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UBC experts team up to offer new healthy weight service

UBC experts team up to offer new healthy weight service

Participants invited for cognitive-behavioural service addressing healthy body weight

The Interprofessional Clinic at UBC’s Okanagan campus, a place where faculty experts from social work and psychology combine their expertise, is launching a healthy weight service and is looking for participants.

The healthy weight service includes individual and/or group assessment and treatment for a number of health and weight-related issues including weight loss, obesity and diabetes, binge-eating and emotional eating disorders, weight gain prevention, nutrition, and physical activity changes.

The program will be led by UBC Okanagan’s clinical psychology program, specifically doctoral students under the supervision of the Director of Clinical Training, Lesley Lutes, a registered clinical psychologist, as part of the students’ degree program requirements.

“Our mission is to provide low-cost behavioural health services to the university and wider community,” says Lutes, who teaches graduate-level psychology with the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Sciences. “This can be achieved by using doctoral clinical psychology students who can provide treatment under the supervision and licensure of our clinical faculty, who are registered psychologists.”

An internationally recognized researcher, Lutes specializes in weight management treatment aimed at disease prevention and health promotion. Her research is largely aimed at adults and children in under-served populations, and she has developed an evidence-based small changes treatment program.

The Healthy Weight Specialty Service includes a 10-week cognitive-behavioural group therapy program for weight loss which will be co-facilitated by two clinicians. Group sessions will take place Monday or Thursday evenings from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.

Participants will also receive an individual health and wellness assessment before and after the program. There is a cost-recovery fee of $200 to participate; Lutes explains this includes treatment materials and a Fitbit for activity monitoring. Those with extended health care plans may be able to submit the expense for psychological services to their insurance provider. A sliding scale fee structure and/or payment plan is also available.

To find out more about the Healthy Weight Specialty Service, contact Marlis Wecels at the Interprofessional Clinic, at 250-807-8241, or

The Interprofessional Clinic is a collaborative venture between the School of Social Work in the Faculty of Health and Social Development and the Psychology Department in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

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