by Amy Aubertin, MS,RD,LDN
This blog is part of a series of interviews with the clinicians at the Counseling and Nutrition Center 360. Here is an interview with Jennifer Locke, one of the nutrition therapists.
How would you describe your approach in working with clients?
I meet people where they are at. Some clients have been struggling for years with an eating disorder and this may be their first time they are talking with someone about recovery. I try to be mindful of that. I keep in mind the person’s whole picture when working with them.
What is a first session like? What can a client expect?
I always ask what brings a client in. I like to think about it as a getting to know you session. I ask about them personally, where they work or where they go to school. It’s a time to find out about their food and health history and mental health history. I also use it as an opportunity for them to ask me questions about my experience and my work history as well. I try to help the client feel as comfortable as possible. The first session can also be a time to establish short-term and long-term goals with the client.
What importance do you place on multi-disciplinary team work?
I place a lot of importance on teamwork. I’ve had the experience of working in residential and inpatient eating disorder programs and seeing how the team functions to help with the best support in recovery. I place a lot of emphasis on that in the outpatient work I do now. The team becomes even more important on an outpatient basis, since consistent communication is paramount.
What got you into nutrition therapy?
I always knew I wanted to work in a helping field. I’ve always been interested in food, nutrition and the sciences. Nutrition therapy is a perfect blend of all that.
What about this work lights you up and keeps you going?
It is seeing clients get better and make shifts in the right direction, even if it has been a long road getting into recovery. This is what really makes the work gratifying.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy cooking, listening to music, and spending time with my cats.