BreakThrough Program Introduction

Introduction to BreakThrough!

Many of us share a history of unsuccessful diets, concerns about our body image, feelings of frustration, and at times sadness or even shame. Chances are someone close to you also suffers from physical or emotional problems associated with their weight. If you’re feeling that nagging apprehension (or know) you’re not doing enough to ensure your own health – rest assured! Concerns like these are the inspiration for this workbook and program.

BreakThrough! explores the reasons why we eat what we do,

and how our thoughts, emotions, and life experience affect our eating behavior.

BreakThrough! is founded on evidence-based psychological practices and focuses on the mood states, environments, and behaviors that cause us to gain weight. These include: depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, family of origin issues, relationships, the work place, and other relevant topics.

Typically presented in a group format, sessions blend psychoeducation, participant interaction, skill building, and introspective exercises. Each of the 12 sessions incorporates goals and objectives particular to the chapter topic of discussion and is designed to work in conjunction with healthcare providers, weight loss clinics, treatment programs, and community support groups.

 Evidence Based Practice

BreakThrough! is founded on Integrated Weight Management Therapy (IWMT; Hamilton, 2016) and integrates the following evidence-based approaches.

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family of Origin Awareness
  • Attachment Theory
  • Addiction Theory
  • Family Systems
  • REBT
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Mindfulness
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Break Through Sessions

  1. Integrated Weight Management Therapy
  2. Physiology, Biology and Weight
  3. Daily Reflection and Skill Building
  4. Depression and Weight
  5. Anxiety
  6. Past Trauma, PTSD
  7. Addiction
  8. Personality Styles
  9. Relationships
  10. Our Environment
  11. Bringing it All Together
  12. Skills Review

 Why We Need to BreakThrough!

Over the past 30 years Body Mass Index (BMI) distribution has risen dramatically and worldwide it’s accepted that the prevalence of obesity (BMI greater than 30) is on the rise. In 1980 about 15% of the U.S. population was obese (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006). Today, approximately 72% of adults are overweight while 35% of adults and 17% of children meet the criteria for obesity (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2014). The obesity rate soars to 55% for adults affected by mental health issues such as anxiety or depression (Megna et al., 2011). If these trends continue, it’s projected that nine out of ten adults will be overweight or obese by 2050 (Butland, et al., 2007).

The direct health care costs of obesity-related illness are approximately $190.2 billion annually (21% of medical spending in the United States) and by 2030 these costs are projected to rise to between $861 and $957 billion (Cawley & Meyerhoefer, 2012). In addition to medical expenses, approximately $30 billion per year is spent on diet products and supplements. These expenditures might be acceptable if surgery, medications and supplements produced consistent results with long-term benefits. But this isn’t the case. Some interventions produce short-term gains, but very few individuals manage to maintain their weight loss. Rather, the more time that elapses, the more likely weight is regained, with even greater gains for those who participated in weight loss programs focused on diet and exercise (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).

Obesity is the second leading cause of mortality (behind smoking) and significantly contributes to the development of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and respiratory difficulties such as sleep apnea (Jensen et al., 2014). For women, obesity increases risk for ovarian, cervical and breast cancer as well as infertility and negative fetal outcomes (Ryan & Braverman-Panza, 2014). Studies also suggest that obesity significantly contributes to impaired cognitive functioning (Joseph, Alonso-Alonso, Leone & Blackburn, 2011), less inhibitory control and mental health issues such as personality disorders and addiction (Sharma, 2012), depression, anxiety, negative social consequences resulting from discrimination, and lower self-esteem (Dutton, 2015).

BreakThrough! has been created to answer the call for innovative yet practical programs that address the underlying reasons of why we eat what we do and what we can do to implement sustainable change. The overreaching goal of this program is to promote behavioral change through the BreakThrough! 4Rs of weight management: Recognition, Resistance, Resilience and Recovery.

The course manual and workbook are valuable resources for beginning your path to healthy weight management and psychological change. If you are wondering if you would benefit from the support, education, and resources available to BreakThrough! group participants please complete the screening questionnaires on the resource page Course dates, enrollment, and information regarding cost and insurance coverage can also be found online.

For other inquiries, suggestions, or experiences with the content of BreakThrough! please post to the BreakThrough! Blog Breakthrough! Blog or write:




PO Box 2125

Anacortes, WA 98221




Copyright © by Heather Hamilton, New Path LLC, 2016

BREAK THROUGH!: Integrated Weight Management Therapy

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