What is a Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RD) are healthcare professionals licensed to assess and treat nutrition related problems. Dietitians have at least a Bachelor’s degree and rigorous training from an accredited dietetic internship program with over 1200 hours of supervised practice. As with other regulated health professions, dietitians are required to pass a national certification exam, have a state license (in most states) and be credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In addition, dietitians must participate in 75 hours every 5 years of continuing education for sustained development of their skills and knowledge. Dietitians can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, schools, food service organizations, outpatient and wellness clinics and private practice.
All dietitians are nutritionists. We are food and nutrition experts who provides nutrition education and counseling based on the medical condition and individualized needs of the client. We provide medical nutrition therapy for the treatment and prevention of specific diseases and medical disorders. Often, we confer with doctors and other health care professionals in order to coordinate medical and dietary needs. We work as an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team for the treatment of complex medical conditions such as HIV, diabetes, food allergies/intolerances, eating disorders, malnutrition, kidney failure, gastrointestinal disorders etc.
We are able to conduct nutrition assessments, determine nutrition diagnoses and create nutrition related interventions. During a nutrition visit we ask about a patient's health history, eating and exercise habits, biometrics etc. and develop a nutrition plan and goals with the client. Follow-up visits often focus on maintenance and monitoring of goals and progress. Dietitians can provide one on one or group education/counseling sessions. Focus is on the nutritional needs of the client and nutrition programs that teach individuals and the public how the power of food can improve their health.
Reasons To See a Dietitian
Here are just a few examples on why seeing a dietitian can be beneficial
To learn about healthy foods, eating habits and the relationship between good eating habits and preventing or managing specific diseases
Development of meal plans, taking both cost and clients’ preferences into account
For medical conditions such as: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease etc.
For Weight Management (weight loss or weight gain)
For Gastrointestinal Disorders (ex: IBS, Chrohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Constipation etc.)
Food Allergies/ Food Intolerances
Disordered Eating / Eating Disorders
Eating Concerns Track
Eating disorders and eating concerns often require a team approach for optimal results. Clients seeking treatment to address disordered eating may choose to see a dietitian and/or an individual therapist to start their treatment. We treat clients with a broad range of eating disorders/concerns including (but not limited to) the following:
-Binge Eating Disorder
-Body dysmorphia/ negative body image
Once we have a better understanding of the nature of your eating disorder/concerns, our team will collaboratively develop a unique treatment plan targeting your individual symptoms. Based on the initial intake evaluation, we may recommend a higher level of care (intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program, inpatient treatment, or residential treatment) when clients cannot be safely treated on an outpatient basis. We have strong relationships with many treatment centers both locally and nationally, and can make an un-biased treatment center recommendation based on your unique needs.
We believe in the value of working collaboratively with other providers and prefer to coordinate with clients' treatment teams whenever possible. For clients who benefit from the support of a multi-disciplinary treatment team, we may recommend any combination of the following services based on each your individual needs.
Support System Involvement
We recognize the healing power of social connections. When navigating the complex issues presented by eating disorders, clients often benefit from Family and/or Couple’s Counseling in order to support a sustainable recovery. We aim to empower family members by providing psychoeducation on your loved one's condition, as well as teaching practical tools to help you offer emotional and reinforce positive behavior change. We also may refer clients to group therapy that is centered around developing a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Life coaching is offered to help clients with motivation toward creating healthy change in their lives.
We work closely with primary care physicians (PCP) to monitor clients’ medical stability when indicated, and can provide clients with referrals for PCPs who specialize in eating disorders upon request. At times we may require clients to have routine lab work performed and monitored by a physician in order to ensure that your health is well managed.
If appropriate, we will recommend psychiatric care to help manage clients’ mental health symptoms via medication evaluation/ management.
Most clients benefit from work with a dietitian to learn more about nutrition and develop an individualized nutritional plan. Our approach to nutritional counseling utilizes a Health at Every Size (HAES®) approach, which is a weight-inclusive framework that promotes balanced eating, and respect for the diversity of body shapes and sizes.
We have found that acupuncture has been highly effective in the treatment of eating disorders. Many clients have reported sustained reduction even after just a single session.
Life-Enhancing Physical Activity
In order to help develop a healthier relationship with exercise we may refer a client to work with our yoga instructors or personal trainer. We also offer dance movement classes utilizing the Feldenkrais Method which helps aid in the connection of mind and body.
We integrate art therapy into treatment to help clients express their emotions through art when they are struggling to verbalize them.
We integrate mindfulness and meditation into treatment in order to help clients manage mental health symptoms and learn how to become non-judgmental observers of their thoughts.