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J Am Diet Assoc. 1993 Jul;93(7):797-800.

Combining traditional and nontraditional approaches to nutrition counseling.


Nutritionists facilitate clients' quests for healthier lives. Traditional approaches to nutrition counseling incorporate a two-part process: establish rapport and implement behavioral changes directed at the client's problem. Nontraditional techniques--such as centering, guided imagery, biofeedback, and meditation--offer dietitians additional tools for counseling. These techniques enhance the goals of building relationships and changing behavior and promote greater progress by allowing inner healing and whole-self participation in the efforts toward behavioral change. A holistic view of nutrition therapy incorporates nontraditional approaches to nutrition counseling. The field of mind-body awareness can help clients with a wide range of nutrition-related behavioral change. In offering nutrition care plans, dietitians need not only look at laboratory tests, diet sheets, and daily food-related habits. To teach clients greater self-awareness they should consider physical, emotional, and spiritual influences as well as family dynamics and stress-reduction techniques. Nontraditional approaches help clients understand that they can influence their behavior by connecting to their inner self. Our experience and findings show that this sense of internal control is a potent factor in enhancing health and dietary compliance for the patient and renewed job satisfaction for the nutrition counselor.

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