Point of View

Point of View

Food and Mood: What Every Therapist Needs to Know about Nutrition

By Ryan Howes

November/December 2016

Most therapists have never had a course in nutrition. But what if your clients’ depression or anxiety is more connected to their diet and gut bacteria than to their relationships, or fears, or traumatic childhood?

That’s the question that Joan Borysenko—author of 16 books about biology, psychology, and spirituality, including the bestselling Minding the Body, Mending the Mind—wants you to consider. She used her Harvard doctorate in medical science to become a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, exploring the role of meaning and spirituality in health and healing. After a perilous experience with a dietary change, she delved into the literature of nutrition and mental health, resulting in her latest book, The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for Life. It turns out you really are what you eat, even on an emotional level. She’ll be a featured speaker at the 2017 Networker Symposium.


RH: What got you interested in studying nutrition?

BORYSENKO: Seven years ago, my husband, at age 65, found that he had some calcifications in his arteries, which isn’t unusual at that age. So we followed the traditional advice and went on an ultra low-fat vegan diet. We decided if that’s what it was going to take to reverse coronary artery disease, we’d do it. We did it religiously for 14 months, and I have to say, we were completely obnoxious about it. We were like holy rollers telling…

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1 Comment

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 10:12:09 AM | posted by Ilissa
This is an incredible resource of information. I wish most physicians were as motivated as the interviewee. I hope clinicians in the future are required to take something in graduate school, either a class or a part of a class, that covers nutrition as extensively as this article. Thank you for another great publication.