Friday, May 21, 2010

Can counseling augment your weight loss program?

I and many of my client’s have struggled to lose weight. Many of us have lost large amounts of weight several times during the course of our lives only to gain it back. Every time this happens we ask ourselves, “why did you let this happen again?” We experience having feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, guilt, anxiety and really just feel awful about ourselves. We get mad, our moods begin to shift frequently and we lose interest in things we used to enjoy. Then we just relinquish ourselves to the “old patterns of being” which may include binge eating, isolating ourselves, and consumption of different mood altering substances. As these old patterns reemerge into our daily routine, we gain weight more rapidly, and our despair worsens. How can a counselor help with this?

Counselors our trained to spot these problematic patterns and to use specific helping skills to assist client’s in developing new more healthy ways of being. Once the maladaptive patterns are identified, your counselor will guide you, helping you identify and implement new more adaptive ways to cope. Your counselor will collaborate with you to come up with new ways to deal with your cravings and urges to eat. Your counselor may also identify and restructure any problematic thinking patterns that are common among people dealing with weight loss issues. Moreover, your counselor will provide you with encouragement, emotional support, and will help you change the behaviors that are making you gain weight.

In closing, augmenting your weight loss program with psychotherapy/counseling may be what you need to get over that hump and finally win the “battle of the bulge”. Counseling will encourage you to work on all the areas that are contributing to you weight gain. I think this is vital because we often just focus on losing the weight and forget to deal with the factors that contribute to us gaining the weight in the first place.

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