When working with a client with disordered eating, the registered dietitian takes the role of Nutrition Therapist (NT). The NT is responsible for the following functions:
A well-trained NT works as part of a multidisciplinary team, understands underlying psychological issues, undergoes professional supervision and continuing education, and understands the relationship between psychology and eating. The NT can recognize when underlying issues need to be worked out in therapy before moving forward with a nutrition plan.
NTs working with eating disorders are skilled in communicating nutrition messages appropriately and are able to develop highly individualized treatment plans. The most important benefit of involving an NT on the treatment team is that it frees the psychotherapist to concentrate on therapy rather than food.
The NT will monitor nutrition-related labs and medical complications with ongoing communication and coordination of care with physician. Main focus includes:
It is not the role of the dietitian to do psychotherapy. Patients attempting to discuss therapy in nutrition sessions are typically distracting from the real issues.
It is not the role of the psychotherapist to do nutrition therapy. Patients attempting to discuss food in therapy sessions are distracting from the real issues.
For there to be effective collaboration beterrn the RD and Psychotherapist, each team member wil:
Roles unique to the NT include:
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