The Role of the Dietitian in Multidisciplinary Mental Health Outpatient Treatment| Mindfulpath

by Natalie Van Beek, MS, RDN


A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN or RD) is a trained nutrition professional who can play a very important role for those looking to not only improve upon their eating habits and patterns, but also someone who can help their clients work towards living an overall healthy life and improving mental health. Dietitians work in a wide variety of settings, with a wide variety of clients. The dietitian can provide nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, advice and support to their clients, as well as the clients’ family and loved ones. It is extremely beneficial for the client when the dietitian collaborates with a multidisciplinary team This multidisciplinary team could include therapists, psychiatrists, doctors and/or general practitioners. At Mindfulpath, the multidisciplinary team works together to provide comprehensive mental health treatment.


Role of the Dietitian in Multidisciplinary Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

So often, dietitians can get labeled as “the food police,” when in actuality, that tends to be exactly what they steer away from. Food is meant to be enjoyed and nourishing to the body. With the help from a trained nutrition expert, this is exactly where a dietitian can help you on your journey to living your best and healthiest life. We live in a society that oftentimes puts labels of “good” or “bad” on a particular food group or a specific food. Seeking out a dietitian can be helpful in separating out the truth from the confusing and sometimes mixed messages we hear about food. A dietitian can also be beneficial in learning the best way to eat for your specific body and lifestyle, to help relieve those stresses of trying to make sense of the food messages we are bombarded with on an almost daily basis. The Mindfulpath dietitian teaches the clients how to improve their relationship with food and listen to their body with intuitive eating.


Not only can a dietitian help repair a broken relationship with food, but a well-trained dietitian is also aware of the importance behind collaboration with an entire multidisciplinary team. Food is a part of each and every one of us – sometimes the results of that relationship can be disordered eating patterns or habits or even health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. While a dietitian can aid in the food and nutrition aspect of these conditions, they also can work with a client's entire health team to make sure he or she is receiving the appropriate and best care possible. For example, a dietitian working with a client who has been struggling with an eating disorder can help develop meal plans and create a plan that provides the appropriate nutrition, but if the dietitian is not collaborating with the client’s therapist, they would most likely be missing out on what role food and nutrition has on that client’s emotional and mental well-being. A dietitian works with a client’s psychiatrist or doctor to better understand medications a client might be on that could have a positive or negative interaction with different foods. At Mindfulpath, the dietitian also collaborates with the therapist to facilitate various food experientials.


From helping to reverse or prevent various diseases to providing information and support to someone looking to feel their best, dietitians can help their clients develop a healthier relationship with food. They can also teach their clients to better understand the why’s and how’s behind nutrition as it relates to their body and what ingredients are needed to live a healthy and nourished life. Contact Mindfulpath to learn more and book your initial nutrition consultation.

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