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Cognitive Engineering Obesity

Cognitive Engineering ObesityCognitive Engineering Obesity. Type the term “Cognitive Engineering” into Google and you will be shown an array of explanations of just what the term means and applies to. At the Elite Clinic, they use the term to describe just what they strive to accomplish with each new client that walks in their door.

Martin Shirran says: “So many people, including friends and family, when hearing what Marion and I do for a living, ask us for a simplified explanation of what we do: they say something like “so what exactly happens when you walk in the treatment room with a client and close the door?” We tell them that we simply undertake Cognitive Engineering on the client’s mind, which, as you can maybe imagine, usually raises more questions than it answers.

I explain, imagine that a Civil Engineer is involved in a large project to convert an old run down, dilapidated town centre factory unit into a block of high quality luxury apartments. When completed, the building must meet all environmental requirements, it must be energy efficient and comply with all local government building and safety guidelines. Of course it will need to visually and aesthetically blend in with the surrounding area, and the local community in general. The new building must of course, be desirable for the new residents. So the Civil Engineer is going to convert, to change, to re-structure, to re-model an existing framework into something more valuable and desirable.


Cognitive Engineering Obesity – The Thinking ProcessCognitive Engineering Obesity

Well that is what we strive to do with someone’s mind: we re-engineer how their thinking processes work and run. Cognitive, means the psychological processes used in the acquisition and understanding of knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, decision-making and problem-solving. Cognitive Engineering in our world means helping and guiding people to see and act in the world differently when faced with a number of internal and external stimuli. Cognitive Engineering Obesity.

Clients arriving at our clinic suffering with Depression or Addictions benefit enormously from this, our own slant on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and sometimes require just a few treatment sessions to resolve their problems. Using the recent understanding around Neuroplasticity which has expanded dramatically since the availability of MRI scans, it is now known that contrary to past beliefs, our brains do not stop growing when we grow older and maybe more importantly, that it is in fact possible, to reprogramme a person to behave or react differently to a stimuli, whether it is of a physical or mental origin.

Cognitive Engineering for ObesityCognitive Engineering for Obesity. The majority of the work we now undertake is in the field of weight loss or weight management, using our Gastric Mind Band (GMB) treatment to help people permanently lose their excess weight, and permanently is the important word in this sentence. Normal dieting, food deprivation, seldom works in providing the permanent solution our clients quite rightly desire and deserve. You see dieting just does not tackle the all-important psychological/cognitive processes that are going on in the mind of a person who has an unhealthy relationship with food, and sometimes alcohol.


As an example, GMB clients during their first session work with us to complete our Forensic Questionnaire, which was developed over a number of years, whilst treating over a thousand clients. The questionnaire has been designed and structured to uncover a number of key, food-related issues. We find, as an example, that many clients report that they eat when they are tired, lonely, bored or depressed. Some tell us they eat in secret, but very few eat when they are physically hungry. This is a perfect example of someone who would benefit from a little Cognitive Engineering, resulting in them having a completely different relationship with food: we term it Cognitive Engineering for Obesity.

Cognitive Engineering for ObesityAnother question we ask during the first session which normally makes clients raise their eyebrows is: “imagine you are sitting at a dining table, and in front of you is your favourite meal, let’s just say its fillet steak with all the trimmings, think about it for a minute or two, and then tell us exactly what order do you eat the food in?” The answer given to us by over 70% of our overweight clients is that they would normally save the best bit, the fillet steak, till last. This means, of course, that regardless of how hungry they are, how much food is on the plate, or indeed how big the plate is, they have no option but to hoover their way through everything to get to the perceived prize, the ‘Fillet Steak’. Interestingly, over 80% of those people deemed to have a healthy relationship with food, confirmed that they would choose to either eat the food on the plate together, simultaneously tasting all the ingredients, or eat their favourite item first enabling them to stop eating as soon as they no longer feel hungry. The short animated video below, explains the process in more detail.

Cognitive Engineering for Obesity
Alison lost 70 pounds following her GMB treatment

During the four sessions that make up the GMB treatment we slowly introduce the client to a whole new way of thinking and processing food, and where appropriate, alcohol stimuli. We explain and demonstrate how the simple act of changing the dynamic of a situation or stimuli can bring about enormous, and sometimes immediate, change in their lives. You can read a full breakdown of the four GMB sessions on the site.

Of course, Cognitive Engineering is just one of a number of components incorporated into the full Gastric Mind Band treatment, one of which is TactileCBTa version of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that we are proud to have developed, along with Dr. Sarah Clarke at our clinic, and is now the subject of our second book, Pause Button Therapy, published by Hay House.

Cognitive Engineering for Obesity in the field of permanent weight loss, or just helping those that want to shed a few pounds, we feel is an invaluable tool to clinicians everywhere. Additional information about Martin and Marion Shirran can be found here.