Psychological Evaluation and Therapy

Psychological Evaluation

Most persons who decide to have weight loss surgery will need a psychological evaluation prior to the procedure. Most insurance companies require a psychological evaluation as part of the criteria that must be met in order to be approved for bariatric surgery. A pre-operative psychological evaluation or psychological screening is also required by many bariatric surgeons. Dr. Golden has performed over 3,000 pre-operative psychological evaluations for persons pursuing weight loss surgery in the Dallas area Metroplex!

Why is a psychological evaluation often required before surgery?

A good result after weight loss surgery depends, in large part, on the patient's ability to follow post-operative recommendations and implement lifestyle changes appropriately. Certain types of mental and emotional disorders can negatively impact your ability to take care of yourself. If you have a serious mental illness, it is important that you are receiving adequate treatment and are stable prior to surgery. It is important to assess, before surgery, that you fully understand the implications of having weight loss surgery and are able to provide informed consent. The vast majority of patients that Dr. Golden evaluates are ready to have surgery. Those who may need treatment or other services prior to proceeding with surgery will be given clear recommendations and referrals, as appropriate. Note that a great number of obese individuals may suffer from depression, anxiety, binge eating, and other problems. In most cases, these are NOT reasons to delay or deny surgery.

What does a psychological evaluation invovle?

A psychological evaluation with Dr. Golden involves a face-to-face interview, paper and pencil questionnaires and psychological inventories. The evaluation is an exchange of information about your eating habits, health, psychological and social history, current attitudes, expectations for surgery, and postoperative plans. Dr. Golden will provide information about coping with challenges you may have and will address your questions or concerns.

Will I know the outcome of the evaluation?

Many patients want to know immediately if they "passed" the evaluation. Please realize that a psychological evaluation is not a pass/fail test. It is an opportunity for you to better understand your behavioral patterns, personality traits, and emotional functioning. That said, you will be informed about your assessment results and recommendations regarding surgery. Dr. Golden sees her role as a patient advocate and educator to help you achieve your weight loss and health goals. She has helped thousands of people gain access to life-saving surgery and can help you, too.

Psychological Therapy and Behavior Modification

Psychologists help people address issues about themselves or their behavior that they would like to better understand or change. Many individuals choose to work with a psychologist following bariatric surgery. As you know, having weight loss surgery is a life-changing experience. Any change, even change for the better, can be stressful. While the majority of patients who undergo weight loss surgery find it to be a positive experience that improves their quality of life, some struggle with the adjustment. A few experience post-operative depression, anxiety, sadness, and anger. Many others do well initially, only to return to familiar old habits, like eating for comfort and pleasure, a year or two later. Lapsing back into old habits usually results in some weight re-gain. Psychological therapy can help. Therapy can help you understand why you are behaving as you do and, perhaps more importantly, overcome dysfunctional patterns and reduce emotional distress. A study conducted by Consumer Reports found that 90% of psychotherapy participants reported improvement. In otherwords, therapy helps! You are not alone in your weight loss journey. Consider psychological therpay and behavior modification sessions to maximize your success.

Contact our Dallas area office if you have any questions or would like to schedule and appointment. 

Lori Golden, Ph.D. LLC
10300 North Central Expressway
Suite 324
Dallas, TX 75231
tel: 214.228.0796 fax: 214.252.9485