The Science Behind NBT

NBT (Neuro Bariatric Transformation) is a program for pre and post Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) patients who are seeking effective tools and support to get back on track with their eating and weight so that they can help make their weight loss surgery a longer term success.

It is now acknowledged that the area of disordered eating (such as, a preoccupation with food, feelings of guilt and shame after eating, a feeling of loss of control around food) is not just a food issue to do with a lack of willpower or control, but rather a mental health issue, which is where Psychology plays a critical role.

Many weight loss surgery patients hope and pray that their mind will naturally upgrade after surgery, to support their new body. WLS patients also hope that their old eating habits and cravings will disappear. The role of psychology in the weight loss surgery journey has been shown to be critical to help patients get the outcomes that they desire

Georgie Beames

NBT has been designed and developed by Registered Psychologist, Georgie Beames, who has in-depth experience working with Weight Loss Surgery patients since 2016, and prior to that, Georgie worked with women in the area of eating and weight for many years.

Georgie has thousands of hours where she has worked in a weight loss surgery clinic as a Psychologist using evidence based tools to help her clients reverse the relapse. She has also supported them to enhance their self worth, shift their identity, and change their relationship with food, so that they could live their best life post surgery.

To our knowledge right now (December 2021), NBT is the only program in the world that is designed and delivered by a psychologist who has worked exclusively with weight loss surgery patients, and who is using a combination of gold standard, evidence based tools including:

• EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing)
• Evidence Based EFT Tapping
• Hypnosis for weight loss

NBT focuses on twelve key sabotage blocks that weight loss surgery program patients process, using evidence based tools that updates their belief system and re-wires their brain.


NBT Uses Evidence Based Tools

Based on Georgie’s personal struggles with her eating and weight, NBT utilises a combination of three evidence based tools. This set of tools together, which are tailored for WLS patients, provide a unique solution for participants in the NBT program. These tools have been shown to be effective in their own right, while using the tools together in the NBT program is very powerful.

Women from around the world can now access this program and support for weight loss surgery patients without even leaving their house.


Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an extensively researched, powerful psychological treatment that has been used effectively for over thirty years.


Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR has shown to be an effective therapy in the following areas:
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Addictions
• Panic attacks
• Personality disorders
• Complicated grief
• Dissociative disorders
• Pain disorders
• Body dysmorphic disorders
• Eating disorders
• Sexual or Physical abuse
• Performance anxiety
• Stress reduction
• Disturbing memories
• Phobias


EMDR is one of the most researched psychotherapeutic approaches for PTSD. Since 1989 over 20 controlled clinical studies have found EMDR to effectively decrease or eliminate the symptoms of PTSD for the majority of clients and it is more efficient.

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue. The therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in typically fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has recently noted EMDR as a Level 1 treatment for PTSD in their recently published results for ‘Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions: A Literature Review’ (2010) for both young people and adults. This is the highest rating that can be applied to a specific therapeutic approach. Additional research has focused on the use of EMDR for Depression and Anxiety, addictions and numerous other issues with extremely good results.

EMDR therapy is now recognized as an effective method of treatment for a wide range of trauma-related psychological conditions. During EMDR therapy, the client focuses on the disturbing incident while performing a present-time, dual attention task, most commonly rapid eye movements guided by the bilateral stimulation of visually following a series of eye movements. The eye movement causes pathways to start connecting between the emotional part of the brain and the part of the brain that can think more usefully. The memory becomes more distant, and more detached, therefore not having as much power over your day to day life.

EMDR & Weight Management

NBT works at two levels with regards to eating and weight post weight loss surgery.

1. NBT addresses specific cravings and eating habits using this EMDR Feeling State protocol.
EMDR can take the feeling out of the food, which means that the brain can lose interest in that specific food. This is based off a specific EMDR eating protocol based on Robert Miller’s ‘Feeling State Addiction’ Protocol which is related to impulse control around food.

The protocol states that a certain point in time, a feeling has been connected in with a specific food or eating habit. For instance, the feeling of safety or love might be linked with the feeling of a full stomach, or a feeling or relaxation might be linked to chocolate. The protocol also states that we are craving the feeling that is connected to the food or eating habit, not the specific food itself.

2. NBT uses EMDR to reprocess distorted core beliefs (such as “I’m a failure” or “I’m not good enough”) which can keep weight loss surgery patients stuck in their mal-adaptive patterns of life. Some examples of these distorted core beliefs (or sabotage blocks) are:
a. I’m either in control or out of control with food and nothing in between
b. I’m a failure
c. I’m not good enough
d. I don’t trust myself around food

NBT uses EMDR to neutralise issues from the past that have led to overeating and weight gain, as well as targeting future situations that might trigger a relapse in behaviour.

Through the EMDR group processing sessions, we work on these key sabotage blocks. We find the origin, which is typically a significant life event of when this first started and we process the block.

There is also much research linked to obesity and trauma, which EMDR is a gold standard tool to process trauma.

EMDR is endorsed by:

• Australian Psychological Society
• American Psychological Society
• World Health Organisation – 2013
• The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies – 2009
• National Health and Medical Research Council – 2007
• American Psychiatric Association – 2004
• US Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense – 2004
• Northern Ireland Department of Health – 2003
• Dutch Guidelines of Mental Health Care – 2003
• Israel National Council for Mental Health – 2002
• Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association – 1998
• Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

Benefits of EMDR

  • EMDR has comparable results to that of other trauma treatments such as exposure therapy, but over a much shorter time frame
  • Studies have shown that 77-90% of clients with PTSD were able to eliminate their symptoms after 3-7 sessions of EMDR (without homework)
  • Better tolerated by clients than exposure therapy
  • Clients do not have to talk in detail about their trauma

NBT Participants Experienced a 88% Reduction In Cravings Using EMDR On The NBT App

Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping

Tapping is groundbreaking stress management technique combining psychotherapy and acupressure, bringing together elements of exposure, cognitive therapy and somatic stimulation. Commonly known as ‘Tapping’, EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique.


EFT & Weight Management

By stimulating pressure points on the body with this two finger tapping technique, EFT, results in a calming effect on the amygdala (the stress centre of the brain) and the hippocampus (the brain’s memory centre), both of which play a role in the decision making process to determine if something is, or isn’t, a threat, and in the fight or flight response.

Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress.

EFT Studies For Food Cravings

Both EMDR and EFT have been regarded as the 4th wave of psychology.

“It is a true mind-body approach in that it includes direct interventions at the level of the body; it changes brain activity very rapidly; and it has special advantages in quickly and permanently shifting outdated emotional learnings.” Stapleton, P.

Georgie has been trained in the exact same EFT methodology, that’s based off this research below, which is the only evidence based EFT program (Evidence Based EFT Training designed by Dr Peta Stapleton).

Research has found EFT to be highly successful, and long lasting, when used for the treatment of obesity, food cravings, and weight management. In comparison to other weight management solutions, such as diets, research has shown that EFT, while showing superior and long lasting results, is a relatively quick and easy method for promoting weight loss. Participants maintain a healthy weight after weight loss, and the elimination of food cravings, all of which lead to greater well-being and a healthier you.

Research has shown that providing EFT online was very effective in reducing food cravings, the perceived power over food, depression and anxiety, improving dietary restraint and also maintaining those improvements over a two year period. After only a short period of tapping on their food cravings, participants in the clinical trials were followed up one year later and stated that they had forgotten about the food craving that they tapped on because it was no longer part of their life.

Participants also found an average weight loss of 5kg over the 12 months, after they stopped tapping after the trials. Essentially the participants only tapped for two hours a week over four weeks and experienced this weight loss 12 months later without making any other changes.

EFT was compared to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is well known to be a gold standard therapy; research found that EFT achieved the same outcomes as CBT in a shorter period of time, and in some areas, were superior to CBT. The outcomes of EFT maintained after a 12 month period. However, the outcomes of CBT was not maintained after 12 months and participants reverted back to their baseline levels, showing that EFT works in the moment and is long lasting.


Source: Stapleton, P et al. 2019.

Research shows that the brain lost interest in participant’s go to foods in the matter of weeks (right hand side scan), and results lasted for two years. Participants only tapped for four weeks, and did not continue tapping. The tapping stopped, but the results stayed. 

Let’s now examine the research comparing the outcomes between dieting and exercising for weight loss vs tapping (with no other intervention).


Research Outcomes 1 Year After Tapping On Food Cravings

Source: Peta Stapleton


Hypnosis used in a therapeutic context is very different to what you might see in stage or entertainment hypnosis which makes you feel as if the hypnotist is taking control of the person’s mind.

It involves relaxing, and being in a trance like state, in order to bypass your conscious brain, allowing ideas and new beliefs to sink deep into your unconscious mind, which is where all of your emotions and your habits and your deeper beliefs sit.


Hypnosis & Weight Management

Research shows that hypnosis for weight management in combination with other approaches to be effective. When you add in hypnosis into other approaches, studies show bigger changes to weight loss.

For this reason, NBT has combined specific hypnosis audios, designed from Georgie who is a certified hypnotherapist, to be used in conjunction with EMDR and EFT.

The literature has reported that hypnosis leads to variable weight loss at six months, with a difference ranging from 4kg to 8 kg between the groups with and without hypnosis (Rahimi et al. 2018).

When hypnotic work is included in studies, participants continued to lose only a little bit of weight during the treatment, but they continued to lose weight after the treatment finished.

This fits in well with the theory of hypnosis; because the theory of hypnosis is that you’re creating subconscious changes that don’t require conscious effort and conscious attention to maintain that makes sense that the change is lasting longer.




Australian Psychological Society (

Stapleton, P. (2019) The Science Behind Tapping: The Fourth Wave in Body-based Therapy Approaches. Hay House, USA.

Shapiro, F., Snyker, E., & Maxfield, L. (2002). EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. In F. W. Kaslow & T. Patterson (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral approaches, Vol. 2, pp. 241–272). John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Stapleton P, Buchan C, Mitchell I, McGrath Y, Gorton P, Carter B. An Initial Investigation of Neural Changes in Overweight Adults with Food Cravings after Emotional Freedom Techniques. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine 2019;4(1):14; 19doi:10.21926/obm.icm.1901010.

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Stapleton, P. B., Sheldon, T., & Porter., B. (2012). Clinical benefits of emotional freedom techniques on food cravings at 12-months follow up: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology, 4(1), pp. 1 – 12

Stapleton, P., Bannatyne, A, Urzi, K, Porter, B (2016) Food for Thought: A randomised controlled trial of emotional freedom techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Current Research in Psychology ISSN: 1758-0854

Stapleton, P., Bannatyne, A., Chatwin, H., Urzi, K., Porter, B., & Sheldon, T. (2017). Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, (28), 136-145.

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