The Diploma in Counselling for Obesity Management (DCOM) course is currently in its pilot phase. Obesity Canada hopes to offer this widely in the winter 2023.
The Diploma in Counselling for Obesity Management (DCOM) is an online obesity treatment training program run by Michael Vallis, PhD R Psych. and Tiffany Shepherd, PhD R Psych. through Family Medicine at Dalhousie University as an extension of the Behaviour Change Institute (BCI), providing didactic learning, experiential learning, corrective feedback, and ability to self-evaluate competency. The training program will guide learners through the following stages of skill development; awareness, followed by competence, and then confidence. Training is intensive, with 25 sessions over 6 months and interactive activities between sessions. Sessions focus on experiential learning with corrective feedback and establishment of a community of practice.
The proposed training program addresses four core skills:
- Establishing change-based relationships.
- Assessing readiness to change and promoting motivation to follow recommended obesity management interventions.
- Supporting behaviour change through implementation of evidence-based behaviour change skills.
- Addressing important psychosocial issues that modulate success in behaviour change.
This program is in its development phase. Funding has been obtained to adapt the BCI training model to obesity and to develop a LMS system for remote education. We have just completed the first cohort of learners, who report that the training has made significant changes to how they practice obesity management. We are starting our second cohort (summer – early fall) and are interested in offering training to additional professionals already working in obesity management. We are interested in offering training to Canadian Obesity providers working in a multidisciplinary team setting.
To apply, candidates need to be:
- a healthcare providers with at least 2 years experience,
- licensed to practice in their clinical field, and
- be practicing at least half-time, where at least 25% of patients seen live with obesity.