Welcome to the Facilitators of Change Workshop! You, the WIC nutrition staff, will have an opportunity to facilitate stages of change in nutrition counseling – thus becoming Facilitators of Change. This workshop has been developed by the Tennessee Department of Health, Nutrition Services, Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) and is based on previous successful programs and workbooks produced by the WIC Programs of New Mexico and Kentucky. (See acknowledgements in Appendix.) Designed for nutritionists and nutrition educators, this workbook can be used by all CPA’s (Competent Professional Authority’s) to help clients change unhealthy eating habits.
The stages of change model developed by Prochaska and DiClemente provide the theoretical framework for helping clients improve their dietary behaviors. The basic premise is that behavior change is a process and not an event, and that individuals are at varying level of readiness to change. You will learn to interpret the five stages (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance) that are essential to long-lasting behavior change. This model for change can allow you to help clients move through the stages of change and adopt more healthful diets within a supportive environment.
As nutrition professionals, we strive to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviors among the populations we serve. An understanding of behavior change theory allows us to better understand the many factors influencing health-related behaviors as well as the most effective ways of promoting change. The bottom line is that programs, interventions, and messages that are guided by behavior change theory have a much greater chance of achieving positive behavior change.
You will also have the opportunity to learn to focus most of your efforts on developing facilitative counseling methods that target client needs. Passive forms of learning, such as lectures, have been shown to be ineffective in producing behavior changes. You will find that facilitative counseling offers an easy and practical way to help clients develop their own solutions to their nutrition challenges.