Why And How We Do What We Do

When I talk about our work at Salt Lake Weight Counseling, people are always curious. They want to know what emotional barriers are involved in with weight loss. They want to know how we got started and they want to know if the work we do actually helps. I thought I would share our creation story…..

I have worked in the mental health field since 2001. As an idealistic kid, just graduating from college, I started working in residential treatment with adolescents. It was funny that as a staff member, I was only about 3 years older than some of the “kids”. Through this job, I was exposed to so much clinical information. I started working extensively with substance abuse and trauma. While we worked with eating disorders, I stayed as far away as possible because I was in the throes of my own. I loved addiction work. I loved learning as much as possible about the psychology and physiology of addiction, but I never considered my own addiction to food in this process, but I did start my own work around my eating disorder. A few years in, I started graduate school. I continued my passion around addiction and after I graduated, I worked extensively with substance abuse. After a few years, residential treatment burned me out. While I loved working with teens, 24 hour care is very hard on your personal life.

I switched gears in my career at this point. I found a job working in a corporate wellness program as a “wellness coach” where, as a counselor, they wanted me to help clients around emotional barriers to their health and wellness goals. I think they envisioned this role as me assessing potential mental health issues and referring to our behavioral health program, but I started using my background in addictions to help clients break through their patterns of self-sabotage in weight management. I had client after client tell me that for the first time in their life, they actually felt like they could lose weight effectively. Throughout this time, I also threw myself into my own recovery from binge eating. Through my professional and personal experience, I knew recovery from a dysfunctional relationship with food and patterns of self-sabotage was possible. I realized this was my calling.

I started my private practice and honed my skills to create Salt Lake Weight Counseling. Through this process, I have put together a comprehensive set of skills and therapies that I have seen work for many clients as well as myself personally. It has been an incredibly exciting process! Along the way, I have also assembled an amazing clinical team who share my passion, vision and expertise. By combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Intuitive Eating, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), we have an arsenal of skills to address all levels of emotional eating and patterns of self sabotage around health and wellness. This is not a quick fix. What we do is create healing to build a solid foundation for wellness. So, if you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, try something different! Call us to help you resolve the underlying barriers keeping you stuck.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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