Both the NHS and Public Health are keen to identify how best to manage long term health condition’s as a result from obesity and vice-versa. There is evidence to support the efficacy of psychological support in weight management programmes. This study explored the perceived importance of psychological support within weight management services; perspectives of both client and healthcare practitioners, in view of considering the implications for the role of a counselling psychologist. There were nine interviews conducted with five healthcare practitioners and four clients. The professionals’ disciplines included: physiologist, dietician, health psychologist, programme manager, and a medical consultant. Of the four patients, two had accessed psychology services as part of their weight management programme and two had not. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Five overarching themes were identified. Tension (pivotal central theme) this connected to: Lifestyle; Quality of Life (QoL); Service Delivery Model; and Professional and Personal beliefs and values. The findings highlighted that perceived importance of psychological support was influenced by an individuals’ background and experiences by both groups. The implications for the role of a counselling psychologist was to provide training to health professionals as well as raising clients’ awareness of the role of counselling and psychological support within such programmes. Further research is needed to understand better the potential of psychological support within weight management services to help contain UK obesity.
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