The Bariatric Counseling Center of San Antonio
A Sustainable ApproachTo Weight Loss

Our program offers support to both the surgical and the non-surgical client. Choosing whether or not to have surgery is a personal choice. We serve to get to the root of the issues with food and change it. For ultimate success, it’s necessary to make certain that your behaviors, habits, attitudes, family and other aspects of your life are all aligned in support of your efforts to lead a healthier life. We will give you the necessary tools to achieve that success.

The Bariatric Counseling Center offers a full range of nutritional, clinical, therapy and psychological counseling services. Our comprehensive program typically lasts 30 visits. Sessions are weekdays from 11am–2pm, 4pm–7:30pm or 5:30-8:30, and on Saturdays. They cover everything from nutrition and cooking to life coaching, family counseling, and relapse prevention.

Each night, dinner is prepared by our Executive Chef to show you how you can accommodate and embrace healthier substitutions, while still enjoying a satisfying, nutritious meal. During our day sessions, each week clients order takeout to learn and gain a sense of empowerment pertaining to ordering from a menu. The support clients draw from each other is also extremely powerful. They share a common struggle, and their bond and mutual understanding help foster a spirit of healing.

At the end of our program, you’ll have a better understanding of food, diet, health, obesity and ultimately yourself.

Call 210.634.2200 for a free assessment and insurance benefit review. Let us support you and your journey!

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  • Telehealth

    Teletherapy, also known as distance counseling or electronic therapy, allows our therapist to reach clients in all locations using video and audio conferencing. Teletherapy gives you the opportunity to access care and support like those attending our program in San Antonio.

    If you have ever used Skype or FaceTime on your phone then you will find our HIPAA complaint, securely encrypted software is very similar. Not only can our clients receive all their documentation electronically, but they also have full access to their therapist via secure text messaging for communicating between sessions and for group sessions!

    The benefits of using Bariatric Counseling Center Teletherapy include:

    Less expensive than traditional therapy

    Convenient access to appointments without
    commuting to and from the office

    Eliminates loss of work time with flexible scheduling

    Ease of enrolling and scheduling appointments

    Privacy from the safety and comfort of your own
    home, office or other confidential location

    Clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of distance therapy shows no difference between in-person and online therapy. In addition, studies have shown positive outcomes, high patient satisfaction and moderate to high clinical satisfaction using video services. Bariatric Counseling Center has adapted the intensive outpatient program to ensure all clients receive the same quality care, education, and therapeutic services.

    Kathryn Chacra, LCSW, the primary therapist for our Telehealth service is a native San Antonian who has been using teletherapy in multiple forms since 2005. She earned her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in New York City with an emphasis on using teletherapy in health and mental health settings. Currently, Kathryn is earning her Board Certified Telemental Health Provider certification to better ensure the safety, security, and quality of care for all clients. Kathryn enjoys helping clients from the convenience of their home learn how to set and reach their goals while helping them learn the psychotherapeutic techniques to alleviate barriers to their success. Using an approach based on clients’ strengths, Kathryn can help clients look past food and grow in all areas for improving their quality of life.

    Allow Bariatric Counseling Center Teletherapy to help you achieve your goals without being constrained by time, expense or availability.

    “Thank you Kathryn for all of your insights and assistance. I really appreciate your professionalism.” ~GF

  • Non-Surgical Weight Loss

    We fully understand that surgical weight loss isn’t for everyone. For those who prefer a non-surgical approach, our counseling services are equally valuable, if not more so. Our nutrition and therapeutic counseling will give you a foundation for success, while group sessions, one-on-one therapy, family counseling, and a more aggressive focus on exercise, movement and relapse prevention will give you an added edge in achieving your goals. Clients can attend the day program 11am–2pm or the evening program from 4pm–7:30pm or 5:30pm-8:30 pm.

    Each night, a dinner is prepared that shows you how you can accommodate and embrace healthier substitutions, while still enjoying a satisfying, nurturing meal. During our day sessions, each week clients order takeout to learn and gain a sense of empowerment pertaining to ordering from a menu. The support clients draw from each other is also extremely powerful. They share a common struggle, and their bond and mutual understanding help foster a spirit of healing.

  • Pre-Surgery Preparation and Weight Loss

    Weight loss surgery patients are routinely encouraged to lose weight before their actual surgery. The goal of this exercise is to prepare the internal organs for surgery, and the most common medical objective is to reduce the size of the patient’s liver. This allows your surgical team to work more efficiently and also helps prevent complications.

    Typically, patients are asked to follow a strict diet during the two weeks leading up to surgery. It is our belief that this step is vital to patient safety. As a result, we host a two-week session designed not only to prepare patients for surgery, but also to introduce them to the educational, peer support, clinical, and culinary services they will be able to draw upon after surgery. The support and knowledge gained by participating in the program prior to surgery lay a solid foundation for success.

  • Peer Support

    Both before and after weight loss surgery, we believe there is great benefit to participating in a group of one’s peers. After the surgery is complete, we can help with a myriad of issues from side effect management to meal planning to relationship counseling. Life after surgery will be different. Learning how to shop for and prepare healthful meals at home, beginning an exercise routine, and dining out after surgery are all new experiences that will bring their own challenges. We believe in the power of the group to help navigate these waters. Why go through this process alone when there are so many folks in the same boat? Studies have shown that weight loss surgery patients achieve far greater success and have higher levels of satisfaction when they engage in educational and support groups.

  • Post-surgery side effect monitoring

    With any surgery, there are side effects associated with healing. With weight loss surgery, some of these side effects are permanent. Learning to live with a smaller stomach and a truncated digestive system is a process. Our staff knows the side effects and how to manage them effectively. We will help support you after surgery.

  • Life Coaching

    Have you considered what your life will be like after a substantial loss of weight? This question will be something you think about frequently once the pounds start coming off. Weight loss can change the dynamics in fundamental areas of life like work, family relationships, friendships, hobbies, and fitness. What would you like your life to hold for you in one year, or three years, or even a decade? We’re here to help you explore the possibilities, formulate a life plan, and, ultimately, become the person you want to be.

  • Family and Relationship Counseling and Family Night

    Cooking and eating are a part of every family’s daily life — one that will change substantially as you begin to lose weight. When your stomach is smaller and you cannot eat as much, how will you handle family meals? If your relationship with your spouse or partner is based on food, drink, or dining out, how will you adapt in future years? You have elected to make a significant change in your life and your physical well-being. How will this impact your closest friends and family members? We’ll help you find ways to succeed in your weight loss while preserving — and even enhancing — the relationships that matter most in your life. Each month family members are invited to participate in the program. Our goal is to help them understand how best to support you.

  • Nutrition Education

    Having an altered digestive system means that you’ll need to monitor your food intake carefully. We’ll help you understand which foods to avoid and which to embrace on your journey towards better health. Our registered dietitian teaches on a variety of subjects, including meal creation and smart substitutions of unhealthy ingredients. We’ll show you how to plan, shop for, and prepare tasty and nutritious meals. You’ll also learn which foods can lead to poor digestion or post-surgery complications. Each day our Executive Chef assists you in preparing a delicious and healthy meal in line with your weight loss goals. Every meal is consumed with a mindful practice taught at the center to increase awareness which helps with hunger, fullness and overall enjoyment of the meal.

  • Pre- and Post-surgery meal preparation and recipes

    From clear liquid diets to soups and protein shakes, to soft foods, and on to regular textures, we’ll guide and support you through the surgery preparation and recovery. Strict adherence to these diet stages is essential to avoiding complications and achieving success. Our registered dietitian will share with you a wide range of recipes and cooking tips to equip you for the later stages of your recovery and your lasting wellness plan. These sessions are taught in our kitchen, so you get hands-on experience preparing a variety of meals. The support and knowledge gained from participating in the program lay a solid foundation for success.

  • Alcoholism Awareness

    Recent studies indicate that those who undergo weight loss surgery are more prone to developing alcohol use disorder. This is particularly true among gastric bypass patients. The current belief is that the revised digestive tract causes alcohol to be absorbed in the small intestine more quickly, so the alcohol is not metabolized in the normal manner. Our licensed professional counselors are experienced in identifying and addressing the signs associated with alcohol and substance abuse disorders. Participation in the program allows clients to focus on understanding and changing underlying issues with food to avoid symptom substituting. Our goal is to use our knowledge to help you avoid these missteps in your journey to long term wellness.

  • Movement Classes

    Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration of the individual. Our counselors teach what we call “joyful movement,” which incorporates elements of eastern and western dance, Zumba, yoga and tai chi to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

  • Art Therapy

    Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy designed to encourage self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling with clay. Our instructors may use these activities as an aid to diagnosing various mental health or social issues including anxiety, depression, or excessive stress. Studies have shown that the creative process involved in expressing one’s inner artist can improve self-esteem and provide greater self-understanding.

  • Beginning Fitness Counseling

    At The Bariatric Counseling Center, we go beyond weight loss. We strive to help clients attain personal satisfaction in their daily lives. We believe a basic fitness regimen is essential to both physical health and emotional well-being. Starting slowly at first, our professional staff members know how to work with you to plan, implement, and maintain the physical fitness regimen that’s right for you, that is enjoyable therefore sustainable.

  • Mental Health Counseling

    After losing weight, it’s not unusual for patients to feel as if something is missing from their lives. For many, food may have been a key source of enjoyment or an integral part of social interaction. Food not only nourishes our body but also is a source of comfort and celebration in daily life. It is not always an easy transition; studies show that depression is more common among those recovering from weight loss surgery than among the general population.

    Our counselors often help patients with difficult life events, such as the death of a loved one or divorce. Other times, we work with more serious mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or acute depression. Our team of psychiatrists and licensed clinical social workers are trained and prepared to deal with whatever psychological issues may arise after your weight loss surgery. Our goal is to keep you safe and on the road to better health.

See what our patients say about our program

“I learned so much… I left feeling better about myself and have continued at home what I learned there.” - BS

“The ability to have applicable tools while moving forward from bariatric surgery was invaluable. The mental shift required to change my habits with food was much tougher than I imagined. That made BCC a must with my future success!” - RE

“The program offered at the BCC assisted me in many ways with my weight loss journey. The most important thing I learned was how to be accountable to myself and choose a healthy life style. By the end of the program I wanted to eat mindfully and make movement an everyday part of my life.” - SE

“I am so grateful for the entire experience… thank you for being there and offering what amounts to freedom from my addiction to food and destructive eating.” - LS

See Where Wellness Happens

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The BCC program has helped me really work at addressing the underlying reasons for overeating. The program helped me with mindfulness, self-esteem, and handling life in a more positive and resilient manner. I highly recommend this program. ~M.C.
The Program is extremely helpful for long term success. I would highly recommend it to anyone having weight loss surgery. ~F.C.
The ability to have applicable tools while moving forward from Bariatric surgery was invaluable. Discovering that the mental shift required to change my habits with food was much tougher than I imagined, made BCC a must with my future success! ~R.E.
I was truly inspired and healed considerably during my time with your program. It is the best program I have ever experienced in my life. I would definitely recommend this program and I would like to thank all of your great staff for their knowledge, patience and giving from their hearts to everyone. ~A.A.