Fellows Spotlight Dr. Michelle Matoff

Dr. Michelle Matoff is a psychologist in private practice, located in San Luis Obispo which is on the central coast of California. She was Board Certified and credentialed as a Certified Bariatric Counselor in April of 2018.




Dr. Matoff  treats adults and seniors and has 24 years of clinical therapeutic experience. She is also an adjunct professor at Brandman University and an accomplished and published researcher. For patients seeking bariatric surgery Dr. Matoff performs the required pre-operative assessment and evaluation as well as providing individual post operative bariatric counseling and is now establishing group sessions. Her recognition of the correlation between emotional distress/mental disorders and obesity and the need for specialized competency in bariatric science, inspired her post-doctoral training and certification with AABC.

As a senior fellow, Dr. Matoff has recently been appointed to the advisory board of the AABC Centers of Therapeutic Excellence (COTE). COTE identifies and accredits facilities and practitioners that provide for the best therapeutic standards of practice relevant to the needs of bariatric patients.

How has your fellowship with AABC enhanced your counseling skills?

The training program has helped me develop the essential competencies to perform bariatric pre-surgery assessments and evaluations. In addition, their curricula synthesized my understanding of the biological mechanisms, psychological processes and social influences of obesities.Translating AABC metabolic research and bariatric math, has helped many patients understand the inequities of metabolism that often underlie their obesity. This has served to reduce the chronic self-blame and shame that so many patients endure. Special training with focus on the global perspectives of food, culture and nutrition, has furthered my understanding of nutritional preferences amongst culturally diverse ethnicities. This competence has helped with patient engagement, preferred food choice discussions and the ability to customize individualized and culturally sensitive treatment plans.

How has your fellowship with AABC advanced your career?

Since my certification in bariatric science and credentialing as bariatric counselor my referrals often come directly from bariatric surgeons. Patient and collegial recognition of my bariatric specialty, competence, and knowledge. I now do group presentations for a psycho-educational program on the topic of How to Maintain Motivation for Long-Term Success for post-surgery bariatric patients.

Dr. Matoff is a shining example of our fellowship. Our fellows are conducting cutting edge scientific research; applying and sharing their knowledge in the public and private sectors; and shaping policy at local, national, and international levels.

We are extremely proud of all of our fellows.