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 (delivered once a week, over 2 hours) 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 COVID-19, as per the Government’s guidelines. Please contact with any queries on PiLaR.

For supports doing COVID-19, please see here.

Upcoming PiLaR Programme: February 2022

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? Are you over 18, and have you attended the PiLaR Programme? Bodywhys is dedicated to growing the support services available in order to provide ongoing support to people affected by eating disorders.

As part of this, Bodywhys will run a support group for siblings. This will be delivered via Zoom, and attendance is limited to 20 places (allocated on a first-come-first-served basis). Please email to book a free place.

New Maudsley Training workshops

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


To book a place, please contact

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