Looking for a Dietitian? Ask these 10 Questions First!
Shoutout to our former dietetic intern, Autumn Rauchwerk, for contributing to our blog via this guest post below. Autumn shares some ideas of questions to ask your prospective dietitian if you’re contemplating getting started with nutrition counseling.. You can find more about Autumn's offerings through her practice, Mending Ground Nutrition & Yoga, on her website and on Instagram.
*Artwork by Christen Graham.
Have you been thinking about seeking support with your relationship with food? Maybe you have a sense of WHAT you want to change but aren’t exactly sure of HOW to do it when it comes to your eating. Maybe it’s because you’re struggling with trusting yourself around food. Maybe it’s because you’re experiencing an eating disorder. Maybe it’s because you’re experiencing or at risk of a chronic illness, and you think changes to your eating and/or movement might be beneficial.
It’s so common for people to believe they “should” be able to figure everything out on their own, that there’s something “wrong” with them if they can’t, or that it’s somehow their fault for needing support. At LK Nutrition, we believe showing vulnerability is a sign of strength above anything else. Learning to trust someone else to support your journey can lead to a whole new level of healing, and can help you learn to trust yourself.
That being said, food is personal and emotional. It’s important to find someone who is a good fit for your needs, who you feel comfortable with, and who you feel you can build trust with. If, in time, you find your personalities are not compatible, it is 100% okay to ask for a referral to someone else. This does not mean the dietitian isn’t a good dietitian or that you aren’t a “good” client. It simply means that not everyone meshes with everyone else.
You might find a dietitian or practice that resonates with you and might be interested in learning more. Typically, dietitians will offer free “discovery calls” to see if you are a good fit for each other before you start working together. But what do you ask them to figure out if it feels worth your investment of time, energy, and money?
Here are 10 suggestions for questions you could consider asking a prospective dietitian in order to figure out if you’d like to start working with them.
1. How do you typically approach working with clients that are seeking support for [insert whatever you're seeking support with here]?
2. Can you provide some examples of areas we'd focus on, things we'd discuss in sessions, and/or what our work together might look like?
3. What is your approach to weight concerns (*if this feels relevant to you)?
4. What's the difference between working with you and a psychotherapist that specializes in eating concerns? What's the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?
5. Are you willing to collaborate with my [insert other treatment team members here - eg: doctor, therapist, psychiatrist]?
6. What experience do you have working with clients with concerns around food/body that are similar to mine? What experience do you have working with clients with my identities and/or lived experiences?
7. To what extent have you received training/supervision for working with clients seeking support with [insert whatever you're seeking support with here]?
8. How frequently would we meet? How long are sessions? How long does overall treatment typically last?
9. What is the cost of sessions? How does out of network insurance work (*if relevant)?
10. What are your hours of availability?
Thanks so much for reading! We hope this is helpful in your pursuit of support and are excited to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out with any suggestions or questions or to connect with a dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org.