Following are the comments from participants in the Intuitive Eating Practicum and Counseling and Disordered Eating Practicums. In the past, both programs were put together in a year-long program called Intuitive Eating Intensive, which is what you will see it called in the comments below. 

Practicum Evaluations

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

The most important thing I got out of this intensive is learning a completely different way to look at health and food. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I applied for this internship and honestly, it changed my life. I’ve learned so much that has helped me grow personally and professionally. I am very happy I have learned the HAES focus to nutrition therapy—and life!

Sum up what you learned about counseling skills:

I have learned to use a specific language during counseling to establish a comfortable and non-interrogating atmosphere for the client. Using how, not what. Also, every client is different. The enneagram definitely plays into counseling. Its important to evaluate the client in order to approach certain issues differently. Also, counseling is more effective when you guide the client to arrive at their own conclusions. Asking questions to lead them in the right direction is a successful way to do this. (Listening to the transcripts help me with this A LOT!!!!)

What did you learn about yourself and others through the weekend workshops?

I honestly thought everyone had the same characteristic/qualities as me and would get so frustrated when things I would do for people wouldn’t be reciprocated. Its awesome to learn how different people really are. I’m a lot more accepting of people for who they are.

What did you get out of the Intensive professionally?

Before this intensive, I didn’t know much about nutrition therapy. Now, I can’t imagine pursuing any other career. This program opened my eyes!

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?
This workshop changed my life. I can’t even imagine life without learning this amazing knowledge. This program provided me with skills to better my future career as a dietitian as well as skills to help me continue to personally grow.

~ Kathleen Lowans, Gainesville, Florida; Major: Food Sciences and Human Nutrition- Dietetics specialization

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

The power to trust your body and understand that people think differently and how that can influence the way they act/react. We have learned to not trust our bodies and that we have to follow outside rules in order to be “okay or good.” Regaining trust in my own body has helped me in every way possible: personally, socially, professionally, etc. Realizing the many ways people differ in their though processes has helped me to understand myself and others better.

What was the least important thing?

            Honestly, everything was important.        

What would you have changed?

            It would have been nice to meet more often.

Sum up what you learned about counseling skills:

            I learned the importance of using other words in replace of ‘why’ in order to elicit a more in-depth response from a person. I learned how projection, transference, and countertransference can impact a counseling session. The importance of supervision was also discussed and as well as determining when seeking therapy for yourself is necessary in order to improve your relationship and success with clients.

Knowing what you don’t know is more important than knowing what you know. What did you come to realize you need to learn in regards to counseling skills:

            I need to learn how to recognize when I’m projecting or there is transference occurring. I also need to learn how to better respond to clients and how to pick up symbolism in their stories or explanations.

What did you learn about yourself and others through the weekend workshops?

            I learned how my thought process works and how it can work as a road block at times. I can now catch myself doing “6ish” things that are not helping or are worsening a situation. Discovering that I am a 6 has also helped me feel less out of place. Before, I used to believe I was weird or wrong because of the way I think and process situations. Learning about this has also helped me understand how others think, act, and express themselves. I never realized how different people might process situations or react to events.

What did you get out of the Intensive professionally?

            I learned how to better work with clients and how to implement different exercises to help clients gain trust in their bodies. The weekend workshops and discussions helped to better understand people and know how to properly approach different types of people. I now have concrete evidence that supports Intuitive eating that I can present to future clients and help them embrace and trust their bodies, especially when pertaining to food. I have also learned counseling skills that elicit deeper conversations and a greater connection with my clients.

What did you get out of the Intensive personally?

            To say the least, this intensive was life changing. I have gained a greater understanding in how my body functions as well as the need to let it speak for itself. My brain, or anything else, should not be what dictates what my stomach, heart, legs, etc. want. The amount of trust I have in my body is much greater than ever before. I have a learned more about the way I think and act, which has decreased the amount of judgment/criticism for who I am. I am now able to better connect with people and understand them by using the enneagram as a guide.

How have your eating patterns changed, if at all:

            My eating patterns have changed quite drastically since the beginning of this intensive. I have introduced a lot more foods into my life as well as significantly decreased my restricting habits. I have become better at listening to my body’s hunger/satiety cues, which has decreased a lot of the anxiety I had around eating. I also understand my eating patterns more and can better recognize when I am eating for emotional reasons or because I am truly hungry.

How has your relationship with your body changed, if at all:

            I have become more accepting of my body and have increased the moments filled with affection towards my body. I am not as critical of my body and have come much closer to reaching a strong positive relationship with my body.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?
            This workshop is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will significantly improve your professional skills as well as help you get closer to finding freedom from any weight/body issues, to say the least.

~ SP, Major: Food Science and Human Nutrition (Dietetics)

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

The most important thing I got from this internship is that I was able to look outside of how society has always influenced us and look at individuals in a different way, how you can’t judge a person’s health by their outside. Also, just becoming so much more in touch with my eating and hunger signals, as well as decoding fat thoughts.

What was the least important thing?

The least important thing was probably the volunteering at F4K, even though I really do like the organization! It did show me how the issue of hunger relates with intuitive eating and making sure children do not go hungry, but I just loved all of the intuitive eating informationso much too.

What would you have changed?

Everything was awesome and probably wouldn’t change much. Maybe more time to do assignments, but that is just because it was overwhelming at some points with school and all.

What did you get out of the year's training personally?

I seriously found a new world on how to view people and society. It has been the most eye-opening experience of my life. I would never have been the same personally, and I really truly feel that this is what I have been looking for for so long. I have loved nutrition, but I have always been scared of it because I thought I would turn into a nutrition Nazi, which I maybe was before this internship. I didn’t know that this existed, but it has brought me peace and so much happiness every time I think about the intuitive eating and other principles that we have learned in this internship.

 I have really been looking for my “calling” all of these years, and yeah I want to help people and wanted to be a doctor and wanted all this stuff, this is what I have been looking for, but just had no idea that it was out there. From the day I went to the BAM talk, I knew everything Karin said was everything that I believed and I had to learn more. Sorry about how long-winded this answer is, but sometimes I just don’t have the right words to describe how much this Intensive means to me and has changed my life so much!

What did you learn about yourself / others from the weekend workshops?

I realize that everyone has different ways of reacting to situations. I used to find myself asking why people acted a certain way and why they didn’t think like me, but it is because not everyone thinks like me and that is okay. I really think this self-awareness is what I have been searching for for SO long and is what I really needed to truly grow. It has opened up a whole new world to me.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?

It is amazing and I would recommend it to every nutrition / health education student! It is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it and other students would learn A LOT.

~ Felicia Goldszlager, Major: Health Education and Behavior

What was the most important thing you got out of this past year?

I really got a good relationship back with food from this internship. By restoring my relationship with food, I also found myself trying to be more open with other about intuitive eating and their relationships with food. Decoding Fat Feelings was really empowering for me because I have finally learned to focus on other aspects of my life and not the food. If I become a psychologist, this will be helpful because you can only take people as far as you’ve gone. This internship changed my life radically so it’s hard to pick just one “important thing”.

What was the least important thing?

This question is difficult as well, but if I had to choose something, I would say the readings about different counseling skills. Through listening to the transcripts and learning through Karin and Tracy, I learned much more than I did when I was doing the readings individually (even though we discussed them together).

What would you have changed?

It would’ve lasted all summer as well LOL

What did you get out of the Intensive personally?

I learned so much about my eating and my food/body image problems. Decoding fat thoughts was so empowering and it changed me completely. Although I still have some problems ALWAYS trusting my body, trusting happens more than disciplining now. Also, I have reconnected with exercise in a whole new way. I enjoy moving my body and I don’t despise the gym. It’s so awesome how your body works when you trust it. 

How has your relationship with your body changed, if at all:

My relationship with my body is definitely better. I want to help it now instead of hurt it. I want to move it joyfully and not in a punishing way. Also, since I started doing the “Gorgeous Goddess” exercise and I gave up negative body talk for Lent, I have been doing a lot better about hating my body. I compliment myself now, which I never used to do.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?

That I learned more during this internship than I ever did in 5 years in college. I not only grew and learned more about myself, but I also learned so much more about interacting with other people. I learned facts (that I actually can remember on cue), but most of all, I learned how to better interact with the world around me. I learned to think outside the box. Overall, I would just tell them that if I had to choose this internship or getting my Master’s degree, I’d choose this internship.

~ Heather Resos, Stuart FL, Major: Health Education and Behavior

What was the most important thing you got out of this past year?

I really got a good relationship back with food from this internship. By restoring my relationship with food, I also found myself trying to be more open with other about intuitive eating and their relationships with food. Decoding Fat Feelings was really empowering for me because I have finally learned to focus on other aspects of my life and not the food. If I become a psychologist, this will be helpful because you can only take people as far as you’ve gone. This internship changed my life radically so it’s hard to pick just one “important thing”.

What was the least important thing?

This question is difficult as well, but if I had to choose something, I would say the readings about different counseling skills. Through listening to the transcripts and learning through Karin and Tracy, I learned much more than I did when I was doing the readings individually (even though we discussed them together).

What would you have changed?

It would’ve lasted all summer as well LOL

What did you get out of the Intensive personally?

I learned so much about my eating and my food/body image problems. Decoding fat thoughts was so empowering and it changed me completely. Although I still have some problems ALWAYS trusting my body, trusting happens more than disciplining now. Also, I have reconnected with exercise in a whole new way. I enjoy moving my body and I don’t despise the gym. It’s so awesome how your body works when you trust it. 

How has your relationship with your body changed, if at all:

My relationship with my body is definitely better. I want to help it now instead of hurt it. I want to move it joyfully and not in a punishing way. Also, since I started doing the “Gorgeous Goddess” exercise and I gave up negative body talk for Lent, I have been doing a lot better about hating my body. I compliment myself now, which I never used to do.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?

That I learned more during this internship than I ever did in 5 years in college. I not only grew and learned more about myself, but I also learned so much more about interacting with other people. I learned facts (that I actually can remember on cue), but most of all, I learned how to better interact with the world around me. I learned to think outside the box. Overall, I would just tell them that if I had to choose this internship or getting my Master’s degree, I’d choose this internship.

~ Heather Resos, Stuart FL, Major: Health Education and Behavior

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

  • Greater self-awareness about relationship with food, body, and emotions, communication skills, and knowledge of IE/HAES paradigm. Application of all of these things to nutrition therapy (hunger scale work, food fears survey, chosen eating place, etc.).

What was the least important thing?

  • Driving to Haile Plantation
  • Raising children without eating issues (although, this may become important in later years or when working with a client who has these issues).

Knowing what you don’t know is more important than knowing what you know. What did you come to realize you need to learn in regards to counseling skills:

  • Using the intellectual center rather than emotional center when working with a patient.
  • Dealing with emotions in session.
  • Experience to apply these skills with a client in real-life. (However, this would be tricky to incorporate into the internship with the licensure laws).

What did you learn about yourself and others through the weekend workshops and follow up assignments/ discussions?

  • Oh gosh, where to begin?! The workshops really transformed the way I relate to people by understanding people who are different from me. It helped me become less judgmental towards myself and practice more regular self-care, which has improved my mental and emotional health tremendously. It’s a great tool to use when getting to know a patient and to understand their motivations for doing/not doing things.
  • I would have liked more practice with typing others, but that is hard to do in the short amount of time that we have with the internship.

What did you get out of the Intensive professionally?

  • Improved interpersonal communication and counseling skills
  • Professional supervision
  • Networking with professionals and peers with similar interests
  • Opportunities to volunteer with Food 4 Kids (Resume builder)

What did you get out of the Intensive personally?

  • Greater self-awareness
  • Understanding and labeling emotions and how to cope with them
  • Using the hunger/satiety scale
  • Challenging food fears & eating from a place of freedom

How has your eating patterns changed, if at all?

            I have the courage to acknowledge and challenge food fears, can more clearly define my likes and dislikes with food, and am not afraid to eat when I’m hungry or stop when I’m full. I have a lot more trust in my body and am able to respond to hunger/satiety signals without worry of gaining weight or eating the “right” way.

How has your relationship with your body changed, if at all?

            I am able to decode fat thoughts/talk and understand that when I’m feeling bad about my body there is generally something else going on that has nothing to do with my body. I am more appreciative of my body and enjoy doing self-care activities like joyful movement and relaxation exercises to show respect for my body.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?

            It will change the way you perceive your body and food.

~ SP, Gainesville, FL.  Major: Food Science and Human Nutrition, Dietetics

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

The most important things for me were each of our discussions concerning counseling strategies and the weekend workshops. While I am very interested in intuitive eating and nutritional counseling, I want to be involved in the counseling and therapy side of recovery. I feel that it is important, however, for a professional working with clients with eating issues to understand the nutritional side of recovery as well so I am grateful to have had this experience. I enjoyed learning the different counseling strategies.

What would you have changed?

I would have liked to have mock sessions with each other more often. I really enjoyed the few times we looked at each other’s journals and picked them apart.

Sum up what you learned about counseling skills:

What we learned in the weekend workshop is so valuable in helping the therapist understand the client’s tendencies and thought patterns.

What did you learn about yourself and others through the weekend workshops?

I learned that there are so many different ways that people think and see the world/others. Understanding where others are coming from by knowing their type is so helpful both in counseling and everyday relationships. Learning about this has helped me relate to others better and have greater patience.

What was the most important factor in you accepting this different paradigm?

I think that just asking questions and having Karin and Tracy debunk and disprove all the common thoughts about weight and health was the most powerful factor.

What did you get out of the Intensive personally?

Personally, I learned that I have a tendency to justify my exercising as “fun” when I begin to feel stressed/scared/anxious/uncomfortable and use it as a way to cope rather than confronting my insecurities and what happening on the deeper side of the Y chart. Over-exercising has been my biggest struggle since and during the internship but I feel that I am starting to develop a healthier relationship with it.

How has your relationship with your body changed, if at all:

YES. I have started to show gratitude towards my body which has allowed me to love myself in a whole new way. Appreciating my body’s abilities has been very powerful for me.

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?

It is an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity. While it is a lot of work, it is most definitely worth it in the end.

~ Kelly Elise Ulmer, Gainesville FL.  Major: Psychology

What was the most important thing you got out of the Intuitive Eating Intensive?

The knowledge to challenge the current thinking on the relationship between fat and health in my profession.

What was the least important thing?

I don’t feel that anything was unimportant.

What would you have changed?

Nothing.

Knowing what you don’t know is more important than knowing what you know. What did you come to realize you need to learn in regards to counseling skills:

I need to learn how to handle uncomfortable situations and how to deal with challenging clients. I need to get better at reading personality types

What did you learn about yourself and others through the weekend workshops.

I learned to be more patient with others and more aware of myself.

What did you get out of the Intensive professionally?

A new way of thinking and living.

How have your eating patterns changed, if at all:

I have stopped eating way past comfortable

I rarely feel guilt regarding my diet

If applicable, what did you get out of the B4K volunteer program:

I learned leadership and organizational skills

What one thing would you tell another student about this workshop?
DO IT!!!!!

~ DS, Gainesville Fl. Major: FSHN Dietetics UF