Nutrition • San Jose Counseling and Therapy
In my therapy sessions, I frequently discuss nutritional considerations in our work together. You may be thinking, “What does nutrition have to do with psychotherapy?”
Many of us bristle when we think of nutrition, because we think it means dieting or something equally unpleasant. In therapy, many emotional conditions can be dramatically helped with some minor nutritional adjustments.
As a Psychotherapist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, I offer this service and other natural remedies as an option to my clients.
Combining Alternative Therapies With Psychotherapy
A large portion of my landmark book, Healing & Wholeness: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mental Health is devoted to discussing the use of nutritional support and mental health.
Many mental health conditions can be treated more effectively with a combination of psychotherapy and specific foods and nutritional supplements than they can by psychotherapy alone. Specific diet therapy is designed for your specific situation. The nutritional services I offer can include discussions in the following areas:
- Nutritional supplements
- Cooking instruction
- Meal planning
- Special diet plans (i.e. gluten free, vegan, vegetarian)
- Fasting (water or juice)
- Book recommendations
I’m by no means the first psychotherapist to use nutritional support. Julia Ross, located in Mill Valley, California, is probably the most well-known. Ross, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, authored The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure, two excellent books on nutrition and mental health.
Nutrition is more than just eating right and taking supplements. Each of us has different needs that are best addressed on an individual basis. I teach my clients simple things they can do every day to take control of their health with diet, appropriate nutritional supplementation, and basic dietary techniques. My education and research background helps me to recognize important trends from the latest studies on nutrition and mental health.
How Nutrition Helps Us Feel Better
I’ve learned through research and experience what works – and what doesn’t. For example, you may be surprised to learn that:
- Eating soy products can be detrimental psychologically for children and some adults.
- Restricting sugar and caffeine in people with depression has been reported to elevate mood.
- The most effective way to prevent postpartum depression is with prenatal nutrition.
- There are safe, natural supplements and diets that help with weight loss without going hungry.
- Eating pasta and other refined foods can increase the risk of depression.
- Diets high in protein can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
This is just a small sample of what I’ve learned about how nutrition and lifestyle can help us lead healthier emotional lives. Our emotional and physical health are closely linked to each another and to our diet.
The proper nutrition is one the most important things you can do for your mental health. For some people, it works better than medication and/or reduces medication side effects. For others, it actually helps their medication work better.
Many mental health problems can be helped by adopting a new approach to nutrition. Optimum health starts with knowledge – the knowledge to make informed decisions that impact your well-being. I always recommend talking with your medical doctor and/or psychiatrist before taking any supplements or making any adjustments to your diet.
This is because even small changes can have adverse effects for some people. For example, research has found that calcium supplements can trigger mania in some bipolar patients. Even if you have never been diagnosed with a disease or a disorder, it is a good idea to consult with your medical doctor before making any changes in your health regimen.
My Nutrition Training and Educational Experience
I was fortunate to receive my training and certification as a Clinical Nutritionist from Natural Healing Institute in San Diego, California.
My training and educational experience taught me how critical sound nutrition is to good mental health. I often refer clients who are interested in nutritional therapy to nutritionists who specialize in specific areas of nutrition. By doing this, my clients always receive the best possible care.