Our skilled therapists have experience with clients who are in the process of pursuing weight loss surgeries. Such decision can be difficult to make, especially after numerous encounters of losing weight without success. We recognize the anxiety and challenges that clients struggle with obesity experience on a daily basis.
We provide bariatric assessments and counseling to those considering bariatric surgery. There are a number of risk factors related to mental health and coping strategies the may interfere with the success of surgery. We make sure we provide appropriate response as well as support to each individual to ensure most effective and successful outcome.
There are three important steps to bariatric assessment.
- The initial appointments which focuses on the initial interview of the client.
- The session consists of our therapist asking the individual considering surgery about their past weigh loss attempts as well as about their future goals and ambitions.
- Assessment Content Includes:
- Developmental History
- Current life situation
- Motivation and expectations
- The testing stage where the individual considering surgery is provided with two to three psychological assessments which can take anywhere from two to three sessions to complete.
- Having completed the initial interview and the assessment stage, our therapist will generate a final report based on the information that was collected. This part of the stage can take up to two weeks depending on the assessments that were used. A follow up appointment is always encouraged to review the report prior to submitting it to the doctor.
When a surgeon assesses patients for bariatric surgery, he/she ascertains their general health, with the idea of identifying those for whom surgery is too risky and those who have conditions that need to be treated, stabilized, or managed for surgery to be worth its risk. Behavioral health specialists can no more “predict” a particular psychological outcome than the physician can “predict” a surgical or medical complication. We can, however, via the pre-operative behavioral health assessment, identify psychosocial risk factors and make recommendations to both the client and surgical group that are aimed at facilitating the best possible outcome for the patient.
Patients are typically faced with initial dietary restrictions, permanent changes in eating and dietary habits, altered body sensations and experiences, shifting body image and self care behaviors, new cognitions and feelings, and an emerging and different lifestyle. In addition, they may realize sometimes unexpected and significant changes in relationships that may result in marked stress. Bariatric surgery is a highly effective procedure that not only reconfigures and/or restricts a patient’s stomach, but significantly affects their psyche as well. Generally patients will need a secure identity, sound psychological resources, resiliency, effective coping strategies, and willingness to access meaningful support from others.
When problematic pre-surgery psychosocial factors are identified, the clinician is able to alert the treatment team and the patient, and make appropriate recommendations. Recommendations may include pharmacological interventions, psycho-education, psychotherapy to address potential post surgery stumbling blocks, nutritional consultation, close aftercare monitoring, and/or bariatric surgery support group attendance.