email support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Age: 18yo and over.
Accessibility: We are in Crows Nest, a 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 recovery support groups

What can I expect in my first group?

You will be welcomed into an accepting space. The group is recovery-focused and will discuss topics related to making positive change.

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 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.  

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.  

I am not sure if I have an eating disorder (or I have not been diagnosed). Can I still come?

We welcome anyone experiencing body image issues or any eating disorder including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) and Disordered Eating.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing an eating disorder or have not been diagnosed please register and we’ll chat about the best option with you.

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.

Jessica - Sydney facilitator

Jessica facilitates Sydney recovery support groups.

Jessica has been a counsellor on the Butterfly National Helpline for over two years and has more recently taken on the additional role as a support group facilitator.

With a Graduate Diploma in Counselling, Jessica understands the complex nature of eating disorders and uses her counselling skills to guide people with lived experiences.

Dedicated and passionate about working with eating disorders, Jessica is guided by her compassionate and curious nature to support those in need.

Jessica works to help you connect to your inner “healthy-self” and realise your full potential, one that she believes is deserved.

Through her work she hopes to increase understanding and available support for people experiencing eating disorder.

Caitlin - Eating disorders coordinator and Hobart support group 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. 

As Tasmanian's eating disorder coordinator, she provides support and general information about eating disorders. She also provides guidance to individuals who are experiencing eating disorders and their carers and families. 

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.

 

Hobart support groups are supported by the Crown, through the Tasmanian Department of Health. 

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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 ›