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I've heard/read a lot of people say that "you have to get your head right" if you want to succeed in WLS. I'm not really into counseling; I guess I just don't believe in trying to change my thoughts and I find the idea of therapy kind of... contrived? (I really don't mean to offend people who do find counseling helpful; if it helps you, awesome! I'm just skeptical that it would do me any good.) I also had a bad experience in the past with being forced into counseling with an unethical therapist, which soured my view of counseling.

I really want to succeed at WLS, though, so I'm willing to give counseling a shot if there's a chance it could help. I never thought I'd willingly eat mashed cauliflower, either, but I've opened my mind to things I wouldn't have tried before surgery. Plus, I've reached my out-of-pocket maximum on my health insurance, so any counseling I get before the end of the year would be fully paid by my insurance.
So, does anyone who has gotten counseling specifically related to WLS have any advice, or can you share how it has helped you? What should I look for in a therapist? I've done a cursory search of nearby therapists in my insurance network, and I haven't seen any of them specifically mention things like WLS, food issues, or eating disorders. I don't think I have an eating disorder (like binge eating disorder) and I don't think I am really an "emotional eater," but I do think I have some food issues and some baggage relating to eating and weight that have contributed to my weight gain. Would someone who deals with "mood disorders" cover that, or should I look for someone with specific expertise in eating disorders or WLS patients?

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Before my surgery, I had to get an exam done by a bariatric counselor. They talked to me about how I felt about giving things up, or how I plan to succeed. I am a mental health professional so I told them what I knew they wanted to hear bc I wanted the surgery (I know.. I know.)

But after surgery, I felt like there was some unresolved issues with food, much like yourself, and so I'm doing the process to go back to the counseling center. Honestly, looking for eating disorder counselors might be a good first step for you.. because overeating is a disorder.. I imagine most people think "eating disorder" and imagine anorexia or bulimia. Which isn't 100% the case. Mood disorders is something completely different.

When you talk to a therapist, you get to interview them first. You have to make sure that THEY are a good fit for YOU. Even if it's just to go 1x a month, I bet it'll be helpful. If you don't feel comfortable with them, then ask for a change. You can request a specific gender if you'd like. Look at their credentials and see how long they've been in practice. healthgrades.com is also a good place to get some reviews. Making a call will also help you establish how they'll treat you. Trust your gut with it. I know you've had a bad experience in the past, but that doesn't mean that all experiences will be bad. I had a horrible exp in college with a therapist and swore I'd never go back. Now I've been in therapy for 3 years now and it's changed my life.

Good luck!

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I agree with what chunkarella said. I'm also a mental health professional and it's the relationship between the two of you that helps you change. You must trust them and be able to tell them anything you want without fear. Keep looking until you find the one that makes you feel comfortable.

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