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Unfolding, Embracing, and Reflecting on the Narrative Within Nutrition and Dietetics: Does the Patient's Story Help the Dietitian to Impact Health Behaviors?

Habash, Diane L. PhD, MS, RDN, LD

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0000000000000031
Listening and Learning

Dietitians are dedicated to the task of helping people make diet and lifestyle changes that meet health goals. Using interpersonal skills for listening and counseling, dietitians translate nutritional sciences and medical nutrition therapy to healthy foods, beverages, and behaviors for and with their clients. Recently, in medicine, increasing emphasis has been placed on embracing the client's narrative (story), to establish an impactful “therapeutic alliance with the client.” This article uses story to illustrate the domain of narrative medicine applied to nutrition, dietetics, and lifestyle counseling to examine both process and potential impact on the client from a dietitian's perspective.

Division of Health Sciences and Medical Dietetics, School of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences; and Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Correspondence: Diane L. Habash, PhD, MS, RDN, LD, Health Sciences and Medical Dietetics, The Ohio State University, 306L Atwell Hall, 453 W 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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