Counseling and the Microbiome


In this course, we look into how the gut microbiome is implicated in not only many physical health maladies, but also numerous mental health conditions. A burgeoning collection of recent research studies has demonstrated robust correlation between microbiome unwellness and various conditions, including anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder, obesity, alcohol misuse, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression, and more; these are reviewed. Inasmuch as the principal intervention in many of the studies has been the addition of either a probiotic or a pre-biotic, the course shows how these work to accelerate the growth of gut-friendly bacteria, and also goes over other “secrets” to good gut health, including type of dietary regimen, the use of antioxidants, re-engineering one’s taste buds to include more dirt and less processed food, fasting, and attaining a gut-friendly lifestyle. Most mental health helpers are not additionally certified as nutrition consultants, so the course also suggests how the former can ethically work with clients whom they suspect of having gut issues which are jeopardizing their mental health.



Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to: Define the term "microbiome" and show how it is crucially implicated in one's health; recall the chief findings of at least seven studies showing the relationship between gut health and various mental health conditions; discuss the roles of probiotics and prebiotics in enhancing the health of the microbiome; name at least six strategies that clients can adopt to improve their gut health; state how you would proceed with clients whom you suspect of having a sick microbiome (assuming you are not an accredited dietitian); explain how, if at all, you believe you may need to practice counseling differently in a paradigm which recognizes the central role of gut health to mental health.




Level: 1

Duration (hrs): 3

Author: Dr Meg Carbonatto

CE Approvals:

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