Client-Directed Counseling for Nutrition Professionals

eCornell

How long?

  • online
  • on demand

What are the topics?

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • United States students must be Registered Dietitians (RD or RDN) or have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  • International students need to have a credential approved by the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations— full list available here

About the course

This program provides registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) with proven techniques for refining their counseling skills—a critical component in promoting positive client behavior change. Nutrition professionals can significantly enhance their clinical expertise, along with client satisfaction and success, by using skillful counseling techniques, especially those that encourage open, productive partnerships. Upon completion of these courses, learners will be positioned to increase their effectiveness and confidence as in-demand nutrition counselors through improved knowledge, skills, and practice.

COURSES

  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Person

Nutrition professionals are experts in nutritional sciences, sought after for this specialized knowledge. Yet their crucial role as counselors and change agents is seldom given as much attention in nutrition degree programs, despite the increasing need in the field for skilled counselors. In this course, experienced wellness educator and counselor Beth McKinney, MSEd, RD, CHES, will explain how and why client-directed counseling can effectively influence healthy behavioral change and prepare you to use research-based techniques to create rapport, build trust, and elicit useful information from clients.

  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Problem

Although your clients present problems that appear amenable to nutrition education strategies, education alone doesn’t lead to long-lasting behavior changes. This gap in practice is often due to the inability of counselors to uncover the real nature of their clients’ needs. In this course, you’ll expand your ability to elicit information and use new techniques to better identify the root of the (nutrition) problem from the client’s perspective. Within this approach, you’ll also learn to combine your expertise and intuition to create valuable, effective solutions for clients.

The course Counseling Skills: Understanding the Person is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

  • Counseling Skills: Eliciting New Behaviors

For many nutrition professionals, motivating clients to change their behavior is a daunting task. But, by revising how you approach goal setting—by focusing on your clients’ wants and needs—new behaviors become easier to elicit. In this course, you’ll learn how to recognize what’s valuable to clients for goal setting and work with them to determine realistic, actionable goals that align with their specific desire for change. Using empathy, and a variety of tools and techniques, Beth McKinney helps you bring out the best in yourself and your client as you navigate the goal-setting process.

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Person
  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Problem

  • Counseling Skills: Blending the Art of Counseling with the Science of Nutrition

Your knowledge of the science of nutrition is powerful, but not necessarily more so than the way you convey that knowledge to clients. In this course, you’ll more deeply examine both your capabilities for eliciting positive behaviors from clients, and important nuances in the art of effective counseling. You will learn to mindfully match your communication style and interpretation of scientific information to your clients’ abilities and readiness to listen. And you will explore how your personal needs influence your behavior as a counselor, using this insight to create best practices for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and stories within counseling sessions.

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Person
  • Counseling Skills: Understanding the Problem
  • Counseling Skills: Eliciting New Behaviors

KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS

  • Strengthen client interactions using social cognitive learning theory to promote lasting behavior change
  • Interpret your and your clients’ non-verbal cues and self-manage during counseling sessions
  • Combine intuition and your client’s perspective to correctly identify nutrition problems and develop solutions
  • Recognize clients’ specific wants and needs to develop motivational goals aligned with their desire for change
  • Enhance client confidence in achieving their goals through increased empathy
  • Customize how you translate nutrition information to diverse clientele, blending this with your natural communication style

WHAT YOU'LL EARN

  • Nutrition Counseling Certificate from Cornell Division of Nutritional Sciences
  • 32 Professional Development Hours
  • 24 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Units from Commission on Dietetic Registration

Experts

Beth McKinney

Beth is the Director of Cornell Wellness. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her master’s degree in health education from SUNY Cortland. In addition, Beth is a certified health education specialist. With previous experience in both clinical and community nutrition, Bet...

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Client-Directed Counseling for Nutrition Professionals at eCornell

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