Intensive Outpatient Program
Our program offers support to clients who struggle with weight or food and seek weight loss but understand that diet culture and a diet mentality is not the answer.
Some of our clients choose a surgical path to weight loss while others are not interested in surgery but seek to improve their health, wellness, and quality of life. Regardless of the intervention chosen, the struggle is the same and the treatment is similar. For all clients, the program strives to get to the root of the issues with food and change behaviors to increase the likelihood of long-term positive results.
At the Bariatric Counseling Center, we believe for ultimate success:
- It is necessary to make certain that behaviors, habits, attitudes, relationships, and other aspects of your life are all aligned to support efforts to lead a healthier life.
- Clients need time and supported practice to incorporate necessary tools and skills into their lives. The program and overall experience help clients troubleshoot the logistical and psychological barriers to implementing new habits.
Our Intensive Outpatient Program offers a full range of daily counseling, medical, nutritional, movement, and culinary experiences.
- Every client will meet with our therapists both in group sessions and individually to begin to understand the role food has played in their life and what aspects need to shift to achieve improved quality of life.
- Clients also see our registered dietitians both in a group setting and individually and receive dietary support. Our dietitians will work with surgical patients to create a sustainable plan within the guidelines provided to the patient by their bariatric surgeon. Non-surgical clients will also work with dietitians to create a personalized nutrition plan. As part of the team, our dietitians also function as accountability partners in the journey.
- Psychiatry and nursing services are also offered for clients needing the additional support from medical providers.
- Clients are actively engaged in weekly movement sessions and movement plans are developed with assistance from dietitians. Movement education centers on the beneficial impact of movement on mood, mobility, flexibility, and overall quality of life.
- We have a large teaching kitchen staffed with an Executive Chef who demonstrates cooking healthy meals daily, so these valuable skills can be utilized in everyday life. Our Chef demonstrates daily healthy meals that are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and that the whole family will enjoy. Our Chef and dietitians work together to teach clients how to plan meals so that they can save money, time, and effort while eating food that is both good for them and tastes delicious. Clients leave the program with a collection of healthy recipes (with nutrition information) and many new favorite meals.
- After preparing the meal, clients and staff eat the meal together in a community using a practice of mindfulness. Surgical patients are also supported in learning how to change their eating (slower pace, smaller bites) for a more comfortable eating experience after surgery.
- Special programming such as grocery shopping with a dietitian and lectures by leading community experts are also offered monthly.
- Clients and their loved ones are encouraged to attend programming together on monthly “Family Nights.” Support is crucial to long-term weight loss and programming helps clients learn how to ask for help and helps loved ones learn how to be supportive on this journey.
Sessions are weekdays Noon-3pm and 5:30-8:30pm, as well as Saturdays 10am-1pm.
Clients can schedule to attend any day or time depending on their own scheduling requirements.
All programming is offered both in person, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place, or through our telehealth platform.
We encourage clients to participate in 22-30 sessions, if possible, for the highest likelihood of successful integration of skills learned in the program. We believe that focus and commitment is required to establish new healthier habits; creating change requires consistent practice to form a new approach to life.
The group dynamic and support clients draw from each other is extremely powerful. Many of our clients share a lifelong struggle with their relationship with food, which create a common bond. This bond helps foster and create a spirit of healing by helping clients feel heard, seen, and understood by both staff and their peers. At the conclusion of the program, we want our clients to have a better understanding of food, diet, health, obesity, and ultimately, themselves.
All clients who complete the program are invited to continue the relationships built in the program by attending special alumni events. Alumni therapy groups are also offered for clients who successfully complete the program. We understand the bond formed at the BCC is important and the BCC is dedicated to extending that to our clients beyond the program.
San Antonio is the only city in the US to have such a program and we hope you will consider learning more about it and how life-changing of an experience it truly can be!
We offer a variety of other support services, including pre-surgical psychological assessments and outpatient services. All of these services incorporate aspects of our Intensive Outpatient Programming and support the success of our clients either prior to or following our Intensive Outpatient Program.