Obesity, Willpower & Psychology

CE Credits: 3.0 (after successful completion of webinar quiz)
Learning Level: Intermediate
Speakers: Kathy Ashton, PhD & Megan Lavery, PsyD
OPA Member: $60 | Non-Member: $90 | OPA Student Member: $10 (no CE)


“I just don’t have the willpower” is a familiar refrain for people trying to lose weight. This program will address the role of psychologists in training “willpower” and other cognitive behavioral interventions for obesity. An overview of the obesity epidemic and assessing patients for behavioral weight management will be given, along with discussion about how psychologists are important providers in the treatment of obesity. Participants will also have a chance to learn about APA’s Public Education Campaign and their efforts to educate the public about the psychology of obesity.

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Learning Objectives
  1. Provide an overview of U. S. obesity epidemic and briefly discuss obesity interventions (surgical, medical, public health initiatives/prevention)
  2. Provide overview of current behavioral weight loss intervention assessment and practice including cognitive behavioral therapy for weight loss and binge eating intervention
  3. Discuss the role of willpower in weight management and current APA Public Education efforts to educate consumers about the role psychologists play in weight management.
About the Speakers

Kathleen Ashton, PhD is a health psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery for the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Dr. Ashton has presented nationally on binge eating disorder, bariatric surgery evaluation and perioperative treatment, and weight management. Dr. Ashton is the 2012-2013 President-Elect for the Ohio Psychological Association, an associate member of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, and past President of the Cleveland Psychological Association. She served as the APA Public Education Coordinator for Ohio for five years, and participated in over 50 community talks and health fairs to help communicate the value of psychology to the public.

Megan E. Lavery, PsyD is a health psychology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Dr. Lavery received her doctorate from La Salle University in clinical psychology. She completed her clinical internship at the Memphis VAMC and is currently receiving specialized training in the clinical management of bariatric surgery patients. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Lavery’s research has focused on psychological correlates related to women’s health, oncology, bariatic surgery, and disordered eating.


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