Psychological and biopsychosocial evaluations prior to bariatric surgery are valuable, yet surprising, part of the process. Frequently clients will ask me, “Does my doctor think I’m crazy?! Why do I need to speak with a therapist?”
I always answer these questions with a resounding NO!
In fact, the purpose of meeting with a clinician for a psychological evaluation is to assess for future road bumps after surgery, such as depression, anxiety, lack of solid support system, and triggers for emotional eating. My viewpoint is from a strengths-based perspective, and work hard maximize the strengths you already possess, and help you to become the healthiest version of yourself, inside and out.
My goal is never to FAIL someone, or exclude them from surgery, but rather get an accurate picture of what your weight loss journey will look like. I often hear, “Once I get the surgery, so much will fall into place.” And that may be true in many aspects. But, it is also important to look at possible behavior patterns which may suggest further treatment and follow-up after surgery to learn how to overcome unavoidable struggles. For instance, a good amount of bariatric surgery candidates I have met with have concerns about future feelings of “food deprivation”, such as not being able to eat their favorite rich, high-calorie foods, or encountering struggles during holidays and family celebrations. Together, we can come up with a plan for how to manage these situations post-surgery.
The evaluation process includes a clinical interview and some psychological testing, such as personality and mood inventories, and food attitude inventories. We will discuss your family medical history, your medical and emotional health history, as well as your reasons and motivation for seeking bariatric surgery. I am also able to answer any questions or concerns regarding the surgery itself, and am able to provide stress management techniques to reduce anxieties and worry prior to surgery. My purpose is to become part of your safety net, before and after surgery, and your ultimate success is my primary goal.
Cost of the evaluation is $250, including the written report sent to both you and the physician.