Specialist Weight Management Service

Specialist Weight Management Service

The Specialist Weight Management Service team includes Dietitians, Assistant Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and a Specialist Consultant. Their aim is to help people with their weight and health issues.

Click on the names below to meet our colleagues in the Specialist Weight Management Service (SWMS) team:
Specialist weight management service colleague, Azizah
Dr Azizah Almaghyuli

    Role: Principal Clinical Psychologist

    About: Dr Azizah Almaghyuli (Psych.D, PhD) is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist who has gained invaluable experience in the NHS helping people with a wide range of psychological difficulties and assisting them on their journey of mental health recovery. Azizah is a clinician who appreciates that it is not easy talking about personal issues and difficulties and strives to offer a warm, professional and confidential service which is tailored to meet her client's needs. She works with clients of all ages and backgrounds. Azizah views therapy as a partnership. She believes that through joint working, the therapist and client can identify the key issues and barriers to progress before working towards a meaningful recovery. She has wide interest in Eating disorders, behavioural change, Trauma and Brain injury rehabilitation. She has completed PhD in Neuropsychology and work in Brain injury rehabilitation in the UK and overseas. Azizah has many publication in the area of brain injury and stork and her work has been published and sighted  by a research team in Cambridge University.

    She uses several approaches to help inform her work with clients including:

    • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
    • Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
    • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
    • Schema Therapy (ST)

What to expect when you see a Clinical Psychologist:

Why might I see a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologists can help support you with complex problems you may be experiencing with your relationship with food, body image and eating.

psychology specialist weight management diagram

How can our Clinical Psychologist help you?

  • Our clinical psychologists will help you understand your experiences by providing an open and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiological symptoms
  • Together you will explore how different factors may trigger and maintain your experiences. They will also examine factors that exacerbate or alleviate your symptoms
  • You will learn how these factors interact to perpetuate your negative thinking patterns and, together, you will work through these experiences using evidence-based treatment approaches to help you improve your relationship with food, eating and body image
  • Clinical Psychologists can support you with your eating presentation as well as other psychological issues
What will the initial assessment appointment involve?

    The aim of the initial assessment is for you to work together with the Clinical Psychologist to understand your life story and how this has shaped your present-day relationship with weight, food, eating and your body.

    Working in this way can help you make sense of your unhelpful patterns and behaviours with your eating and identify clearer ways of how we can help and support you.

    You will be asked information about yourself, using questionnaires and discussion, which may include:

    • Your weight and dieting history
    • How your weight is affecting your life (emotions, ability to do daily tasks, relationships with others)
    • Current eating habits such as binge eating, emotionally driven eating, and eating patterns
    • Your expectations of taking part in a psychology led weight management programme

    The assessment is an opportunity for you to express your own thoughts and ideas. Some of the areas discussed may make you feel uncomfortable; for example, you may not like talking about your less helpful lifestyle habits, or you may be asked to discuss areas that are new to you which you may never have talked about in detail before.

    If you find this becomes too uncomfortable, please tell the Clinical Psychologist as soon as possible. The Clinical Psychologist will give you a summary of their understanding of your situation and a suggested way forward. This may involve being invited to further sessions for psychological treatment.

What will further Clinical psychology sessions involve after the initial assessment?

    The Clinical Psychologist will:

    • Work together with you to help you explore any unhelpful eating patterns/lifestyle behaviours that are impacting on your weight, and help you make some agreed changes
    • The information, support and guidance provided at each session will be tailored to you, but you will need to practise the skills and techniques outside the sessions to develop your ability to manage your weight effectively longer term
    • Agree a plan to help you to develop skills and manage your weight loss goals

What if I don’t want to attend further sessions?

    Even though a referral has been made and recommended, you may want to:

    • Discuss your concerns with the Clinical Psychologist in order for you to choose whether or not to continue
    • Continue with parts of the assessment/treatment that you feel more comfortable with
    • Decline support from the Clinical Psychologist. You may still be able to access other parts of the weight management service but this may impact on your care pathway

Is what we talk about confidential?

    Yes, however, there are exceptions to this, where a report to relevant parties would need to be made. This includes disclosure of information in which you place yourself or others at risk. The Clinical Psychologist will take notes during the initial assessment and any further sessions. These notes are confidential and are held securely electronically.

Therapy and assessment

    During the UK’s current social distancing guidelines, we started to deliver our consultation and therapy virtually, using video calls and phone calls.

    We understand that the uncertainty and disruption to daily life this social isolation brings, especially for people struggling with their weight, anxiety, depression and other aspects of mental health.

    Our clinicians are experienced in delivering remote sessions using video calls platform called Attend Anywhere . However, in a certain circumstance, face to face therapy can be facilitated taking Covid-19 risk assessment measures and government guidelines.

Useful contact details

    Community Dietetics: 01253 956184

    Hospital Switch Board: 01253 300000

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS):

    Do you need information or advice about NHS services? Do you have concerns about you or your family’s healthcare or are seeking a resolution to a problem and cannot get an answer to your questions? PALS is here to listen and support you in whatever way they can to ensure your experience of healthcare services is a positive one.

    Tel: 01253 955588 Email: bfwh.patientrelations@nhs.net

    You can also write to us at:

    PALS, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Whinney Heys Road, Blackpool, FY3 8NR