Applying Principles of Self-Compassion in Dietetics
How self-compassion can improve patient outcomes & how to utilize it in your practice.
Do you ever feel like your education as a dietitian didn't provide you the skills to deal with the very real and very human aspects of food and eating?
Do you see patients talk negatively about food, food choices, or their bodies, and aren't sure how to support them through that discomfort?
Do your patients believe that being hard on themselves is the most effective way to be 'compliant' with any nutrition or lifestyle goals they set, but are steeped in negative self talk and feelings of failure and shame?
If so, then I definitely recommend learning the evidence behind self-compassion, and how to incorporate it into practice!
Self-compassion is a tool we can use to help patients in behaviour change. Why? The research around self-compassion in managing health and nutrition conditions is clear - it improves resiliency, compliance, and quality of life, while improving self esteem and reducing depression and anxiety.
Andrea Hardy, registered dietitian here. Through working with digestive disorders, I saw there was a significant role that food relationship, body image and self compassion played in the management.
As an RD, earlier in my career what I struggled with was – what was my scope, and how could I incorporate these principles of self care into my nutrition counselling to take better care of my patients? I felt my job was incomplete if I ignored the human aspect of nutrition - where patients were stuck in guilt, shame and negative self talk.
As I became more skilled in counselling, I really saw how integrated nutrition was with self care, making embodied decisions, and that self compassion is a major player in that.
Self-compassion is one tool you can use to help patients make health decisions for themselves from a place of self awareness and kindness, as opposed to punishment. In addition – it’s a really powerful tool for you to use both in counselling practice for yourself and in every day life!
You Will Learn
- What self-compassion is
- The evidence for self-compassion in nutrition and health care
- How to bring self-compassion to dietetics
- Explaining self-compassion to patients
- How to teach self-compassion in practice
PLUS - you will get our self-compassion handout you can use in practice with patients!
Ready to use self-compassion to transform how you care for and support your patients? Sign up for this continuing education training today!
Get started now!
Andrea Hardy is a registered dietitian that runs a multi-disciplinary practice called Ignite Nutrition Inc. in Calgary Alberta.
Specializing in digestive health, Andrea initially pursued self-compassion as a tool to help patients cope with symptoms, and improve adherence and quality of life - because self-compassion is researched in celiac and inflammatory bowel disease.
She quickly realized self-compassion is a cornerstone to nutrition counselling, and is often the 'missing piece' when working with patients struggling with body image, ambivalence, dietary changes, and so much more.
Her and her team use self-compassion as a tool in their RD toolkit to improve patient outcomes and perceptions around food and their bodies!
Frequently Asked Questions
Ready to take your nutrition counselling and help patients move through difficult emotions around food and their bodies with self-compassion in your toolkit?
Then this workshop is for you!