Improved psychotherapeutic treatment of obesity – a new book publication

New findings in behavioral medicine are described in the current book “Overweight and Obesity”. These are to support psychotherapists and doctors in treating morbid adiposity and in dealing with obese patients.

The book has been published in July 2015 in the series “Progress of Psychotherapy –manuals for practice”. The authors, Anja Hilbert and Simone Munsch, explicate how behaviors associated with morbid obesity can be better diagnosed and treated.

New therapeutic approaches can help the patient to change his nutrition, exercise and eating behaviors sustainably. The goal is a long-term weight loss. The book especially appeals to psychotherapists, but is also useful for general practitioners. Scientific studies demonstrate the importance of psychotherapeutic measures in the treatment of obesity. In addition to medical and biological factors, there are also psychological and psychosocial circumstances which need be considered in the therapy of adiposity. In many cases the reasons for unhealthy behaviors, such as “emotional eating”, can be found in this area.

Psychotherapeutic support is also important, since patients often suffer psychologically from being rejected and teased by colleagues, or even friends and family. Thus, the psychological strain of obese patients is not only due to physical ailments, but also due to the stigmatization by the environment. Stress due to stigma can negatively affect the success of treatment. Therefore, psychotherapy promotes a constructive handling to these stresses.

Hilbert and Munsch emphasize the importance of psychological care within the obesity treatment. “Recognizing depressive moods, decreased motivation, emotional instability or stress early, and to develop countermeasures are the only way to realize a long-term therapy. Such a long-time program is definitely necessary for a disease like obesity,” says Hilbert, Professor of Behavioral Medicine at the Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposiyDiseases and psychological head of the obesity out-patient clinic of the University Medical Center Leipzig. Prof. Simone Munsch is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Simone Munsch, Anja Hilbert. “Simone Munsch, Anja Hilbert: „Übergewicht und Adipositas“ in der Reihe „Fortschritte der Psychotherapie – Manuale für die Praxis“ (Band 59), Hogrefe-Verlag, 2015, ISBN: 978-3-8017-2566-2