chapter  6
10 Pages

SELF-MONITORING

Introduction Self-monitoring by recording eating behaviors and associated thoughts and feelings in daily journals is basic to cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). In nutrition counseling, self-monitoring proves beneficial for both nutrition counselor and patient. For nutrition counselors, food journals provide detailed descriptions of eating patterns and the circumstances of eating problems, and is a concrete way to assess progress. For patients, self-monitoring increases awareness of eating problems and precipitating events. Pike, Garner, & Vitousek (1997) find journaling is a way for patients to communicate about their experiences between sessions and to help identify and differentiate between eating situations that are difficult or manageable. Some patients may have exaggerated the extent of their eating-disordered behaviors, and self-monitoring provides a more realistic picture that is reassuring.