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Updated: Jun 4

Creating a Therapeutic Partnership with Your Patients

Key word here is partnership.

We are not supportive friends. We are not dictating their course of action. We are stepping alongside our patients or clients as a partner.

Top down approach is directive and authoritative. “Follow this diet”

Bottom up approach is what a friend uses. “I’m here. Let me know what you need.”

Acknowledge the partnership. “I am here to help you navigate this journey. You are doing the work and I am supporting you and guiding you.”

Let’s meet them on equal ground.

  • What do we bring to the table?

  • What do they bring to the table?

How to foster this partnership

  1. Create a comfortable space. Virtually or in person

  2. Listen to their story. The best question is a statement that elicits more information. Tell me more.

  3. Reflective listening. Deeper listening that reflects back change talk - DARN

  4. Be curious. Avoid assumptions and conclusions about your patient

  5. Encourage self-efficacy. Don’t overwhelm with “to do’s”

  6. Use SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

  7. Don’t be a problem fixer. Think less about fixing their problem and more about empowering them to help themselves.

  8. Assert authority when needed for red flag issues and safety concerns

An all-time-favorite of our clinical nutrition internship and Mentorship Program is our Teaching Clinic! Our interns observe our supervisors deliver functional nutrition consults. Folks get to learn functional nutrition coaching skills, lab test evaluation, charting techniques, herb and supplement protocols while tracking hours towards their SPE requirements. We hold the Teaching Clinic every month & have 60+ hours of previously recorded interviews available to all our interns for observational hours in our nutrition Mentorship Program.

Become a patient in our Teaching Clinic!  We offer low cost access to integrative and functional nutrition therapy with seasoned practitioners.  Our CNS Supervisors are all clinicians and each have their own clinical practice.  If you are interested, please complete the Teaching Clinic Interest Google Form, and we will follow up with you.


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