Topic 4 A Health Behavior Change and Counselling Session Step-by-Step

What is actually counselling?

There is a big difference between a professional counsellor and a person who uses counselling skills. A professional counsellor is a highly trained and well-qualified health professional who is able to use a different range of counselling approaches.

Hence, counselling is:

  • The process that occurs when an individual and a counsellor sed aside time in order to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the individual.
  • The act of helping the individual to see things more clearly, possibly from a different point of view. This can enable the individual to focus on feelings, experiences or behavior with a goal to facilitating positive change.
  • A relationship of trust. Confidentiality is paramount to successful counselling.

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Counselling is NOT . . .

  • giving advice;
  • judgemental;
  • attempting to sort out the problems of the individual;
  • expecting or encouraging an individual to behave in a way in which the counsellor may have behaved when confronted with a similar problem in their life;
  • getting emotionally involved with the individual;
  • looking at individuals’ problems from health professional’s perspective based on health professional’s value system.

What a health behavior change and counselling session needs?

The intervention related to nutrition issues needs to follow a specific structure with the aim to:

  • exchange information,
  • reduce resistance,
  • enhance self-efficacy

The following figure summarizes the specific stages of a health behavior change session.

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