Family and friends

We know the value that support from family and friends can have for a person during recovery from an eating disorder.

We offer family therapy to all inpatients and day patients. There is the flexibility to link these sessions with other therapeutic sessions (such as family meals) for families travelling long distances.

Families and friends are encouraged to be involved in ward rounds and Care Programme Approach meetings, in person or via conference call, if necessary.

Visiting and contact with family and friends

As a service we try to support regular contact between patients and their loved ones and do our best to accommodate visits at times that suit visitors. When travelling time and distance are significant, it is particularly important to plan visits to maximise opportunities for involvement in treatment as well as social contact. We have Skype facilities available for patients to use between visits.

Information sheets

You may also find our of outside support resources and suggested reading useful.

We also offer a fortnightly Friends and Family Support Group and regular skills-based workshops for patients' families and friends:

Friends and Family Support Group meetings 2017

Facilitators: Mark Brayford, Faye Sherwood and Nicole Nunes.
Venue: Meeting Room VSC

Meetings will be held on Mondays from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, on the following dates:

  • 14 August
  • 4 and 18 September
  • 2, 16 and 30 October
  • 13 and 27 November
  • 11 December

Skills-based workshops for family members, partners, and friends

We offer a course of seven skills training workshops to provide carers with practical advice and support.

These workshops will offer you skills such as:

  • Dealing with challenging behaviour
  • Communication skills
  • Avoiding traps that may maintain the disorder
  • Supporting recovery
  • How to look after your own well-being

Quotes from attendees of previous carer workshops (family members, partners and friends)

"The workshops were excellent. They widened my views of how to care in different situations."

"Meeting other people and hearing their stories was helpful. It also put the words from the books (recommended reading) into action and meaning."

"Utterly brilliant. The facilitators were professional but human. Much appreciated."

"I learnt techniques that are applicable to many facets of life."

"I think it's a fantastic course to learn the skills necessary to support our loved ones.”

"The group has provided me with support, wisdom, challenges, encouragement and above all really the only 'safe' place where I have felt free to talk honestly and openly. […] I am not going to list all the various things I am especially grateful to you personally for as I know I have done so already and the list is incredibly long. Suffice to say you have made a massive difference to both myself and my loved one."

Workshop dates and times

The workshops take place twice yearly and are facilitated by two of our clinicians. Each workshop consists of six fortnightly group meetings, which are usually held in the evenings. 

The next workshop is scheduled to run in Autumn 2017. For more information and to book a place please email

Contact details:

Address: Vincent Square Eating Disorder Service, 1 Nightingale Place, London SW10 9NG
Phone: 020 3315 2104

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Read our blog!

  • Vincent Square staff members share opinions and thoughts about a range of issues related to eating disorders