Seeing a Therapist After Weight Loss Surgery
April 12th, 2011 by Aldouspi

Seeing a Therapist After Weight Loss Surgery

Being overweight can cause all sorts of emotional distress. A person who has been overweight for much of their life may experience feelings of depression, anxiety, feelings of not fitting in or being rejected or lonely. People are not obese by choice. Weight loss surgery can help a person lose the weight, but it often takes a psychiatrist or therapist to help a patient deal with their emotions before, while, and after losing weight.

Having weight loss surgery can be a major life-changing event. Not only will a person lose maybe hundreds of pounds, but they must also cope with their changing eating habits and exercise routine. This type of surgery can also affect a person's relationships, social activity and self-esteem or perceptions about themselves. Even after the surgery is complete, it is quite possible that the patient will still be struggling to deal with their body image. Weight loss surgeons almost always recommend that a potential weight loss surgery patient see a psychologist during the entire process of the surgery.

Most surgical patients will first see a therapist several weeks before the surgery. This doctor will meet with the patient for about an hour to discuss feelings of anxiety and provide information and support about the outcome of the surgery. It is also important that during this time, the therapist talks with the patient about the realistic expectations of the surgery. It is important that the patient understand the changes they must make in their own behaviors and attitudes following surgery. The therapies might also want to talk to the patient's spouse or children about their feelings towards the surgery.

About three months following surgery, patients will visit with their therapist again. This is also to see how the patient is coping with the radical life changes caused by the surgery. The therapist may want to discuss the patient's feelings, the feelings of the family, lifestyle changes and reactions to the surgery. Usually this is the last time most patients will see the therapist, but some may want to continue their visits if they feel a need to do so.

Some patients may find that they do not like their new body as they begin to lose weight. This is not uncommon. While most embrace their new, lighter body, some feel insecure about the changes. Some might even feel that part of them is lost. A good weight loss therapist can help these patients deal effectively with these issues as well.

Therapists and psychologists that see weight loss surgery patients are usually specially trained to deal with these issues. Many times, weight loss surgery centers will actually have a therapist on site or will recommend one to the patient. Seeing a therapist during the process ensures that the patient feels good about their changing body and is able to cope with the drastic changes in their life and habits. These therapists see many patients who have undergone weight loss surgery and are there to offer advice, support and counseling.

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