Mind-body medicine doctoral student, Deborah Klein, integrates health coaching and mind-body skills with dietician practice

Deborah Klein, M.S., RD

Deborah Klein, M.S., RD

Deborah Klein, M.S., RD, Certified Health & Wellness Coach, is the world’s first Livitician coach, a term she coined as an alternative to Dietician, and has been counseling clients on nutrition and fitness for over 20 years.  Her mission is to educate others on achieving optimal wellness through balanced eating, intrinsic coaching and exercise.

At the University of California, Davis, Deborah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and a minor in Exercise Physiology. She then earned her Registered Dietitian license in Georgia.  She also completed her Master’s of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.  She is now a PhD candidate at Saybrook University Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine. 

While Deborah has always dreamt of moving into a doctoral program, after completing her MS, she realized there wasn’t one in existence to suit her passion.  Then, one fateful day in 2009, Deborah received an email from Saybrook University introducing her to the new Mind-Body Medicine graduate program.  Deborah officially became a student of Saybrook’s first groundbreaking class for the MBM program.

Deborah is also a Certified Intrinsic Coach® Health & Wellness (CIC), and completed the Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate program through Saybrook, which she incorporates into her nutrition counseling to explore the core of her clients’ vision, to bring their goals to reality and enable long-term health.

Deborah believes that Saybrook University has had an incredible impact on her career.  Her Saybrook education has allowed her to strengthen her impact on her patients as a healthcare practitioner through the incorporation of various mind-body techniques, and health coaching has helped her reach deeper within her patients to uncover the core of their motivation.  Deborah remarked that “people are like onions, you have to peel back the layers to get to the core of who someone is.”  She further commented that her role as a coach is to “bring out the client’s solutions” to find what is uniquely meaningful and effective for each individual.

Deborah had a private practice for over 13 years and currently works at an integrative clinic in collaboration with Dr. Prudence Hall, who is a gynecologist, but also works practices Integrative medicine.  Deborah specializes in weight loss, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, disease prevention, and long-term wellness, and works synergistically with many of Dr. Hall’s patients.

Deborah reflected on a few mind-body techniques that she finds to be the most powerful.  She postulates that mindful breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is the most fundamentally important and beneficial skill of all MBM interventions.  She also incorporates the use of guided imagery and visualization with her patients.  Furthermore, Deborah finds a movement exercise, called “shaking and dancing,” and another breathing exercise, “chaotic breathing,” to be her favorites. Together, these techniques help her to address more than just nutrition and exercise with her patients; they change the dialogue completely, which opens her up to the patients’ reality.   Deborah addresses her patients as a dietician, but she also coaches her patients in a variety of stress management and wellness techniques in addition to nutrition and exercise.