EDFA has launched its online one-on-one counselling sessions
EDFA first sessions of one-on-one counselling education and support started this week.
After many months of planning, EDFA launched its online one-on-one counselling sessions this week with carers through its new Fill the Gap program. While those experiencing an eating disorder may get a treatment team around them, carers of those experiencing eating disorders are often overlooked or feel unsure about how to navigate this illness. EDFA often hears from its members how challenging and stressful caring for a loved one with an eating disorder can be.
In its recent Carer Experience Survey, EDFA found 88% of carers indicated their own well-being had declined since becoming a carer. Carers reported barriers to seeking help included not having enough time, financial stress, and not prioritising their own well-being. As it’s name suggests, EDFA’s new program aims to fill the gap in allowing carers to access their own free, one-on-one support and education sessions from professional counsellors, who have their own lived experience as a carer.
The program aims to provide carers with sessions that are tailored to their needs at the time, providing information, education, skills, and support to those caring for a loved one with an eating disorder. Through this individual support, carers have a safe space to talk through their experience and gain information and skills that can assist them in being a more effective part of the recovery team.
Funding from the Australian Government means all sessions are free and are held via video conferencing so every carer around Australia can access the service. There is no commitment to have ongoing sessions and there is also no cap on the number of sessions that can be accessed – carers are more than welcome to book an initial session and speak with a counsellor about how sessions may be able to help them. Carers can be at any point in the recovery journey – from having concerns about their loved one, early diagnosis, active treatment, or post treatment where relapse can occur.
Gaining support as a carer may not only help your own well-being but can also help others around you, including your loved one.
Benefits of your own support:
- Have a safe space for yourself to talk to someone about how things are for you and learn self-care strategies. Supporting a loved one can be challenging and it is easy to overlook your own needs. Taking care of yourself can help you to support your loved one.
- Increase your knowledge of eating disorders, their treatment, and navigating the health care system.
Counsellors can help to assist you in understanding what is happening for your loved one, their emotions, why they may not want to change behaviours and what can help to manage in difficult times.
- Learn practical ways of communicating and approaching your loved one about your concerns and how to offer and provide support.
- Caring for a loved one with an eating disorder can be stressful and emotionally draining. counsellors can provide you with ways of managing stress and handling difficult emotions, such as anger and fear.
- Explore ways with a counsellor in how you can become a more effective part of the recovery team. This may be through different approaches in communication, gaining a better understanding of eating disorders and behaviours that may maintain them, and learning ways to take care of yourself.
For a confidential chat or to help answer any of your questions, call Administration Assistant Susan Donald on 03 9125 5670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book session/s online now.