The Importance of Patient – Centered Nutrition Counseling
At Aspire Wellness Center, we understand that every patient comes to our program with their own individual conceptions about food. Some are fearful of certain foods, and others see all foods as a necessary evil they want to avoid as much as possible. Still others rely on the gratification they get from eating to help them cope with their negative thoughts and feelings. Our goal as a comprehensive, multidisciplinary eating recovery center is to provide our patients with the support, understanding and clinical direction that they need in order to overcome their disordered eating behaviors.
What is Nutrition Counseling?
Nutrition counseling is a broad concept that involves a number of different therapy components. It happens frequently on a group therapy level, during meal groups and meal outings. In these group settings, dietitians have an opportunity to provide education about nutrition and different food types, to challenge food “rules” and beliefs (for example, think about the changing definitions of the FDA “food pyramid” over time), and to teach patients about the harmful effects that eating disorders can have – both short term and long term – on the physical health of the body.
Individual Nutrition Counseling – What to Expect
Nutrition counseling is an integral part of treatment that also takes place on a more individual level during one-on-one sessions with the dietitians and the therapists. Patients In these sessions will have their weight monitored on a weekly basis, establish realistic weight goals that are acceptable to both the patient and the therapist, and establish meal plans that are customized to the needs of each patient, taking into account each patient’s unique goals and circumstances. Patients will have an opportunity to work through any food related struggles they are facing in these sessions. Individual nutrition therapy also gives them an opportunity to evaluate their weekly achievements, to evaluate any challenges or roadblocks that are coming up for them, to review their food journals and give them an opportunity to expand on their recorded thoughts, and to re-establish their ongoing treatment goals.