UCAN Make a Change – The NAU Review


It’s no secret that the past 18 months have shown how important it is to adopt healthy, lasting habits to maintain overall well-being. Getting started down this path can be difficult, but NAU’s University Coaching for Activity and Nutrition Coaching Program, better known as UCAN, is here to help the logging community get started on a bigger path. healthy.

“I think everyone needs a little therapy in life,” senior said Hannah rahn said one of the program’s seasoned student health coaches. “UCAN is a great introduction to this framework. “

“A Little Therapy” is about what UCAN is. UCAN health coaches are not licensed physicians, personal trainers, dietitians, or counselors; they are students. And they’re not here to help through major life reviews. Rather, they can help students, faculty, and staff who are looking for ways to make small adjustments to be happier, have better physical and mental health, and respond to stress more productively. Coaches can teach breathing and meditation exercises or create physical activity plans and strategies to manage stress.

Hannah Rahn, UCAN Health Coach

It may be just what the doctor ordered.

Sometimes people need a licensed therapist for high level needs, but in other cases someone could benefit from a few minor adjustments to their days to help create moments of self-care that reduce stress. and anxiety. This is where UCAN health coaches come in. Health coaches offer 1: 1 sessions to support clients with whatever changes they want to make, using techniques proven for lasting behavior change. Student Health Coaches gain real customer experience and at the same time serve the campus community by providing students, faculty and staff with the support and responsibility of a coach for those who wish to improve their self-care habits but who do not need a licensed therapist.

Rahn, who is studying psychological science with a minor in health coaching, said his experience with UCAN has solidified his career choice, time and time again.

“I remember after my coaching session I called my mom and said, ‘Mom, my first session was scary, but that’s definitely what I want to do, I want to be a therapist'”, Rahn explained.

Coaches complete 45 hours of training, including a one-semester course in Motivational Interviewing, the client-centered communication technique used by UCAN. Motivational interviewing is taught across all disciplines including nursing, public health, dietetics, physiotherapy, medicine, education, and psychology, giving UCAN coaches a major advantage for those entering the field. graduate training programs. Having already mastered the skills necessary to achieve positive results with clients and patients and have lots of hours with clients also makes them an asset to future employers.

Sara scott, the student manager last year, graduated in May from the Nutrition and Diet program and began her career with increased confidence in her thoughtful listening skills and motivational interviewing training, making d ‘she a better listener and a best friend.

“I try to practice more thoughtful listening and get my peers’ personal reasons for change when they share the goals they want to achieve,” she said. “We walk around every day throwing advice like we can solve everyone’s problems, when in reality everyone has the answers to their own problems.”

Health coach Sara Scott hosts a virtual session
Health coach Sara Scott hosts a virtual session

She said having someone to talk to and get support to in a non-judgmental space can make all the difference when trying to change behavior.

“Coaches feel like they are making a major difference in the lives of their clients,” said Dawn Clifford, Director of UCAN and Professor in the Department of Health Sciences. “They realize that as a result of the sessions they lead, their clients have experienced a major healing in their relationship with food, feel more confident and accept their bodies and, because they have changed their ways. of sleep, have more energy for other areas of their life. . “

Scott recalls one particular session where she asked all the right questions and used her motivational interviewing skills to ask her client why she wanted to make a change.

“There was a point in the session where the client went quiet,” said ‘wow, I never thought of that before.’ And we sat in silence for a minute or two before we talked about this breakthrough and worked on defining its new goal. I came out of this session feeling that I had really helped them see that they had all the answers and my role is to help them go within themselves and find them.

The ultimate goal of the UCAN program is to connect the NAU community with valuable resources to support holistic wellness. The first session is free and is available to students, faculty, and staff on the Flagstaff Mountain campus, statewide, and online. After the first session, clients can purchase six 45-minute sessions throughout the semester for $ 20, making UCAN an affordable and accessible alternative to other clinical settings.

UCAN is one of several resources supporting holistic wellness as part of the Live Well NAU framework. By partnering with Advisory Services, Campus Health Services, Campus Recreation, Employee Assistance and Wellness and other departments at AAU, UCAN connects clients to d other resources that support their health and well-being while providing them with the tools to create concrete plans to make change.

For more information on UCAN, read their health and wellness blogs. To register for a free health coaching session, visit the UCAN registration page.

University of Northern Arizona logoMcKenzie McLoughlin | AUA Communications
(928) 523-4789 | [email protected]

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