Having just submitted my final and biggest assignment of the year, I thought I’d share a post about it.
This is my first Wellness Plan and probably took me well over 20 hours to write with 54 references and over 8500 words!
I really enjoyed doing this assignment and found myself subconsciously thinking continuously about the case. Considering every influence on health from every angle – dietary, lifestyle, psychological/emotional, environmental, personal history and even the individual’s character and personality!
A wellness plan is basically exactly what it sounds like – a plan help my client get well.
It culminates in 3 S.M.A.R.T goals accompanied with handouts for extra information on how to implement them. The client will then attempt to accomplish all 3 goals in the duration before the next consultation.
Sounds easy right? Anyone could easily come up with three goals after listening to a client for 1.5 hours.
Well if it were so simple, I wouldn’t have to spend 3 years learning all about anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and how to differential between various diseases or identify Red Flags for urgent referrals or about various drug-herb-supplement interactions, side effects or precautions!
Sadly there are many unqualified ‘naturopaths’ without such training prescribing treatments without going through this thought process.
Here’s a brief summary of the entire thought process:
- Translation of case take notes from the consultation – client’s background, narrative, health goals, presenting concerns, signs and symptoms
- Summarizing medical history, past medication & treatments
- Documenting validated clinical outcome measures
- Documenting all physical & holistic general examination
- Documenting current medication and supplements including ingredients, interactions contraindications, precautions and side-effects
- Documenting all environmental influences on health from sleep to chemical exposure
- Family medical and social history
- Dietary analysis using a validated software such as FoodWorks by Xyris
- Analysing all assessments and findings against evidence of validated norms
- Summarising most important points from the case, linking and synthesising all information
- Describing interrelationships between signs and symptoms and all information gathered
- Performing a differential diagnosis of all possible conditions – why they are likely or unlikely
- Discuss client’s expectations in relation to my assessment of the case
- Discuss client’s readiness for change according to Prochaska et al. (1976) model of Trans-theoretical Stages of Change
- Link understanding of the case to the tenants of Naturopathic philosophy
- Choose 3 most important aspects of the case, for each citing primary sources of evidence
- Form a naturopathic diagnosis and 7 naturopathic goals
- Finally come up with a Wellness Plan consisting of 3 S.M.A.R.T goals accompanied with handouts for extra information
Honestly, I don’t think many experienced naturopaths have the time to spare to do all this in practice however it is definitely worth learning this well as a student as it teaches us the full, comprehensive and holistic thought-process/framework of thinking to better serve our clients safely and effectively.
Another thing I love about what I am learning is how client-centred Naturopathy is.
You’d be hard pressed to find a doctor willing to spend 1.5 hours in a consultation, listening and investigating the root causes of illness and then many many more hours pondering on the case, researching and writing up a 5000 word WELLNESS PLAN with dozens of peer-reviewed research to back up!
But I sure hope I can do them a lot faster in the future though! 🤞🏻
“The novice relies on processes until it becomes second-nature.
With experience comes intuition.”