Bariatric Psychology

1. About us

The Bariatric Surgery Psychology Service is a core part of the Bariatric Surgery multi-disciplinary team. We regularly liaise with the team and your GP around your ongoing care and support. We offer pre-bariatric surgery psychology assessments, along with pre- and post- bariatric surgery support sessions to people under the care of CHFT Bariatric Surgery Service.

Bariatric surgery is an effective tool to aid weight-loss, but it is not a solution by itself. To maintain weight loss, sustainable lifestyle changes need to be maintained. We know this can be tricky for many, especially where turning to food has become a way of coping with challenges. Bariatric surgery and the many changes it entails can be challenging to cope with, especially if you are dealing with other life stressors or mental health problems at the same time. The Bariatric Surgery Psychology Service aims to support you through the pathway safely and at a time where you are most likely to have a positive outcome. If we identify areas that you may struggle with or issues that affect your suitability for surgery, we would like to help you to address these and/or signpost you to other services which can offer appropriate input. The more you are open with us, the better we can support you to have the best outcome.

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2. Meet the team

Dr Heather Langham Principal Clinical Psychologist

Sarah Richards - Secretary

3. What can you expect at your appointment?

Pre-bariatric surgery psychology assessments

These appointments offer a space to reflect on your journey to considering bariatric surgery. We will think about the factors that have contributed to your weight gain and the lifestyle changes and any support that would help you to have a safe outcome from the surgery. You will receive more information before your appointment if this is identified to be needed as part of your bariatric surgery pathway. These appointments usually last up to 90-minutes and we would usually meet at least twice to complete your assessment.

Pre- and post- bariatric surgery support sessions

Within these sessions, we can work together to identify realistic goals related to preparing for and adjusting to bariatric surgery from a psychological perspective. We have capacity to offer you up to six sessions (lasting 50-minutes). The time-limited support available will draw upon different psychological models and strategies to support you to progress towards your goals. We can also think about other services which may be able to support you during the pathway.

Our aim is to support you to be in the best place you can be if you wish to proceed with bariatric surgery and to increase the likelihood that you will gain lasting change from this, through considering other stressors you may be facing and supporting you to make sustainable lifestyle changes. We can also offer support during the adjustment process after surgery and with maintaining change.

4. Where will the service be offered?

In-person appointments are held at Acre Mill Outpatients, Huddersfield. Please note these are held on the second floor (lift available). Parking is available on-site. We also offer video-call appointments.

5. How can you be referred to the service?

A referral may be recommended by a member of the Bariatric Surgery team as you progress through the pathway. You are also welcome to suggest this and to discuss the suitability of a referral at any of your appointments with the team.

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6. Contact Us

Our secretary can be contacted on 01484 355 217 on weekdays between 8:30am-4pm. Please leave a message if you reach the voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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7. Other useful resources

Helpline numbers (available 24/7):

NHS West Yorkshire Mental Health Helpline: 0800 183 0558 

Samaritans Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair. 116 123

Shout (text support service): Text “Shout” to 85258

You may find the following books helpful:

  • Denise Ratcliffe (2008). Living with Bariatric Surgery: Managing your mind and your weight.
  • Joseph Ciarrochi, Russ Harris & Ann Bailey (2015). The Weight Escape: Stop fad dieting, start losing weight and reshape your life using cutting-edge psychology.
  • Kenneth Goss (2011). The Compassionate Mind Approach to Beating Overeating

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