Follow up sessions are where the real nutrition magic happens! We also do not get much experience with follow-ups while in school, so let’s take a look at how to organize these important sessions. We’ll go over the business structure, how you’ll orient your help, and how to structure each client session.
The business side
The first consideration is how to structure the business side of follow-ups:
How often will you meet?
Will you combine them or offer individual sessions?
How will you charge clients?
What about contact in between sessions?
These are all important to structure ahead of starting the intake so both you and the client know the expectations. However you decide to create your flow, meeting regularly until goals are met and creating a customizable follow up plan are key.
A quick tip: The first and second visit can be billed as one session, so you gather information in the intake and present the plan in the second.
How to structure your sessions
Creating a structure to your sessions will help the client know what to expect while also making it easier for you to stay present with the client. A session outline could be:
Asking an open-ended question, such as “How have you been since the last visit?”
Check in with the previous recommendations (food journals, supplements, aha moments, exercises)
Identify new issues or realizations
Revamp the plan as needed or move along your current plan
An MSQ every 3-4 months is useful to track goals
In addition to this structure, how will you focus on helping your clients? There are different ways to orient sessions, which might change based on the client or stay the same based on your practice focus. Here are three:
Clinically oriented – therapeutic health goals with supplements, herbs and food recommendations, such as gut healing, detoxification, or elimination diets
Behavior-change oriented – Ongoing movement towards one specific goal or behavior change,such as changing relationship with food through mindfulness, healthier eating, weight loss, affirmations
Wellness/education oriented – diet, stress reduction, sleep hygiene, mindfulness practices, social connection, etc.
Planning your follow up sessions using the ideas above will create an effective client journey for both you and your client.