Contrary to popular belief, asking for help with a chronic condition isn’t a sign of weakness. Au contraire: It means you’re in touch with reality, because you realize you’ll be more successful if you don’t try to go it alone. In fact, study after study shows that people who receive professional counseling or support are more likely to maintain their emotional well-being and to achieve health goals, like losing weight, quitting smoking or sticking with an exercise regime.
“Professionals such as psychologists or personal trainers have years of experience and training under their belt, so their advice is likely to be more effective than that you’d receive from a well-meaning friend or family member,” says psychologist Simon Rego, associate director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, also in New York. Plus, adds Rego, “Spending your hard-earned money is incentive alone to follow through.”
Ready to take the first step? Here are four different types of professionals to call upon to help you be a better ‘you,’ and how to find each one.
Personal trainers can help you establish a workout regime, make sure you’re doing each exercise move correctly and motivate you to stick with your workout.
- Find a pro: Visit the American Council of Exercise (ACE)
A weight loss physician (bariatrician) specializes in assisting obese individuals to get their weight to a healthy level, while also treating and toring weight-related problems like arthritis.
- Find a pro: Visit the American Society of Bariatric Physicians
Psychologists are best-recognized for their role in treating depression, but they can also help you work through stressors and break bad behavioral patterns.
- Find one: Visit the American Psychological Association
A dietitian can determine how many calories you need and whether your diet is deficient in certain nutrients, then devise an eating plan that meets your goals, like losing weight or getting your blood sugar under control.
- Find a pro: Visit the American Dietetic Association