I sent out a newsletter the other day that gave some details about the clinical work I’ve been doing lately. After a few years out of full-time practice to teach and get my MS, I’m working with clients again. I wanted to let people know that I’m taking clients and what the process looks like.

The newsletter went something like this:

“After explaining her symptoms, my client asked if I could help her. I replied, ‘I don’t know.’ Why? Because that’s the truth. Even though I feel confident in my skills as a functional nutritionist, I simply can’t know what a client’s outcome will be.”

After sending the newsletter I asked a friend if he’d seen it, and he said yes, he had. But he thought I needed to be more self-aggrandizing in order to get clients.

We’re close friends, me and this guy. We go way back and we’re deeply honest with each other. He said, “Victoria, I just don’t see why someone would trust you when you literally say you don’t know if you can help them. You’ve got to talk yourself up. You’re good at what you do.”

It made me think.

And here’s what I came to.

I’m a real practitioner. I’m going to tell you the truth, as I see it, and I’m not going to bullshit you or try to “get” you as a client.

I’m not going to sell you some one-size-fits-all flavor of the week diet plan or supplement. And I’m for sure not going to tell you that I can solve all your problems.

I’m not going to market to you with clickbait, pressure you into anything that doesn’t feel right, or sell you with fear-based, scarcity sales tactics. I’m not going to shake you down for your email address.

I’m going to be myself. I’m a little weird, wildly passionate about this work, and really in love with my clients. I’m going to be frank with you, explain my thought process to you, and ask you what you think and need. I’m going to research my ass off for you and try to find the underlying answers to your health problems.

I’m going to be completely vulnerable and upfront with you because YOU DESERVE IT. You deserve it, the profession of nutrition deserves it, and the world deserves it. We desperately need it. The normalization of vulnerability and rawness helps us all become more honest and real. It gives us the space to improve. As a wonderful mentor once told me, there’s no argument against transparency.

And, if I can’t figure it out? I’m going to tell you that I’m not your girl and help you find someone who hopefully can help.

So, can I help you? In this one way, at least, yes, I can. I can help you by having the confidence to say, “I don’t know.”

8 thoughts on “How to become a real practitioner

  1. I Love This!!! More health and wellness professionals need to be honest and passionate. I’ve never seen a doctor that said “let’s try and figure out what’s going on”.

  2. I love this! I would totally sign on as a client if you told me “I don’t know” AND spelled out how you were going to try; especially when that includes trying to help me interpret data/medical jargon and willingness to refer me to a trusted practitioner.
    In 2007 I attended a Pilates class. The teacher was passionate, knowledgable, clearly dedicated to her own practice and my body felt great afterward. One of the students asked a question at the end of class. Her answer: “I don’t know but I’ll look into it and get back to you.” I was gobstopingly amazed. I I had NEVER heard a teacher admit that in ANY learning environment. I started going to her class regularly. My results were compelling. Eventually, I enrolled in the training program where she learned to teach Pilates ( and incidentally I also began studying a in spiritual/self examination school where she learned to say “I don’t know”). Fast forward 10 years and I’m using those skills along with many other in the tool box I’ve been adding to for 25+ years of an ever engaging, deeply satisfying and often mystifying ( in both the confusing “huh?” sense of that word as well as the fall to my knees awe in the big picture, inspiring and humbling sense) career as a “body whisperer”/Movement and Structural Integration ( ATSI see anatomytrainsstructuralintegrationgrassvalley.com) practitioner.

    1. Mia, thanks for sharing your (very cool) experience with “I don’t know.” I love hearing that there are other practitioners out there saying it! <3

  3. Yes. Yes. And yes. I love this and cannot express how much this truly resonates with me. I remember I watched a Facebook webinar (or perhaps a Facebook live) years ago where you described the the NTA school and the NTP program (now known as FNTP). Right after I watched it I reached out to you and told you how much I loved your talk and your passion and your real-ness. And all of this is still so true. The words you wrote that I’m commenting on now meant a lot to me because I’m always so honest with clients also and I often question myself when doing so. So thank you. When you get so big you are hiring people to help you – please hit me up! Cheers

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