Nutrition professionals are experts in nutritional sciences, sought after for this specialized knowledge. Yet their crucial role as counselors and change agents is seldom given as much attention in nutrition degree programs, despite the increasing need in the field for skilled counselors. In this course, experienced wellness educator and counselor Beth McKinney, MSEd, RD, CHES, will explain how and why client-directed counseling can effectively influence healthy behavioral change and prepare you to use research-based techniques to create rapport, build trust, and elicit useful information from clients.
Although your clients present problems that appear amenable to nutrition education strategies, education alone doesn’t lead to long-lasting behavior changes. This gap in practice is often due to the inability of counselors to uncover the real nature of their clients’ needs. In this course, you’ll expand your ability to elicit information and use new techniques to better identify the root of the (nutrition) problem from the client’s perspective. Within this approach, you’ll also learn to combine your expertise and intuition to create valuable, effective solutions for clients.
For many nutrition professionals, motivating clients to change their behavior is a daunting task. But, by revising how you approach goal setting—by focusing on your clients’ wants and needs—new behaviors become easier to elicit. In this course, you’ll learn how to recognize what’s valuable to clients for goal setting and work with them to determine realistic, actionable goals that align with their specific desire for change. Using empathy, and a variety of tools and techniques, Beth McKinney helps you bring out the best in yourself and your client as you navigate the goal-setting process.
Your knowledge of the science of nutrition is powerful, but not necessarily more so than the way you convey that knowledge to clients. In this course, you’ll more deeply examine both your capabilities for eliciting positive behaviors from clients, and important nuances in the art of effective counseling. You will learn to mindfully match your communication style and interpretation of scientific information to your clients’ abilities and readiness to listen. And you will explore how your personal needs influence your behavior as a counselor, using this insight to create best practices for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and stories within counseling sessions.

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