Joanna Falla

A typical consultation will involve a conversation with my client, this varies depending on their need, but if it’s an initial consultation we’ll talk at length about the reason they have sought nutritional therapy and what problems they would like support with.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Active listening skills; clients will often nd it quite difficult to talk at first, so you need to be present, patient and understanding. A tenacious interest in the subject and love of research, and a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others – otherwise don’t bother!

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
My interest developed slowly over time; after a period of being unwell I was interested in an alternative route back to health, then in 2012 I started studying in earnest.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
Seeing seemingly simple diet and lifestyle changes have dramatic, long term, sustainable bene t for my clients – you can’t beat it!

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Probably the volume of misinformation there is relating to diets, you have to overcome this challenge regularly and you can only do this with training and thorough research. Also the unfortunate fact that nutritional therapy is currently an unregulated industry, so you can in effect set up a business with little or no qualifications.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and started with a 6 month science access course, moving on to the three year Nutritional Therapy Diploma which I completed in 2016 – I am starting my Masters in September. To maintain accreditation I have to have to complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD annually, in reality I do much more than this, it’s an ever evolving field and there is always something to learn.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Make sure you do your research and pick a good accredited qualification, and practice what you preach! I am guilty of not always following my own advice, but fundamentally if you don’t look after yourself you can’t look after others.

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