A quick guide to finding a nutritionist
Being brave enough to acknowledge or accept that something needs to change is a big step. You’ve decided to undertake nutritional therapy, but what next? How do you choose which practitioner to go with? There are so many factors that can affect our choice and, in unknown territory, it can feel a little overwhelming. So to help make the process easier, we’ll walk you through how to use our search tool to find the right nutrition professional for you.
Before you start your search
Before you start your search, it’s important to decide on a few factors that will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed and narrow down your choices to relevant therapists.
What are your non-negotiables?
Much like when looking for a new job or a new home, you need to decide on the factors that are essential and non-negotiable, and which ones you can afford to compromise on.
You might like to consider:
- Do you have a budget?
- Is location important? Are you looking for someone close to home or would you consider online/telephone therapy?
- Would you prefer to work with a therapist of a particular gender?
- Is this practitioner for you? Or are you looking for help for somebody else, such as your child?
- Does your therapist need to speak another language?
These factors can affect your search criteria, so they’re worth considering before you commence your search.
Ask for recommendations
It can be helpful to hear others’ experiences of nutritional therapy, particularly if you know someone who has already tried it. Ask them about their experience: do they have any advice? What did they think worked well with their therapist?
While we shouldn’t solely rely on someone else’s experience (as everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to the qualities of a professional), it can be a good method to help you gather information. If their experience was positive and they would recommend their therapist, use our site search (which you can find in our top toolbar) to find their name.
If you’re unsure on whether nutritional therapy is for you, take a look at how it can support both specific conditions and improve general holistic health on our How it helps page.
So you know your non-negotiables, and you’ve asked for recommendations. Already, you may have a pretty clear idea of what you want from a nutritionist and why. But before we guide you through finding a professional, we wanted to answer some of the most common nutrition questions, just in case.
How much does a nutritionist cost?
The cost of working with a nutrition professional will depend on a number of factors, including the type of professional you see. As a ballpark, you can expect to pay anything from £50 to £80+ for sessions (of course, some will offer sessions at a lower cost). Often the initial consultation will be longer and therefore more expensive, while follow-up appointments are typically shorter and cheaper.
How long will sessions last?
Typically sessions last can last from 45 – 90 minutes. However, how each professional will carry out their sessions varies depending on the professionals themselves, the client, and what the purpose of the sessions are.
What qualifications should nutrition professionals have?
Although nutritionists and nutritional therapists are not currently regulated in the UK, there are professional bodies and societies that nutrition professionals can choose to register with. To register and become accredited, they must meet certain requirements set by the organisation, complying with their code of ethics and complaints procedure.
Want to know more? Visit our FAQs page.
How to find a nutritionist on Nutritionist Resource
Here are some of the different ways you can use the search tool on Nutritionist Resource to find the therapist who’s right for you.
Search by location
If it’s important to find a therapist in your area who works with clients in person, select ‘In person’ and enter your location – your town or postcode. You can then use the distance filter to increase the search area, depending on how far you are able to travel.
Search for online nutritional therapy
Lots of therapists offer online and telephone therapy, which may be more convenient for you if you are unable to travel, and more comfortable as you are able to remain in your own home. We now have over 600 therapists offering these services: to find a therapist, use the online search.
What’s worrying you?
Generally, people who seek out nutritional therapy have something in particular that they want help with, whether it’s a medical condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), general lifestyle changes such as sports nutrition, transitioning to a vegan diet or something else. If something specific is bothering you you can use our ‘A-Z health‘ drop-down menu to find a practitioner that can specifically help with that area.
Getting specific with your search criteria
If you already know you’re seeking a therapist with particular training such as a dietitian or Functional Medicine Practitioner, you can enter these key terms in the ‘keyword’ search box. If a practitioner has mentioned that they deal with this on their profile, they will appear in the search results.
Alternatively, you may wish to use the keyword box to add additional requirements, such as other languages spoken e.g. ‘French speaker’ or if you are seeking a concessionary fee rate e.g. ‘student’ or ‘concession’.
We have hundreds of nutrition professionals listed on the directory, all with different areas of specialisms, approaches and expertise. Your search (as detailed above) will help you narrow down what you’re looking for so the next step is to start browsing some profiles to get a feel for the therapist. If you click on their name you can find out more about their approach, training, special interests as well as fees information and their contact details.
5 things to look out for
Our therapists list a lot of information on their profiles and it can be helpful to notice some of the extra features that can help you find what you’re looking for.
Pay particular attention to the following whilst browsing profiles:
- types of session available (face to face, online and telephone)
- details of other languages spoken, including British Sign Language (BSL)
- types of client they can help
Just as every practitioner is different, so is every profile on our website. Some therapists demonstrate their expertise through writing articles and sharing their own professional research, others host events – both in-person and online – and some share their thought leadership through videos on their profiles. Browsing some of this content can be a great way to get a feel for the therapist and can help decide if they’re the right practitioner for you.
You may have noticed or are already aware that there are many different terms to describe professionals working in nutritional therapy – dietitian, nutritional therapist, nutritionist, naturopathic nutritional therapist etc – which can be daunting at first glance. Understanding the key differences between these professionals and how they can offer support should help you decide which one is right for you.
When browsing search results, you may also notice some organisations are listed below the individual practitioners, some of which may also be able to offer you support.
Contacting a nutritionist
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few practitioners who fit your criteria and who you get a good ‘feel’ for, the next step is to approach them. Simply click on the ‘Message me’ button at the top of their profile and fill in the form to tell the therapist a little bit about you and what you’re looking to achieve from nutritional therapy.
Some people feel nervous about this, but try to remember that the therapist is just another person, same as you, and they entered into a caring profession because they want to help others, that’s their main goal.
Many nutrition professionals offer a free 10-15 minute discovery call, so you can get a good feel for them and how they work. It’s important you feel comfortable with your chosen therapist and that there is a good connection, so remember, you don’t have to make the decision right away: chat to a few therapists and trust your initial reaction.
Your connection with this person is vital. It’s important that you feel that your therapist understands you personally and cares about your well-being. It’s equally important that you feel comfortable talking to them about what might be bothering you, so good rapport is key. Take your time to think this over and make sure you feel this connection before committing to more sessions.
Your next steps
Whichever therapist you opt to see, remember that you can ask about their training and experience before your first session. This includes confirmation of their up-to-date professional body membership and professional insurance – as well as evidence of any relevant qualifications.
It’s perfectly OK to ask for clarification if there’s something you don’t understand. This can give you peace of mind before you commence the therapeutic relationship.
Don’t be disheartened if it’s not right the first time around
If the first therapist you reach out to isn’t quite right for you, please don’t give up. There are many different branches of nutritional therapy and each practitioner will often have different techniques, specialisms and approaches, so if you don’t have success with one at first, it is always worth trying someone else who uses a different approach.
Whilst taking on nutritional therapy can be a big step into the unknown, it can bring about many benefits: improving your mood, managing specific conditions, encouraging you to be comfortable in your own skin, reduction in stress, improvement to your physical health, support with feeding the family, energy levels and many more – the benefits are endless.
We know it’s daunting when you’re not sure where to start and we’re here to help.
Find the right nutritionist for you
All therapists are verified professionals.