• Pre and Post-Bariatric Surgery Behavior Modification / Therapy

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    “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 very excited and ready to start a new journey to a healthier life. Regardless, even after weight loss surgery, hard work and life-long behavioral changes are required in order to successfully lose and maintain weight. Many patients’ unhealthy habits, genetics and “diet thinking,” have evolved over many years and may not disappear overnight. This is completely understandable and takes time. Having help along the way, from someone who you can trust, is an important part of being successful throughout this lifestyle change.

    Weight loss surgery can result in significant weight loss and an improvement in other obesity related medical conditions. I work with patients both pre and post-operatively to help them achieve success. While most patients are very happy with their surgical experience, some patients benefit from pre and/or post-operative support to help them with the necessary long-term changes.

    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. Did you know that having 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. I will help you understand common experiences, both positive and negative, following weight loss surgery to better prepare you and help you make an informed choice.

    I can work with you before weight loss surgery to help you become emotionally and psychologically prepared for surgery. As a bariatric patient, I can help you identify triggers to unhealthy, emotional eating and begin to make those small changes so you will be more prepared after surgery.

    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 getting to know you; gathering information about your eating, activity, social history (family, work, relationship, upbringing), the role that food and body played in your family, etc. We will then put together a treatment plan to address your own individual needs. I am compassionate and trusting; patients feel they can genuinely open up and talk about anything – things that they have a hard time discussing with their friends, family or others they have felt comfortable with in the past. Aside from listening, I will also help you resolve the issues with which you are struggling. Having had bariatric surgery myself, patients are able to identify and feel that they are not alone in this experience.

    During sessions, I will help you identify and change your own personal relationship with food. While this can include a history of what may have caused your initial weight gain or unhealthy eating patterns, the focus is not on the past but on the present and how these behaviors are effecting you today. This includes discussing the emotional and behavioral reasons for eating and learning different ways of managing 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.

    I specialize working with bariatric surgery patients to help them make small dietary, physical activity, and general behavioral goals that they can stick with to achieve long lasting benefits. These are SMART goals –Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Expecting a lot of ourselves right away can often slow our progress. Learning and acknowledging we have been given a “tool,” will feel right; although adjusting can be a hard process. You will get there!

    How often will I come to therapy?

    Typically, patients meet for therapy weekly (but is flexible upon the needs of each patient). As treatment progresses patients transition to every other week, and then monthly, until they graduate from treatment. The ultimate goal is for patients to manage their eating and weight alone without assistance.