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Psychological Evaluations for Bariatric Surgery

If you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, you are probably aware that there is a requirement to get a psychological evaluation done before getting the operation. Let’s demystify this process for you a little bit. What’s it all about? How does it work? How much does it cost?

Why is a Psychological Evaluation for Bariatric Surgery Needed?

Bariatric surgery represents a tremendous advance in medical science that has allowed many people with obesity problems to drop significant amounts of weight and greatly improvGet a psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery.e their lives. However, it is still not the magic bullet that some people wish it was. You can’t eat food that is too unhealthy, too much, too often, then get bariatric surgery to drop the weight and continue about your usual habits.

Rather, the surgery is just the most drastic intervention among a host of lifestyle changes that needs to take place. And here’s where the psychological evaluation comes in: doctors wants to ensure that you are aware of this, that you understand the ramifications of undertaking these changes, and that you are prepared to accept and maintain them.

What Questions Will I be Asked?

The changes you’ll need to make include a potentially radical modification of your diet, exercise habits, drug usage (including prescription medications, tobacco, and alcohol, and more. Making sure you have a realistic understanding of these changes is critical to the success of the operation in the long term.

Bariatric surgery: dietary changes.The specifics of these changes will be covered extensively by your doctor; we won’t be teaching you about these requirements, but we will be assessing your ability to comply with them. Some red flags we will inquire about include the use food as a coping mechanism; addictions; minimization of the changes needed; and others.

Other questions we will ask you in the psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery revolve around your general mental health and your life situation. For example, if you suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder, that may have a significant impact on your ability to follow through with your postoperative requirements. Similarly, if you are experiencing a major life stressor – a recent divorce or death of a family member – this too might affect your mental stability for a time, and it may be important to consider this as a factor in the timing of your decision to move forward. Your home and work environments and the state of your relationships with be important subjects for us to explore as well.  (See https://asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery to read more about these issues.)

What’s the Process for Getting a Psychological Evaluation?

Fortunately, this part is pretty straightforward. You can give us a call or text at 443-598-2821 and let us know you need to set up an evaluation. That’s all it takes! We frequently are able to get patients in the same or next day. The evaluation lasts about 30 minutes (plus or minus, depending on what we hear over the course of the interview) and costs $50. (We do not take insurance for this procedure.)

If we believe you are psychologically ready to go ahead with the surgery, within 1-2 days we will provide you with a formal written report clearing you to move forward. If we have any concerns about your readiness we will discuss these with you before preparing a report. Sometimes we recommend ongoing counseling to help a person manage the stresses that come with this lifestyle change. Rarely, we will recommend against doing the surgery if any major red flags have been raised. All of this will be discussed between you and your counselor; we do not go over your head to your doctor without your knowledge.

If you have any further questions about getting a psychological evaluation for bariatric counseling, or wish to set up an appointment, please contact us today!

info@baltimoretherapycenter.com
443-598-BTC1 (2821)

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Our Testimonials

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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi made me enjoy going to therapy. I have learned to talk through issues that seemed impossible and I feel so much better about the communication in my relationship now.

Tyson V.
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My boyfriend and I see Raffi and it was the best decision we ever made. It is hard to gather the right words to describe him and how much he has helped us and our relationship.

Summer H.
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Caitlin is so special. She is an excellent listener and offers valuable and practical advice for improving life circumstances. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to grow and improve their life situation. Thank you!

Devorah Mattes
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Raffi, was professional, insightful, and helped us.

Harry S.
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Raffi is a wonderful therapist. He’s understanding, warm, and thoughtful. He does not shy away from difficult or sensitive topics. I highly recommend his practice.

Kim Wise
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I am so thankful to have found Raffi. I feel so comfortable and confident when speaking with him. From small issues to major life decisions I have benefitted from his warmth and genuine care. I can assure you that Raffi will be an invaluable asset to your life.

Danielle Kippur
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Caitlin has been a mentor and guiding force for me over the past 10 years. She has spent countless hours listening and sharing her wisdom with me. Despite her very busy schedule, Caitlin has always made herself available to help when needed. Somehow, no matter what else she has going on in her day, when we are speaking I feel like I am her sole focus and priority. Caitlin is a very genuine, very caring person, and has a tremendous amount to offer her clients.

Naomi S.
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Raffi Bilek is a phenomenal resource. He actively listens before he speaks, and provides meaningful feedback and direction that clearly reflects my unique situation. His comments are wise, productive, and well thought-out. His humor also helps me feel comfortable and makes him relatable – sometimes it is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. I am indebted to him for his active listening and articulate, wise, and compassionate guidance. Thank you!

Jeremy R.
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I cannot speak highly enough of Raffi. In just a couple of sessions, Raffi has already began to successfully impact our marriage. Both my wife and I continue to be impressed with him and our progress each week.

Mark M.
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Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance, especially tonight. Both my wife and I were impressed and grateful for your willingness to work with us despite running a significant amount of time over. You are genuine in your demeanor and sincere with your advice. You are patient with us and seem to balance when to listen versus when to overrule us perfectly. Our confidence in you has grown to new heights and the value you offer is truly evident in our everyday lives.

John S.
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi is so easy to talk to. He makes you see things clearly. I’ve only known him a short time and almost immediately i was able to change things that were bothering me. He keeps conversations light and sometimes funny.  He’s a great guy and I recommend him to EVERYONE!

JMP
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I’ve worked with Raffi for six years, and from the beginning, he’s been VERY understanding of my unique situation and has been unbelievable helpful in guiding me to where I’ve gotten to, going above and beyond any expectations I had. I honestly can’t thank him enough in this small text box for what he’s done for me, but I’ll try – thank you, Raffi Bilek!

YO
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Just wanted to drop you a quick to once again thank you for all your help. I honestly felt Tim and I wouldn’t be able resolve our difficulties. But you offered us a safe space to work on becoming more honest, direct and ultimately heard and valued . . . in such a short time, you worked wonders! One or both of us may return in the future but please know we’re both indebted to you. We’re back to cherishing our time with one another and back to looking forward to a long life as husband and wife.
You have rightfully earned the title, “Number 1 Therapist in Baltimore“!

Lisa

P.S. – Do you recall we were trying to plan a vacation and Tim wondered if we could handle it without an argument? We leave for Greece next week and haven’t had one “ugly moment” since we last left your office. 🙂

Lisa & Tim
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Raffi was extremely helpful with the problems I brought to him. He helped me see things clearly and work through my problems. I felt like he really got what I was saying and where l was coming from. I even felt comfortable telling him things I had never told anyone before. He was completely nonjudgmental, which was very important for me. He helped me think about a number of different problems I brought up. but he also referred me to other specialists for problems he didn’t feel comfortable addressing. Overall, I was very grateful for all the help he provided me and I can’t believe how many problems he helped me solve – even ones that l have been dealing with for years!

Dan
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Raffi was very welcoming and easy to talk to. My boyfriend and I saw him for several months and found that he was able to relate to each of us and help us to work together and find solutions that we otherwise would not have thought about trying. He was generally able to meet at the times that were best for us and was available evenings which was great to accommodate our busy work schedules. I would definitly reccommend him to any of my friends or family and will likely see him in the future should I encounter any problems that I may need help resolving in my personal life.

Rachel
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Raffi is a great person to help you get through your challenges in life. He is attentive , listens, and genuinely cares about his patients. Since I have been going to see him I have become less stressed and am able to control my emotions a bit more than before. I continue to see him and hope to eventually be able to tackle these problems on my own one day. Until than I urge anyone having any issues to contact him and let him lend you a helping ear. Thanks Again Raffi.

COA
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I’ve known the people behind the Baltimore Therapy Center for over six years. I’ve found them to be kind, honest, and truly cared about what’s best for me. I’d come in just to visit if I lived nearby.

Yakov Okshtein
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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
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Working with Caitlin for several sessions over the years, I find she is able to validate the areas of my life (my marriage, time management, pregnancy anxiety, child rearing, interpersonal relationships, work/home balance) I wished to improve in my life, offering practical guidance and encouragement that I believed I could excel. I’ve had mostly one-on-one sessions and I have attended workshops on time management and another on strengthening my marriage. Caitlin is very professional–I found her organized, attentive and thorough. She made herself available when I had to reschedule sessions and she would follow up with me on her own time if she knew I was going through a challenging experience. She is one of the most top-quality people I have ever met. I enjoy her personality–she’s to the point yet incorporates much humor. I worked with her mainly when she lived in New Jersey but have reached out to her on occasion now that she is in Maryland because I consider her refreshingly insightful and positive. I would highly recommend working with her.

Amanda Rosner
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I met Caitlin about a year and a half ago. I moved into her community when I was newly married. I automatically felt comfortable with her. She has a warm disposition and so friendly. She really made an effort to get to know me. She periodically arranged “ladies night out” for moms and young wives to get to know each other and to have a break from their busy lives and just relax, socialize, and have fun. Caitlin was always eager to share information with me to help me in whatever I needed from yoga, to child rearing, to how to be a better wife and mom. Caitlin shared crucial information in a 2 part series workshop as to how to be a great mom and wife! I always admired her as being such a great multi-tasker juggling work, family life, social life, as well as making time for herself. Catlin is a devoted wife, mom, and friend. She is a growthful person always learning new ways to better herself.

Chavi Shpilsky
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Raffi is insightful, intuitive, experienced, and has a sense of humor. I have full faith that anyone who enters into therapy with him will gain a deeper understanding of themselves; his goal is to give you the tools that you need so that you can independently be responsible for changing your life to be better and more fulfilling. When I needed to include a therapist in my Masters thesis, without hesitation I called Raffi and asked him to help out. I would recommend Raffi to a friend or relative without qualm. Also, I have attended some of his workshops, and found them interesting, insightful, and entertaining. I heartily recommend these as well.

Channah C.
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I will always be grateful to Raffi for helping me through a very challenging time in my life. Within a few minutes of our first meeting, I was comfortable talking to him. He’s a superb listener. As we continued to meet over the next several months, I continued to grow from our interactions and generally just feel better and more confident. I would highly recommend Raffi to anyone.

Andrew K. Stein