Bariatric Psychological Services

If you are interested in reducing your weight then surgery is something you may be considering. At Anxiety Stress Center, we assist with initial bariatric evaluations, pre-surgical counseling, and follow-up counseling as needed.

Pre-Surgical Evaluations:
A pre-surgical evaluation will be required by most surgeons and insurance companies before undergoing any bariatric procedure.  Dr. Villanueva’s pre-surgical assessments are not only tailored to fit the requirements of your surgeon or insurance company, but they also provide a comprehensive overview of your strengths and weaknesses going into surgery, an unbiased opinion regarding your ability to overcome possible bumps in the road, and a treatment plan that details follow-up recommendations to increase your chances of reaching your weight-loss and other personal goals. Dr. Villanueva’s philosophy is not to prevent anyone from having surgery but to set a client up for long-term success. Weight loss surgery may be the most effective method for weight reduction available, but it is not foolproof. It has been estimated that 50% of bariatric patients will regain a significant amount of weight back after 24 months post-surgery. Weigh regain often occurs because patients slip back into dealing with longstanding problems and old ways of coping that made them obese in the first place. Dr. Villanueva’s assessments aim to identify psychological factors that may impede success several years following surgery in order for patients to start addressing them.

Our pre-surgical bariatric assessments may comprise of a clinical interview, a series of questionnaires and tasks, and a feedback session to review the report.  Dr. Villanueva’s assessments may take about 4 to 6 weeks to complete. Each assessment is tailored toward the individual needs of the client as well as the surgeon.

Pre and Post- Surgical Counseling:
Counseling before and after surgery can be effective in helping you progress through your weight loss journey. There are a few aspects that counseling can help with including:

1. Better weight loss outcomes. People who participate in weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly appointments to review their progress and goals have better success rates.

2. Change your relationship to food. Surgery alone will not change how you think and feel about food. Counseling can explore underlying factors or disordered eating behaviors that enable an unhealthy relationship with food.  Unlike drugs, alcohol, or other vices, food is needed for our survival and, therefore, cannot be cut out completely.

3. Changes in personal relationships. Relationship difficulties are not uncommon after weight loss. Counseling can help you navigate through the process of change.

4. Staying motivated. Following surgery is the “honeymoon period” where you will be losing a lot of weight quickly and easily. After a while, however, the novelty of surgery will wear off, the weight loss will plateau, and your motivation may ebb. Post-surgical counseling will help you stay accountable to your goals even if you are years after your surgery.

We look forward to helping you successfully navigate your weight loss journey. Please feel free to contact us.