What to expect in your first session with a Dietitian
I am a huge advocate for finding a professional that is the right fit for you, and like a psychologist or your GP, finding a nutrition professional that fits your needs is so important.
To assist this process, I thought it might be helpful to detail down what to expect in your first session with a Dietitian (like me).
BEFORE THE SESSION:
Prior to your first session, you will likely receive some paperwork to fill out, for our clinic this includes a Welcome Package, including a welcome letter and nutrition questionnaire.
It is helpful to fill out as much information as possible before the first appointment so, as your clinician, we can do our best familiarise ourselves with your goals.
You may also be asked to bring along any recent blood tests or doctors letters, depending on your reason for visiting.
DURING THE SESSION:
We use this time to get to know you, and understand your own individual story. We will discuss your reason for coming in, but will also complete a comprehensive assessment, to ensure we are providing a tailored and individualised service for you.
With your permission, we will also explore:
Your personal health and medical history
Your digestive health
Your eating patterns
Your exercise and activity levels
Your thoughts and feelings about food
As well as your thoughts and feelings about your body
For some people an initial assessment may be completed over 2-3 sessions.
Depending on your presentation, at the end of your visit, we may ask you to:
Commence a food journal
Monitor your thoughts and feelings around food
Try an activity or self assessment at home
Or, you may receive:
An information resource
An article or book recommendation
Or, some simple initial dietary strategies
A little note: I think it is natural for many new clients to feel that they might receive a meal plan or meal guide after their first session with a Dietitian. However, in my clinical experience, this does not tend to be the best time to do so, if we are aiming for sustainable change. In fact, for some clients, particularly those working on their relationship with food, a meal guide is contraindicated. However, if this is something you are looking for, you are very welcome to bring this up in our first session together.
AFTER THE SESSION:
After the session is finished we will book you in for your follow up appointment based on your clinical assessment, this is usually within 1-2 weeks.
We may also write a letter to your GP or another health professional such as your Psychologist.
Lastly, we will always check in with you to see if the session met your needs, and whether there is anything you might like to focus on during our next meeting.
A session with any Dietitian should leave you feeling heard and understood. Take the time to seek out someone who is the right fit for you!