A Phenomenological Examination of the Lived Experience for Women after Bariatric Surgery for Morbid Obesity: Implications for Counseling


Lisa Y. Couch

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Spring 2018


Obesity is a pervasive, chronic, and relapsing disease process that affects more than half a billion individuals globally. In the last 30 years, the incidence of obesity and related disorders has risen sharply. Health and quality of life effects from obesity are quite substantial and well-documented. The economic burdens of obesity are evident in the cost of medical care for comorbid conditions and weight-related disorders. Efforts to prevent, manage, and/or treat obesity from a long-term perspective have been largely unsuccessful. Bariatric surgery is one treatment for obesity that has produced favorable results. Women are more likely than men to suffer from obesity in its most severe form, morbid obesity. The focus of this phenomenological study was women who have undergone bariatric surgery as a treatment for morbid obesity. Emergent themes from their stories are discussed. Implications for counseling are addressed and recommendations are provided.


Steve Armstrong

Subject Categories

Counseling | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences