Obese Patients Often Benefit from Psychotherapy

By Mulcahy, Nicholas | Clinical Psychiatry News, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Obese Patients Often Benefit from Psychotherapy


Mulcahy, Nicholas, Clinical Psychiatry News


NASHVILLE, TENN. -- Psychotherapy is the key component of a successful weight-loss program for many obese patients, Gwendolyn Pla, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition.

Behavior modification is a widely used tool in weight-loss programs, but "using a smaller plate or chewing food thoroughly ... is like putting a Band-Aid on a large wound for obese patients with substantial emotional and psychological problems related to being overweight," according to Dr. Pla of the department of nutritional sciences at Howard University, Washington. "These patients need psychological counseling."

Most obese patients don't respond well to the initial strategy of providing information about diet, exercise, and eating behavior.

"Very few obese patients--even those with serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease--can take this information and fly with it," said Dr. Pla, who also has training in psychological social work.

"Many obese patients are deeply conflicted about their desire and need to lose weight."

Dr. Pla recommends "meeting obese patients where they are" to begin a process of healing and dietary change.

"Discuss and validate a patient's feelings and experiences as a way of getting to a place of change," she advised.

Reaching out this way sends a different message from dictating a new diet and lifestyle.

"If you say, 'Let's do the Atkins or South Beach diet,' then you are not likely relaying the message that you appreciate a patient's current circumstances," she said.

"Obese patients need to know that you care about them and will work with them to get through the process of losing weight."

Overeating and being overweight can serve a variety of psychological functions, Dr. Pla said. These functions include:

Self-Worth and Satisfaction

She cited the example of a morbidly obese female patient in her early 40s with diabetes and a limited social life who was referred for nutritional counseling.

Dr. Pla instructed the patient to, among other things, eat less butter and fried foods.

But the patient replied, "that's what I like. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Obese Patients Often Benefit from Psychotherapy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.