Even as a therapist, I have doubts and fears. It is true. So, I have been a bit up in the air about sharing adding a Nutritionist to my private practice.
An opportunity came up recently that would allow me to add a nutritionist/dietitian to my practice. I’m excited about it. I am actually a bit disappointed because I’ve been getting a lot of confused reactions. I try to explain that it is just another option. If someone wants to talk to a nutritionist about food in addition to therapy or even as a whole separate thing, I can provide that for them. I don’t plan on it being my niche or even brining it up unless it fits the situation. However, my experience has shown me that eating, food, and body image come up more than not during therapy. I just think it is awesome to have the choice if the desire presents itself. (And I’m hoping to add a few more little options as time progresses. Fingers crossed.)
I have several (maybe a bit rambling) thoughts on why I am excited to add a Nutritionist to my practice.
1) I believe that we are more than our mind. I believe our mind and body work together so many people might want some added insight to nutrition or that support when trying to eat the best for them.
2) Messages about thin and fat and appearance are thrown at each of us all day long. Everyone has an opinion about our appearance. It doesn’t even matter if you are thin or fat or have an ugly nose or the most attractive person on this earth, someone will find something negative about our physicality and too often a part of us will wholeheartedly buy into the critique. Also, sometimes, in our culture an individual is given the message that no matter what they do to their appearance it will never be enough.
5) I have spent my life struggling with weight; never in my recent memory even being close to what most would say is a ‘normal’ size. I will probably continue to struggle throughout my life with eating and food. Although as many of you know, it can feel like a failure on my part but it really isn’t. It is part of who I am and one of the struggles that I get to engage in and learn from in my life. I may not be able or willing to do everything that would be helpful for me but I am certainly going to benefit from knowledge and learning more if I choose to. I feel like as the therapist I work with people on acceptance of self and that it is not about our size (small or large) but on who we are and how we feel. This was one of my doubts about adding a nutritionist to my practice. The fear that people would be like “really- you?” Then of course I realized it doesn’t matter so much what people say but that I am true to myself and what I want to offer my clients.
6) Many of us have distorted views of what we eat and how we look. Our family and friends often even feed into this. I often say having a neutral person to talk about our goals, life and fears with is essential. Maybe it is just as essential to get a check up with a neutral person about our food habits and what we eat.
You might look at a couple of the bullet points and think “isn’t that an argument against having a nutritionist?” I’d give a resounding “no”. I believe that pretending food, eating and appearance issues don’t exist won’t make them go away. I think balance is the key and we should have all the tools possible to live the best life we can live for us.
(More on the amazing nutritionist and such later!)