National Women’s Health Week: Using Motivational Interviewing to Assess Your Client’s Unique Health Needs

This week, we recognize National Women’s Health Week from May 12th to 18th. This year’s theme, as outlined on the Office on Women’s Health website, feels particularly resonant: Your health is a lifelong journey. It’s personal. It’s unique. It’s yours. What a great reminder as you think about the health of the women you counsel – that nutrition, health and wellness is to be shaped and customized for the individual sitting before you. Through your motivational interviewing practices, you are the expert at tuning in to your clients’ needs and providing sound nutrition expertise.

Using Motivational Interviewing to Help Your Female Clients

In our previous post on motivational interviewing, you’ll find tips from fellow dietitians on how to get your clients to share and participate in setting a course for their health journey. The post contains 1) Motivational interview questions to begin the nutrition counseling session, 2) How to ask open-ended questions to get your clients talking, and 3) How to invite clients to come up with their own plan and participate in the process.

The Office on Women’s Health has a quiz that you may find useful in your nutrition counseling as well. It contains motivational interview-type questions to help you assess your clients’ overall health, such as:

  • What’s your health inspiration?

  • How are you already leading a healthy life?

  • What is holding you back?

Remember, when you are in-network with various insurance companies, you may have the opportunity to visit with your clients over the course of several appointments, which lends itself well to taking time to counsel clients at a pace that works for both of you. This helps keep the dialogue progressing – and helps keep your client on the path to making long-lasting, positive changes in her lifestyle as well.

Take Care of You During National Women’s Health Week

Lastly, we know how driven you are in your professional lives. Today we want to remind you how important it is to care for yourself as well – not only the clients that you provide nutrition counseling to – but you. Pretend that you’re your own client for a moment – what questions would you pose to yourself? What answers would surface? Do any surprise you? What action(s) would you put in place to take better care of your own health?

Happy National Women’s Health Week!