Exploring the world of eating disorders and other shadowy companions


Eating disorders and other shadowy companions are hard to live with. It is often difficult to communicate the experience and explain it to others who can struggle to listen because it’s hard to hear.

When honest conversations that bring perspective and gently educate are big steps in healing, how do you prompt those conversations and how can you ‘hear’ the experiences?

In this interactive and celebratory workshop, we explore creative ways to use cards to challenge the silence and shame surrounding eating disorders and gently suggest ways forward – guided Danni McDougall, author of Eating Disorders & Other Shadowy Companions.

The workshop is designed to show you how to use the cards to support conversations in a range of settings and looks at:

  • strength approach to conversations about eating disorders & other shadowy companions
  • the myths and misunderstandings
  • assumptions that can have deadly consequences
  • giving voice to the characters and their roles in the illnesses
  • using the resource in a preventative space – challenging body image stereotypes and changing the conversation
  • instilling HOPE and noticing strengths

In the workshop you will have the opportunity to:

  • to explore the cards and the characters
  • practice conversations
  • challenge your thinking
  • create your own cards – change the narrative

Facilitator Danni McDougall is author, social worker and arts therapist specialising in trauma and mental health with children, adolescents and adults. Danni is passionate about supporting individuals to draw on their own skills and interest to increase joy in their lives, and reduce the impact of traumatic experiences and mental health challenges.

I needed something that connected with my experience and gave me a tool to communicate and explain to others what I was feeling and experiencing. There wasn’t anything out there and being artistic I decided to have a go… Eating Disorders and other Shadowy Companions is that tool, created in the context of my experience of an eating disorder.” Danni