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Psychology of eating

During your treatment pathway you may be referred to a Clinical Psychologist for an assessment with the obesity specialists. This service is available for adults who may have difficulties with, or adjusting/ recovering from physical health conditions such as weight management.

Psychological complications in physical illness do not mean that a patient is mentally ill. Our patients are sometimes experiencing a physical, mental or emotional type of distress such as:

  • Difficulty losing and/ or maintaining weight
  • Eating disorders for example binge eating, bulimia or emotional eating
  • Body image issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Bereavement

Using a wide range of therapeutic techniques, combined with extensive clinical experience, the team will try to explore all areas of a patient’s life. This will give the team a clear picture of the things that affect you and how this manifests itself in eating habits. All of our psychologists are trained professionals and have studied this subject for many years.

Our work aims to enable patients to help themselves improve their quality of life and coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult situations. Most importantly we will provide you with a space where you can talk about your concerns or worries in full confidence. Whatever is discussed in the session is completely confidential. The only time that confidentiality would be breached is if there is concern for your safety or the safety of others.

The psychologists are not medical doctors or psychiatrists and will not prescribe medication. The emphasis of the assessment is on the well-being of our patients. We want to ensure that not only the physical elements of illness are addressed but also the behaviours, emotions and personal circumstances that could affect the success of weight loss. The session will take up to 1 hour and during this time you will work with your psychologist and identify future goals. During this time if further therapy is indicated, the psychologist may make recommendations or direct you to another psychology provider in your local area.

If, before attending your first appointment, you have any concerns about your psychological well being we recommend that you visit your GP for further advice and guidance. If your feel that the situation is an emergency and you need urgent advice then you should visit your local A&E department.