Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Jay Greiner


AbstractStudies have shown that bariatric surgery can assist obese individuals to both lose a significant amount of weight rapidly and improve or resolve health comorbidities associated with obesity. This weight loss, however, can be considerably less for the obese Black woman. While reasons for this difference appears multifactorial entailing dietary, genetics, and environmental factors, limited research concerning the lived experiences of obese or formerly obese Black women with weight loss and post bariatric counseling have been conducted. The primary objective of this interpretative phenomenological study was to increase the understanding of the lived experiences of obese or formerly obese Black women with weight loss and counseling following bariatric surgery. This involved conducting semi structured interviews on Zoom with 12 formerly obese Black female patients that had received bariatric surgery and completed at least one session of postoperative counseling. Using the biopsychosocial-cultural and health belief models, 12 themes and one subtheme emerged. The primary key findings from the 12 themes emphasized the need to provide more racial/diverse counselors to these individuals to overcome the hesitancy experienced by many Black women in seeking mental health counselors. The struggles Black women may experience following surgery such as social occasions involving food in addition to the negative feedback received from friends and family can result in increased reluctance to seek out counseling. Findings from this study may be used by counselors for positive social change to meet the needs of all their clients.

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