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
How does change happen? Helping a person to accept help

Who can attend?

Parents, carers, grandparents, siblings, partners/spouses and friends supporting someone affected by an eating disorder are welcome to attend.

Please note – the programme is for family members or friends, not the person experiencing the illness.

The content and focus of the PiLaR is for you, as a family member. The programme provides a space for you to receive support in your role as parent/carer.

Professionals or clinicians may attend week 1 only. The programme does not provide CPD training.


At present, Bodywhys staff are working remotely due to COVID19 until phase 5 of the Government roadmap. 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.

Next PiLaR

Our most recent PiLaR took place over Zoom. We’ll keep you updated when the next 2020 programme is confirmed.

Requesting a PiLaR Programme in your area/service

If you work for the HSE, or a community organisation, and wish to request a PiLaR programme in your area, please contact Harriet Parsons, Training and Development Manager, 01-2834963


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

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.

Evaluation by UCD

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

Programme feedback

Support Services Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19)More details