“Your body and mind are sacred. Treat them that way.” -Dr. Kristin Lloyd
Before making the decision to have weight loss surgery, patients have typically tried many other ways to lose weight. After patients make the decision to undergo surgery, they are anxious, excited and ready to start a journey to a healthier lifestyle. After weight loss surgery, hard work and life-long behavioral changes are required in order to successfully lose and maintain a healthy weight. Many patients’ unhealthy habits, genetics and “diet thinking,” have evolved and/or existed for many years and cannot be expected to disappear overnight. This is completely understandable and takes time. Having support throughout this process, from someone who you can trust, is an important part of being successful throughout with this new lifestyle change.
Weight loss surgery can lead to significant weight loss, as well as improvements in other obesity-related medical conditions. As a licensed clinical social worker, I work with patients before and after their surgery to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the procedure and can gain the maximum benefit from it. Although the majority of patients report satisfaction with their surgical experience, some may require additional support to make the long-term changes necessary for their lifestyle change.
Having Therapy Prior to Surgery: Education & Prevention Before Surgery
An informed decision to have bariatric or weight loss surgery must include a thorough understanding of its potential impact on your life. Your bariatric surgeon will inform you about its impact on your body, including improvement or cure of many obesity related medical conditions. Weight loss surgery also often impacts your relationships, your self-image and your awareness of problems underlying your relationship with food in significant ways? Many people find that when they can no longer overeat (after surgery), many of the problems and issues that they were covering up or “stuffing,” with food will surface in unexpected ways. Learning about common experiences, both positive and negative, will help give you the confidence that you are finally in charge and making the right decision for your life.
I can assist you in preparing for weight loss surgery by providing emotional and mental support. I am able to listen and truly understand the challenges that come with weight issues, disordered and emotional eating. Therapy can help identify what those triggers might be and any small changes you make in preparation for the post-surgical phase will give you the confidence you will be successful.
You may want to consider therapy after weight loss surgery if you are:
As you know, having weight loss surgery is a life-changing experience. Any change, even change for the better, can be stressful. Many individuals choose to work with a therapist who specializes in bariatrics to help with adjustment and behavioral changes following surgery. Working with a bariatric, weight loss specialist and are very important for successful weight management.
How Will Therapy Work?
Therapy starts with learning about you and gathering information about who you are and about your life. Information regarding eating, activity, social history (family, work, relationship, upbringing), the role that food and body played in your family, etc.. Based on this information, we will create a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. As a compassionate and trustworthy therapist, I create an environment that allows patients to open up and discuss anything, including issues you/they may have struggled to discuss with family, friends, or others in the past. Along with listening, I work collaboratively with patients to work on the issues that may be of their concern.
This includes discovering and understanding the emotional and behavioral reasons for our eating behaviors and learning different coping skills to change these situations. These behaviors cannot be changed immediately, they have been with us our whole life; working together you will discover the role food plays in our life is much more complicated than many of us think it is.
How often will I come to therapy?
Patients typically attend therapy sessions on a weekly basis, but the frequency can be adjusted to meet their individual needs. As patients progress through treatment, sessions may become less frequent, with patients transitioning to bi-weekly and then monthly appointments. The ultimate goal of treatment is to empower patients to manage their eating habits and weight independently with their new lifestyle change, without the need for ongoing assistance.