The Philosophy of Nutrition Therapy

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Abstract

This article says the groundwork for nutrition therapy, an emerging specialty within the field of dietetics, and will assist dietitians in making the switch from a focus on teaching and the subject to a focus on learning and the client. Nutrition therapy is client centered and combines knowledge and practices of dietetics, mental health counseling, and education. Based on five premises, nutrition therapy assumes: (1) the client-clinician relationship is itself therapeutic and an instrument for human growth and development, (2) weight and eating are best understood in relation to to client's family, work, community, and culture, (3) meaning is transformed when attention is given to the circularity of experience, that is, supposed “failures” and successes, (4) education proceeds from the client's interests, concerns, experiences, and meanings, as opposed to the clinician's, and (5) therapy is most productive when “ends” are converted into “the means whereby” ends are achieved.

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