Obesity Treatment & Healthy Eating

Obesity is an epidemic-level problem that can have a devastating personal impact. Excessive weight can take a significant toll on an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Individuals whose weight places them in the clinically obese category (in most cases, having a body mass index above 29.9) are at increased risk for hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancers, and a host of additional physical problems. At the same time, obese people often find themselves dealing with depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of personal inadequacy while also having to endure ridicule, rejection, and other forms of social stigma. To no one’s surprise, the combined effect of these internal issues and external challenges can range from debilitating to deadly.

At its simplest, excessive weight gain is a matter of diet and exercise. When the amount and quality of food a person eats isn’t offset by an appropriate amount of activity, the body stores the excess energy as fat. However, at Structure House, we understand that the true underlying causes of obesity are usually much more complex than this simple equation suggests.

Genetics, environment, and a host of other influences can increase the likelihood that a person will struggle to control his or her weight. People with a family history of obesity are at increased risk for becoming obese themselves, as are those who struggle with binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, and other behavioral health issues. In other cases, depression and trauma can also lead to weight problems. In these situations, overcoming obesity is dependent upon developing comprehensive solutions that address all underlying influences and co-occurring conditions.

At Structure House, that’s exactly what we’re committed to doing.

At our center in Durham, NC, we offer comprehensive residential and outpatient treatment services that incorporate an array of nutritional, educational, and therapeutic opportunities that have proved to be highly effective in helping obese and overweight patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment Show More Show Less

If someone you care about is struggling with a significant weight problem, you know what a challenge life can be for him or her. What you may not realize, though, is that there are a number of actions that you can take to help them both today and long into the future. The following are some of the ways that you can support your loved one’s efforts before, during, and after he or she gets professional assistance for their weight-related problems:

  • Educate yourself about obesity. The more you learn and understand, the better prepared you will be to be a source of advice, comfort, and support. (Of course, if you’re reading this, you’ve already begun the education process – so, congratulations!)
  • Learn about the many options that are available to help people who are dealing with significant weight issues. Services for overweight and obese people span a spectrum from occasional support groups to long-term residential care. By familiarizing yourself with the many opportunities that are available, you put yourself in the best position to help your loved one select the resource that is best suited to his or her needs and goals.
  • Be there (both literally and metaphorically). Remain a strong supportive presence in your loved one’s life. This may take the form of accompanying him or her to appointments or visits to evaluate programs. It might involve being an empathetic ear on the other end of a phone call. As your loved one works to bridge the gap between today’s struggles and a more promising tomorrow, be a consistent source of encouragement, assistance, and support.

Why Consider Treatment at Structure House Show More Show Less

As mentioned earlier on this page, the two primary reasons to consider obesity treatment at Structure House is that we understand what obese individuals are experiencing, and we are prepared to provide comprehensive treatment that addresses the full spectrum of issues that have contributed to or been impacted by their struggles with weight.

Simply put, we understand that, in order to provide true lasting benefits, weight loss treatment must be about much more than diet and exercise. At Structure House, our treatment philosophy is based on the knowledge that effective weight loss treatment has to be a holistic experience that is focused on changing paricipants’ relationship with food and making the other necessary lifestyle modifications that will support lifelong success.

When participants choose Structure House, they can do so with complete confidence that they are joining a compassionate healing community that is dedicated to helping them to live healthier and happier lives.

If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Types of Treatment Offered at Structure House Show More Show Less

At Structure House, we are fully committed to providing our participants with the treatment they need not only to lose weight, but to change their overall lifestyle for the better. We remain steadfast in filling our treatment center with exemplary, compassionate, and highly-credentialed staff members who make the well-being of all program participants our top priority. When individuals arrive at Structure House in need of treatment to overcome obesity, the members of our multidisciplinary treatment teams will do everything in their power to ensure not only that those symptoms are treated, but also that the necessary tools are developed to maintain recovery long after the patient has left Structure House.

The continuum of evidence-based treatment delivered by the staff at Structure House is behaviorally based. This means that, rather than providing solely medical interventions in order to lose weight and achieve desired health goals, we offer participants scientifically-based behavioral interventions. These interventions are designed to educate participants, improve adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors, reduce barriers to change, and address any underlying psychosocial or psychological concerns that may be interfering with one’s ability to overcome obesity.

The four-week, new participant program at Structure House offers a variety of services that ensure that those individuals who engage in this program will meet their personal weight loss and overall health goals as they work towards overcoming the distorted perceptions that plague them in regards to their physical appearance. Upon admission, new participants at Structure House will receive two personal training sessions, a one-on-one clinical meeting with a therapist, and a one-on-one meeting with a nutrition specialist. Additionally, each new participant will be provided with a full battery of assessments, including laboratory testing and physical, nutritional, and psychological fitness evaluations. In order to accurately monitor the progress that has been made throughout the duration of treatment, all assessments will be administered prior to a participant’s engaging in the four-week program, and then again upon his or her completion of the program.

In order to maintain clinical excellence and provide an all-encompassing approach to the care we offer here at Structure House, we provide participants with the opportunity to engage in the following treatment methods and therapeutic interventions as deemed necessary and appropriate by each patient’s treatment team:

Medication management: Appointments with psychiatrists are scheduled on an as-needed basis in order to monitor and manage any medication needs that may exist. These appointments can occur up to once a week, and two registered nurses on staff are also available to help with managing any further medication needs. If medical complications arise during a participant’s stay at Structure House, our staff will refer to the nearby community hospital. We pride ourselves in the wonderful relationships that we have with the hospitals in our area. Because of these strong relationships, we are able to ensure that participants will receive the appointments they need in a timely fashion.

Individual therapy: Upon admission to Structure House, each new participant will complete a 60-minute psychological intake session. Upon completion of programming, he or she will complete a 50-minute exit session. Structure House alumni who are returning to our center for treatment will complete 25-minute sessions. Any additional individual sessions that occur during one’s stay at Structure House are optional and will be delivered on an as-needed basis. These individual sessions are conducted by licensed clinical psychologists or licensed clinical social workers.

Family therapy: Family counseling sessions are held at the discretion of each program participant. These sessions can be requested at any time, with decisions regarding one’s engagement in family therapy to be determined collaboratively by the patient and his or her therapist.

Group therapy: Group therapy is a strong component of the treatment offered to Structure House clients. These session consist of two, 50-minute support groups each week, along with three, 50-minutes psychoeducational groups each week. Support groups are designed to be interpersonal and interactive, while the psychoeducational groups address a number of different topics, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Stress management
  • Trigger awareness
  • Relaxation
  • Mindful eating
  • Relapse and recovery
  • Self-monitoring
  • Lifestyle change
  • Support at home

Additionally, specialty topics are also frequently included in these psychoeducational groups and can include discussions regarding body image, motivation, self-esteem, addictive behavior, healthy relationships, and self-compassion.

Experiential therapy: At Structure House, we are proud to offer a number of experiential therapies that are designed to help participants who are struggling with obesity to reconnect with their bodies in a healthy manner, challenge negative beliefs and expectations regarding exercise, and learn to modify any existing exercise routines in order to meet their current needs and limitations. These experiential therapies, along with additional physical activities, occur on a daily basis and may include the following:

  • Experiential meals
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Mindful meditation
  • Restaurant outings
  • Supermarket outings
  • Role play
  • Empathy chair techniques
  • Visualization
  • Recreational activities that include Pilates, Zumba, water kickboxing, water fitness, guided walks, yoga, and stretching, among many more
  • Massages (for an additional cost)
  • Additional personal training sessions (for an additional cost)

Additional services: In order to fully meet the needs of all Structure House participants, we offer specialized tracks that clients may choose to engage in. These services are offered in addition to Structure House’s core residential program, and they use the latest scientific approaches to target any existing health concerns. These specialized programming tracks include the following:

  • Diabetes program: This program delivers state-of-the-art treatment and education in order to promote safe and effective care for diabetes.
  • Smoking cessation program: This program offers assistance and support to individuals who desire to overcome their addiction to smoking.
  • Binge-eating program: Participants who opt to engage in this program will receive additional individual and group sessions that are tailored specifically to address the emotional, social, psychological, and behavioral factors that contribute to binge-eating behaviors.
  • Bariatric program: Our bariatric program is specially designed to help clients prepare for weight loss surgery and the behavioral changes that are required post-surgery in order to maintain weight loss. For those who have already had such surgeries, this program can assist them in adapting to new eating behaviors, preventing weight gain, while also coping with the emotional or behavioral concerns that impact healthy behaviors.

Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment Show More Show Less

Successful weight control is a lifelong effort. In order to help our patients continue the progress that begins at Structure House, we offer a number of options to those who have completed our four-week core program.

For example, we offer therapy sessions via phone or Internet for our graduates on an as-needed basis, including weekly sessions when desired. Some graduates decide that they need more time at our treatment center and choose to commit to longer-term stays. These extended-stay participants can use our program on a service-by-service basis, depending on what their needs and desires may be. Additionally, some of our former participants choose to live off-campus in the community, but still opt to engage in group or individual sessions. These individuals, who are known as our Triangle Club Members, may also use our center for exercise, meals, and classes. Finally, we offer a return program for Structure House alumni who wish to participate again in the core program.

The intensive program at Structure House is designed to help each person who comes to us meet his or her weight loss goals and learn everything needed to continue maintain these healthy changes upon returning home. When you are struggling with obesity, it can seem like an intimidating step to begin receiving treatment. Let the staff at Structure House make this a comfortable process for you as we help you achieve life-changing recovery and long-term success.

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