The Group Programme
Newbridge House places a great emphasis upon the importance of group work within our treatment model. We have developed a broad range of groups, addressing the psychological, social and practical needs of our patients. The groups support each individual’s treatment in different ways, sometimes in a practical context. They also reflect the principle that we are working with the whole person and all patients need the opportunity to participate in fulfilling, purposeful and enjoyable activities.
The psychology team, the occupational therapy team, nursing and our drama therapist run the groups, harnessing the broad resource of specialists based at Newbridge. Each young person will have their individual programme for every week, consisting of one-to-one therapy, school sessions and extensive participation in the group programme.
This is a well-established group approach within eating disorder treatment, exploring the physical, social and psychological issues which arise from anorexia.
BodyWise is a psychological programme designed for the body image disturbance that is a key feature of anorexia (despite being at a dangerously low weight, individuals perceive themselves as fat). BodyWise is widely used across the world as a programme which can be used in the early stages of inpatient treatment when weight is low. It supports participants to develop their understanding of body image and has been proven to reduce behaviours such as very frequent body checking. We used a programme specially adapted for young people, called Teen BodyWise. Once BodyWise has been completed and as young people progress through treatment, they move on to practical body image sessions. These are higher intensity and as such, are run by psychologists working with patients on a 1:1 basis, so sessions can be wholly tailored to individual need.
Compulsive exercise can be present before the eating disorder and can alsodevelop as a symptom of the eating disorder to control weight, but in all
cases, needs to be specifically addressed. At Newbridge, we developed aspecific programme to address compulsive exercise in children and adolescents based on LEAP (Loughborough Eating Disorders Activity Therapy) adapted and focused on this age group. This is called the NEAT (Newbridge Eating disorders Activity Treatment), which enables participants to recognise their misconceptions around exercise, better understand their exercise behaviour and progress towards participating in exercise in a healthy, balanced way.
This is a group explores the individual’s ability to cope with challenges and situations, not only around eating behaviour but more broadly in their life as a whole, to help develop resilience and coping strategies. There are also sessions on relapse prevention which are run on a tailored, 1:1 basis as the young person prepares for discharge.
Groups to support the treatment plan
The occupational therapy team run two groups designed to work through challenges and build skills in a practical context, supporting the treatment plan. Snack out is a regular group where young people, accompanied and supported by occupational therapists, go into the community in Streetly and Sutton Coldfield, to have a drink and a snack in a local café. This is an essential life skill which is often challenging for young people with an eating disorder. Another group, called Come Dine with Me, works through young people planning a meal, going out with an occupational therapist to buy the ingredients and then cooking the meal in one of Newbridge’s dedicated occupational therapy kitchens.
Groups to meet social and psychological need
The Newbridge programme is planned with constant attention to the principle that we are treating the whole person, not just the eating disorder and that young people need to be able to participate in fulfilling, enjoyable activities that they like. With this focus, every week, we also have the following groups: creative art, mindfulness, relaxation, yoga and stretching and leisure group (will go on various trips and visits). Community group also runs each week as a forum for young people to raise any questions or concerns about the service as a whole and put forward their own suggestions.