The role of a dietitian in eating disorder treatment goes well beyond a "meal plan" (and sometimes doesn't involve a meal plan at all)

I think there is this idea/expectation that shortly after a client starts working with a dietitian that they will be on a “meal plan” and their eating will quickly and easily become stabilized. Sure a “meal plan” may be put into place at a point in time IF it is determined through collaboration between the client and provider(s) that this type of guidance would be beneficial at that time (And definitely let me clear that this type of “meal plan” is very different from that of #dietculture). But having expectations such as: a dietitian can fix someone’s eating, having a meal plan will solve all of the food issues and/or make ED behaviors go away, etc. is both unrealistic and unfair to the dietitian and the client.

Dietitians are not magicians.

AND there are also many times when a “meal plan” is not helpful to a client. There are times when it takes a longer period of time to get to a place where just talking about food is a little easier.

I bring this up as an invitation to be open to the fact that the work a client does with a dietitian involves so much more than a “meal plan” (and for me, most of my work with clients does NOT involve a meal plan). It even involves more than conversations around food. I believe individuals need to be offered the space to process through multiple aspects of their relationships with their body, food and movement. And how this looks can vary greatly.

Further, I think it is helpful for clients to not have to compartmentalize when they come into nutrition therapy sessions if they do not want to. They can bring their whole self if they’d like. They can be their whole self. All of them is welcome. 

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