BARIATRIC ASSESSMENTS AND COUNSELING (INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP)
If you are considering bariatric surgery, have had bariatric surgery, or are trying to figure out what feels right for you, psychological support and exploration is a vital part for ultimate success and maintenance of success. If we plant a garden but do not tend to it, what chance have we given the garden to grow? What expectations do we have for the garden's growth?
Bariatric surgery is a medical intervention for weight loss. A tool to aid you achieving your wellness goals. However, behind every tool is the builder, the operator, the gardener. Providing oneself with support, which can lead to deeper self-understanding, self-compassion, and growth, is one of the best gifts you can offer yourself. We all deserve wellness and a chance to be the self we wish to be.
Bariatric Surgery is not the "easy way out"
I am guessing if you are considering bariatric surgery, you have heard somewhere that "bariatric surgery is the easy way out." This could not be further from the truth. And a belief that surgery is the easy way out, can be such a detriment to maintained success. The choice to have surgery can be a very difficult one, and I am guessing you might have had the experience of feeling misunderstood or questioned about your choice. For some, bariatric surgery can be a "reset" button. A physical intervention that gives way for psychological intervention. A chance to start anew and rebuild your relationship with food; rebuild your relationship to yourself; rebuild your ways of coping.
This is hard work. Both physically and emotionally.
Surgical intervention can only go so far. If you are planning to give yourself a chance for change, don't stop there.
Dreaming and thinking of becoming a new version of ourselves can be a main focus during this process. Maybe even fantasizing about a thinner, healthier, version of ourselves. You might have a sense of exhilaration, relief, hope, and freedom.
We might forget, or not even realize, the adjustments that come with this process. First and foremost, this is a surgery! Which comes with it some discomfort, some pain, some risks, and healing. Throughout these experiences one might even question "why did I do this?"
Another consideration is that your body is altered. The process of eating and drinking will be very different and can come with it discomfort and the need for adjustment.
Think about how size and health impact many aspects of life: what you wear, where you choose to sit, activities you engage in, and so on. These are not negative changes, however, adjustment is not only needed with negative changes, but positives ones too.
What Services I Provide
I provide individual psychotherapy to those thinking about undergoing bariatric surgery, those who have had bariatric surgery, and those considering other non-surgical options to promote wellness. I have experience in working with folks suffering from food addiction, overeating, and body image concerns. My approach to this work is much like my approach to working with anyone. I work to provide a non-judgmental, supportive, and safe environment. I work to help you uncover personal patterns that are causing distress, and aiding you in deeper self-understanding and self-compassion. This is vital to promote the change you wish for.
I provide exposure therapy to those who are anxious about the surgical process and would like help in reducing their anxiety. Exposure therapy involves exposing you to your fears (needles, hospitals, general fear of surgery, or the unknown of the surgical process) in a safe and calming environment. This allows for anxiety reduction and management.
I conduct pre-surgical psychological evaluations for those who are planning to have bariatric surgery. This assessment usually includes a few self-report questionnaires to complete before out appointment, 2 sessions to explore readiness, to answer questions, and to share the results of the assessment.