Students who choose Rhodes Wellness College to earn their Wellness Counselling Diploma benefit from receiving an education that allows them to take a holistic approach with their clients. Throughout your training, you will learn how to facilitate wellness in all areas of life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Understanding how to deeply connect with others on these various levels allows you to determine the best tools for them to use to achieve their wellness goals.
Creating a plan for a client is one part of the process, but ensuring adherence is another challenge. It takes a skilled wellness counsellor to be able to curate a wellness plan that caters to the client’s needs and maximizes adherence. Continue reading to learn 5 tips for improving client adherence during your wellness counsellor career.
1. Encourage Clients to Keep a Wellness Journal
Keeping a journal with consistent entries is a great tool to suggest to clients to help them improve their adherence (Muth, 2015). The journal can be used as a food or fitness log, where they track their intake and activities, so they have them all in one place. This helps provide a visual of their efforts, and can help individuals spot areas where they can improve and where they are doing really well (Muth, 2015). The journal can also be used as a reflective tool, where clients can spend a few moments noting what is challenging about their wellness journey, how they want to better themselves and their lives, and connect more deeply with their goals (Muth, 2015). Sharing the journal entries with you as their professional wellness counsellor will give you insight into their journey and keep a clear line of communication between both parties.
2. Set SMART Goals as a Professional Wellness Counsellor
Many individuals find increased enjoyment and confidence and self efficacy when they can set and achieve goals throughout their wellness journey (Brookfield & Wilson, 2009). One challenge that remains in the coaching and counselling profession is picking goals that are right for the client at a specific point in time.
Creating SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely, is a great way to boost client adherence (Muth, 2015). When goals are reasonable, and within reach, they are more encouraging and motivating. In your wellness counsellor career, you can help clients set both short and long term SMART goals that align with their unique situation to help them maintain adherence to their wellness plan.
3. View the Client Through a Holistic Lens
Another tip for wellness counselling that can help improve adherence is viewing the client as a whole and everything that may be influencing their current state. As a wellness professional, you may have catered your life to suit your wellness needs. However, individuals vary significantly in their family dynamics, home environment, careers, responsibilities, schedules, socioeconomic status, and more, all of which can impact adherence (Blumenthal & Stonerock, 2016). Keeping this in mind and using a holistic approach when you write wellness programs for your clients will help you create plans that maximize the client’s ability to adhere and achieve their goals.
4. Hold Check-Ins to Review Wellness Markers
Check-ins are a great way to keep clients accountable, see what progress has been made, and find out if any areas of the program need adjustment (Muth, 2015). They serve as a great time to assess progress while giving the client time to say anything on their mind, connect with their wellness counsellor, and reestablish their commitment to their goals. Accountability and support go a long way regarding adherence, and check-ins with your clients can help them feel the encouragement they need to continue their journey.
5. Help Clients Garner Support for Their Efforts
Support systems are a significant deciding factor regarding how well clients adhere to their wellness plan (Blumenthal & Stonerock, 2016). Using relational interviewing skills to learn more about the client and their access to various supports such as family, friends, finances, community, and more can help you determine where they get their support from. These conversations can also spark ideas for where your client may find new support from, whether that’s through sharing their journey with friends, joining a like-minded community group, or otherwise. Holding space for each client and their individual experiences and circumstances will help you determine the best course of action to help them reach their goals.
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