Free Pilar Programme for Families

Why do we provide this programme?

Supporting family and parents has always been a core aspect of our work. As part of this, we offer parents and families a free four week (1 evening per week) structured programme, incorporating both psycho-education and support, as well as practical advice and skills to help you support your family member towards recovery.

The PiLaR programme is delivered by Bodywhys, in support of the HSE’s Model of Care for Eating Disorders.

What do we focus on?

Understanding eating disorders, the mindset of a person, how to manage at home Dealing with meal times, routines, different behaviours and triggers
Recovery – what is the recovery process and how does it happen? Coping with relapse
Communication, active listening skills Dealing with rejection/shut down/anger
Helping a person to accept help

Who can attend?

Note: the PiLaR programme is only for carers, parents, siblings, family members, friends. It is not a programme for clinicians. We offer information/training/CPD for clinicians separately.

If you are a professional, a clinician, an allied health professional who would like to enquire about CPD training in eating disorders please email Harriet Parsons, our Training and Development Manager on


At present, Bodywhys staff are working from home due to COVID19, as per the Government’s guidelines. We therefore cannot take PiLaR bookings through the office landline, by phone. Please contact with any queries on PiLaR.

For supports doing COVID19, please see here.

Post-PiLaR support group

As part of the ongoing support that the PiLaR Programme provides, having completed PiLaR, participants have the option of joining a twice monthly support group. This group has limited numbers and it is ONLY open to those who have attended PiLaR. Verification of attendance will happen.

Are you a sibling of a person with an eating disorder? Have you attended the PiLaR Programme? Would you find it helpful to attend a sibling only support group? We are looking for expressions of interest. If you would be please email to express interest.

New Maudsley Training workshops – Summer 2021

Bodywhys is offering New Maudsley Carer Skills workshops for parents who have completed our PiLaR programme, over the summer.


  • Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th June 7-9pm
  • Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th July 7-9pm
  • Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th August 7-9pm (follow up)


To book a place, please contact Terri via

Click here for further details.

New Maudsley Training workshops – Summer 2021

Our next PiLaR programme for family members, parents and carers starts on Friday, September 10th 2021, running from 10am-12pm. To book a free place, please contact Terri via


Contact me about future PiLaR programmes

Your name will be added to a list to be contacted in the event the programme comes to your county. Your personal information is not circulated outside of Bodywhys.

History of PiLaR

Since 2014, PiLaR has been delivered in:

  • Antrim, Athlone, Carlow/Kilkenny and Cavan/Monaghan
  • Cork, Donegal and Dublin
  • Galway, Kerry, Laois, Limerick and Mayo
  • Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford and Westmeath
  • Online – during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Evaluation by UCD

Evaluation by Prof. Fiona McNicholas and Dr. Ingrid Holme, UCD

Programme feedback