TCA Professional Growth Conference 2013

This year’s TCA Professional Growth Conference is in San Antonio and several of our colleagues are presenting. TCA’s Professional Growth Conference, is the largest annual conference for professional counselors who provide services in private practice settings, at elementary and secondary schools, on college campuses, in criminal justice settings, community mental health centers, hospitals, nursing homes/managed care facilities, and in other settings across Texas.The conference starts on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 and ends on Saturday, November 23, 2013.

We previously asked for presentation information on Facebook and received information from our colleague, Julie Jarzombek. Below is information on Julie’s presentation, Internal Change for External Success: Counseling the obese in their Bariatric process:

Title of Session

Internal Change for External Success: Counseling the obese in their Bariatric process

Preferred Session Format

“1.5 hour Sectional Program”

More than once


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Record Session


Program Summary

Who and what dictates’ our wellness status, disease or body image? Bariatric surgery is an innovative approach to treating obesity, but the question remains; why does it work for some and not others? This presentation will examine disordered eating behaviors among the obese population seeking to lose weight with bariatric surgery. Counseling implications and interventions will be discussed. Exploring excess weight as the external symptom from disconnected internal emotions, thoughts, sensations and energies in clients.


Obesity is at its highest rate ever, resulting in clients presenting physical, psychological and social issues in session. Research suggests people who are obese are more likely to perceive themselves as unattractive, believe others make disparaging comments about their weight, dislike being in public, feel discrimination when applying for jobs, at work, church and doctor offices; all of which leads to negative self beliefs and fear of being in the world. This session will help counselors be aware of the affects obesity has on clients, overall functioning in the world.

Educational Content

In this eye-opening presentation, education and methods of counseling the obese will be discussed as well as experienced. Participants will be educated on bariatric surgery, gain insight related to obese clients and experience exercises meant to be applied with clients. Breathing techniques, energy work and expressive arts provide an avenue for clients to identify and name their issues, chiefly abuse, trauma, and loss; in a secure manner. Techniques covered in this presentation can be easily incorporated into existing counseling models and work easily with most theoretical backgrounds. Particular consideration will be given to the mental and emotional blocks held in the physical body and the importance of relation to the disordered eating behaviors and the client’s self-beliefs and body image. By understanding the emotional and mental blocks held within the body, clinicians are able to engage with clients in much more effective way and have a deeper perceptive of the unspoken issues. Participants will find these techniques are applicable to all clients who struggle with weight and body issues.

Usage of PowerPoint and distributing handouts.

Learning Objective 1

Learn the definition & types of bariatric surgery, risks and benefits.

Learning Objective 2

Learn the pre-op psychological process for clients & why it’s important.

Learning Objective 3

Learn the challenges in counseling the obese in their bariatric process.

Learning Objective 4

How to acknowledge key elements contributing to disordered eating behavior

Learning Objective 5

Learn somatic techniques to promote client awareness- relationship food.

Targeted Audience

All levels

Group Size



Mental Health Counseling

If attending TCA, make sure to check out Julie’s presentation and share your TCA personal growth and experiences with us by commenting on this blog post.

(image found here)