Dear fellow healthcare providers... ask for permission and ask for it often

I believe it is very important for us to ask permission often.


Just because someone signs a form of consent does not mean you shouldn’t continue to ask permission throughout care. That is the respectful and ethical thing to do. This is our clients’ healthcare not ours. Yes, they are coming to us because we may have skills, experience and knowledge and it is their body. It is their health.

Provide full disclosure and explain why you might recommend certain things- meds, procedures, referral, etc. Provide options and alternatives. Be open to questions, concerns and comments from clients. Let them be in charge of their care (which can certainly include them turning to you for guidance and support). It’s important that it’s their choice to do so (and again, just because they sign some form at the beginning doesn’t mean you have full reign to do whatever you think is best from them on out).

Have dialogue. Speak less. Listen more.

Allow for multiple forms of communication. Some people are not comfortable advocating for themselves face to face. That is ok. They may do better writing or leaving a voicemail, for example.

Here is what asking permission looks like in a variety of healthcare settings:

  • I think it would be helpful to get some blood work [and explain why]. Would you be ok with doing that?

  • Part of the dental care services we offer includes taking xrays of your mouth/teeth. Is this something you would like to have done? May I take xrays?

  • Would you be open to trying/doing this exercise during today’s session?

  • Would you be open to talking more about your relationship with food?

  • May I offer my perspective?

  • Would you like to talk more about ____ (fill in the blank)?

Fellow clients- I’m curious how this is different from care you have received in the past? What would you want former and/or current providers to know or do differently?


Looking for someone to provide support and guidance in your journey with finding food and body peace (which can include being in recovery from an eating disorder)? Looking for someone who will ask for your permission all throughout care and who allows and encourages you to be in charge of your healthcare? I would be honored to work with you. Click here for more info!