We have bariatric psychologists on our staff who have extensive knowledge and expertise in helping who are preparing for or who have had weight loss surgery. They have spent years working in weight loss surgery programs and understand some of the difficulties and concerns that people can struggle with both before and after weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is a tool rather than a fix, and thus success after surgery depends upon individuals making and maintaining a number of significant changes to lifestyle and habits. Some of those changes may be easier than others.
We are here to help you through it all! We offer individual therapy services to help people make these changes prior to surgery, whether that means addressing concerns like binge eating, developing a new relationship with food, or serving as your coach as you work on putting new habits into place. We also work with people after weight loss surgery who may be struggling to stick with lifestyle changes or are concerned about weight regain after surgery. Surgery can also lead to some unexpected changes in social relationships, body image, and other aspects of life, and we are here to help you to adapt to and cope with change.
Pre-Weight Loss Surgery Counseling
Our bariatric psychologists often see clients who are simply contemplating having weight loss surgery. One of the things our psychologists do is help clients understand the different options for weight loss surgery that are available (i.e. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Duodenal Switch). Our psychologists can help you understand what each procedure entails, learn more about special considerations for different types of surgery, and think through the pros and cons of surgery so you can determine the right course of action for you.
Our psychologists are also happy to help you navigate the process of weight loss surgery and give you an idea of what you can expect. They also work with clients in improving their relationship with food and their bodies well before surgery. Post-surgery successes are dependent upon exercising regularly, preparing healthy food, eating at regular meal times, quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol intake, managing emotions without turning to food, getting enough water intake, addressing relationship and work-related stressors, and taking supplements and vitamins regularly. The more capable you are of doing these things before weight loss surgery, the easier it will be to maintain these lifestyle changes post-surgery.
Our psychologists on staff will give you a preview of what to expect on the day of weight loss surgery and the weeks directly after surgery too so you’re fully prepared.
Lastly, our weight loss surgery psychologists are happy to conduct your pre-surgical psychological evaluation which most surgical programs require as part of your pre-surgical workup and are often mandatory for insurance coverage of surgery. The goal of the evaluation is to determine readiness for surgery from a psychological and behavioral perspective, and whether any additional changes, supports, or resources could help you be better prepared or equipped to give you the best likelihood of achieving the outcomes you are hoping for.
Post Weight Loss Surgery Counseling
Our psychologists on staff see clients post-surgery for several reasons. Many clients proactively come to see our weight loss surgery psychologists right after surgery to help them through the transition and to make sure they stay on track with lifestyle changes that will keep them healthy and on track with weight loss.
Some clients reach out to us after they’ve noticed some behavioral concerns post weight loss surgery such as binge eating, emotional eating, or other compulsive behaviors (i.e. shopping, gambling, drinking). Some behavioral concerns may also have to do with difficulty eating at set times, drinking enough water, exercising, and taking supplements.
Some clients come to us post-surgery because they notice difficulty in their relationships and body image concerns. It’s difficult to navigate the comments you receive around your weight loss and it’s sometimes hard to get used to the changes occurring in your body.
Sometimes clients come to us post-surgery because they find themselves feeling more depressed and anxious because their usual coping mechanism of food isn’t available to them anymore. Or, sometimes they feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious about managing the lifestyle changes they have to make.
Lastly, some clients come to us because they have regained weight post-surgery. There is absolutely no judgment here with our psychologists. We are supportive, compassionate, and caring. We will help you through any and all difficulties!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with our Psychologists
Our psychologists on staff use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in their work with clients. Clients learn to be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions to better understand how they may be influencing their behavior. We work together with clients to help them understand what gets in the way of living a life consistent with their values.