The "emphatic narrative": A new tool for obesity treatment

Moshe Mishali, Ronit Endevelt, Anthony D. Heymann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a new tool that has been adapted from the discipline of psychotherapy and is being used by dietitians in our preferred provider organization. The "empathic narrative" has been used clinically in various psychotherapeutic settings. It was first described by Omer and Allon in 1997. The model helps reframe the patients' personal narrative and is particularly applicable to the work of dietitians. This technique enables the patient to focus on achievements and shows that true behavioral change is possible.The generation of an empathic narrative with the patient is a gradual and active process. The narrative aims to reframe the patient's internal logic to allow him/her to cope with the challenge of behavioral change, which is the basis of dietary treatment. The patient is encouraged to build a new narrative in a way that is close enough to reflect his/her experience but at the same time offers a new perspective that will make the patient inclined to accept the behavioral change required. The aim of this article was to describe the empathic narrative and its application to the practice of the dietitians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Today
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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