Eating Disorder Group Therapy

Therapy groups are a key part of treatment at Magnolia Creek. The following descriptions of eating disorder group therapy groups are provided to enhance understanding on what to expect from each group. In addition, we hope that the descriptors may assist clients in knowing how best to get their needs met throughout the week.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group

This psychoeducation group focuses on the basic principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); challenging irrational thoughts. Therapist encourages clients to identify automatic negative thoughts, the emotional response, and the behavioral response through various exercises, peer interactions, and handouts. Clients are encouraged to keep an anger diary and thought log for tracking irrational thought frequency.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group

This group utilizes a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)-focused curriculum to practice skill building. Clients learn by identifying distress tolerance skills, engaging in mindfulness, learning how to regulate emotions, and developing interpersonal skills. DBT assists clients in building various skills to minimize destructive behaviors.


The goal of this type of eating disorder group therapy is to give clients the opportunity to discuss issues they are currently struggling with or to discuss current goals for treatment. In addition, this group should encourage clients to offer feedback to their peers and to identify similarities between struggles and coping styles. NOTE: We encourage client feedback and peer support in all groups. This is the only group that does not include a topic for discussion.

Self-Reflection Group

This group encourages clients to use interpersonal and clear communication skills while reflecting on experiences in one’s life span. The therapist provides clients with four self-reflecting assignments and encourage them to share the assignments with the group once completed. Self-Reflection group allows clients to identify environmental or social triggers that may have contributed to the disorders, practice public speaking, create a relapse prevention plan, reflect on self-responsibility, and create self-accountability in hopes for recovery.

Identity, Strengths, and Values

The goal of this group is to explore various components that contribute to the development of identity, to evaluate how the sense of self or identity influences how individuals respond to both internal and external stimuli, and to develop a strong sense of identity to ultimately enhance confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.

Body Appreciation

This group utilizes ACT interventions as well as process components to address contributing factors to the formation of body image. It also covers ways to cope in the present with poor body image while still working towards recovery. Clients learn skills to help learn to improve body image in the long term.

Trauma and Recovery

Trauma is defined as anything that threatens life as we know it (either emotionally or physically). This could include what is stereotypically thought of when discussing trauma including unwanted sexual experiences, losing an important person, physical violence, natural disasters, and car accidents; however, it also could include experiences like repeated emotional abuse, unpredictable environments, job loss, and a relationship ending. In this group, clients will develop an understanding of normal responses in the aftermath of traumatic experiences. Therapists will also discuss in more detail how neurobiology works (how the brain responds) when individuals experience trauma. The group will identify healthy coping skills and ways to assist the body in processing experiences. Clients will also practice challenging shame and cognitive distortions related to trauma to find compassion for self.

A woman paints in an eating disorder group therapy sessionCreative Arts

Creative arts is facilitated by a trained therapist. Clients will use art media, the creative process, and resulting artwork to explore feelings. Clients will also be encouraged to reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviors and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase self-esteem/self-worth.

Nutrition/Meal Planning

This nutrition-based eating disorder group therapy provides education for clients on a wide range of nutrition-related topics. Our registered dietitian enforces the importance of a healthy lifestyle by exploring topics such as: what is proper diet/eating; how do we manage various symptoms of diseases or chronic conditions with diet; or, how do we protect health, prevent allergic reactions and minimize symptoms of disease with food. In addition, this group facilitates knowledge around nutrition content, food advertising, and other nutrition-related concerns.

Lunch Outing & Grocery Experiential

This experiential outing is led by a dietitian and allows for clients to practice normalizing eating while socializing out in public and implementing newfound nutrition knowledge and portioning skills into the real world. The grocery outing allows for clients to practice purchasing groceries, while assessing and processing any anxiety that may exist due to pressures of shopping, being in large crowds and so forth. This is a chance for clients to not only get out of the treatment setting but offers an opportunity to test out the real world setting as a transition back to life outside of treatment.

Family Dynamics

This interactive group provides a supportive environment to examine one’s family dynamics and multigenerational behaviors amongst peers. Family Dynamics group assist clients with identifying immediate support systems including family and friends. Clients are encouraged to interact with peers while engaging in conversations highlighting family issues, role in the family, interpersonal skills, communication skills, and creating healthy relationships.

Narrative Therapy

This group provides a form of counseling that views people as separate from their problems, allowing them clients to gain distance from the issue. This insight gives them insight to see how it might be helping them, or protecting them, more than it is hurting them.

Mindful Movement, Gentle Movement, Yoga

A woman meditates in an eating disorder group therapy session

We designed this group for those with little to no experience with basic yoga practice. The group introduces simple movements to stretch and warm-up the body with the pace adapting to each experience level. It promotes mindful attention to communication through the body while performing various breathing and movement exercises. In addition, the movements work to increase flexibility in the shoulders, back, hips and legs, to increase arm and overall body strength and to develop better balance and breath awareness.


This group time includes all staff and clients where clients have the opportunity to express programmatic concerns, feedback for therapists, or maintenance requests that they need to submit. Also, clients finalize requests for weekend outings/activities such as experiential outings, spiritual outings, or Sunday store outing.

Treatment Team

This group time gives clients an opportunity to meet individually with the treatment team. They can use this time to express concerns, receive feedback, and review progress. The treatment team includes therapists, family therapists, dietitians, and medical staff. Clients receive feedback from the team and have the opportunity to express how the team can provide more support.

Cooking Group

A cooks in an eating disorder group therapy session

This group allows clients to learn and implement cooking skills and create a balanced meal with chef supervision. The chef works to enhance awareness of safety not only with tools in the kitchen but also with regard to food safety. Clients will learn how to judge expirations on food, how to cook food in ways that sustain nutrients intended by those foods, and how to not only cook for yourself but how to multitask in the kitchen to cook for your needs as well as others. This group gives clients an opportunity to be creative. Clients learn to choose dishes outside of their comfort zones in addition to basic cooking tips. Finally, this group provides a challenge to clients to learn how to utilize each other in a team environment to create the final product for the display and consumption.

Addictive Behaviors

This group focuses on examining the root(s) of maladaptive behaviors, triggers, and emotions connected to specific behaviors. It allows the clients to explore the various means used to cope with perceived negative emotions. Clients also learn how a negative belief system often leads to impaired thinking and a cycle of acting out behaviors, unmanageability, and shame.

Recovery Protection

This group helps clients ensure continued success in their recoveries outside of Magnolia Creek. Clients work to identify factors that support a healthy recovery, signs of relapse, and create a plan of action if relapse were to occur. This group focuses on helping clients leave with a set of tools and a plan in place to support recovery. Clients also process through any relapse behaviors that have occurred over the course of the week. Clients discuss how to better manage them to work towards continued positive movement in recovery.

Saturday Morning Group

The first and third Saturday mornings of the month include two process groups. Led by an art instructor, the second Saturday morning group includes “painting with a twist” type interactions. These experiences allow clients to express themselves through artistic abilities. Every fourth Saturday morning clients interact with horses to help develop needed skills such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.

Recreational Outing (Saturday)

We give clients the opportunity to choose an experiential outing for Saturday afternoon, which takes place off campus and focuses on self-care. Activities may include going to a movie, getting nails done or going to the park. These activities are discussed and decided on in the community group. Options are typically discussed among clients during Sunday client-led community group.

Spiritual Service

We give clients the opportunity to go off campus for an optional spiritual outing. Location of this outing is discussed and chosen during community group and should be discussed during Sunday client-led group as well. Note: If there is more than one spiritual outing location request, needs are met by alternating between the requested locations each week.

Hobby Development

This eating disorder group therapy group offers clients an opportunity to engage in a fun activity or hobby. Trying different activities each week provides an opportunity for clients to identify potential coping skills themselves. As clients learn new skills and practice new hobbies, they develop greater resources for recovery.

Life Skills/Health and Wellness

Life Skills Group educates clients on a multitude of various skill-based topics such as car maintenance, carpentry, landscaping, and other requested life skills. Health and Wellness Group covers topics such as self-breast exams, flu, and flu shots, and hand washing musts.

Eating Disorder Group Therapy and More at Magnolia Creek

Magnolia Creek has much to offer anyone struggling with eating disorders, including comprehensive eating disorder group therapy. For more information on our variety of therapy programs, reach out to us at 205-509-2441.