Mindful Eating provides a professional with a unique set of tools. These are not the tools of knowledge, facts, or data, but the information from our direct experience. This embodied experience is powerful to introduce in a counseling session. One of my most beloved counseling tools is asking a client about his/her/their experience and to group experience as pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant.
Prior to presenting this question in a counseling session, consider reviewing the Mindful Eating Map described in the Core Concepts of Mindful Eating. Focusing on step one and two of the Mindful Eating Map is often all that can be accomplished at a nutrition appointment. Many of my clients have a clear understanding that mindful eating is about tasting the food. They might say something like, “Yeah, I think slowing down and actually tasting my food would be helpful.” They might add, “But I don’t really know why I eat so fast.” “Or they might say, “I bet, I don’t really taste what I’m eating.” This mental ramble often stops when I ask, “How would you describe your experience? Pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant?”
Pausing for just a moment, the question is repeated, “How would you describe your experience? Pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant?”
Silence fills the session.
I offer, “You’re wondering if the food you had for dinner was actually enjoyable?’
“Yes, I mean, I never really thought about my experience. I thought you were going to tell me what I had for dinner wasn’t healthy or something.”
“I’m more interested in your experience.”
When you focus on the client and the client’s experience, you are strengthening your counseling relationship. To learn more, check out CCME.