Precedents/ideas for molding agriculture, food/cooking, health, and psychology together into a meaningful, practical career?
posted by trampoliningisfun to education (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To me, the whole cycle between how food is grown, prepared/cooked, how much and what exactly is eaten, and then how we feel (or vice versa--how we eat because of how we feel) is an integrated system.
I've realized that the American education system, however, seems to encourage students to focus on one of these paths, i.e. agriculture, cooking, nutrition/dietetics, and psychology, and become an expert in that one subject only. This doesn't appeal to me, as I tend to think in broad strokes and want to help people solve/heal problems and wounds from the ground up with a multidisciplinary, pragmatic perspective. I'm also very much of a jack of all trades and dislike jobs where I am constricted to doing one type of task.
That said, I envision myself in private practice working with people to address the issues I brought up in the beginning: how they feel and why, what they eat and how much/why, what they could eat/do to help them feel better, and how clinical therapy (as well as practical lessons on cooking and maybe even vegetable gardening) can also assist therapeutically and practically in this process. To me, it all makes sense and is interlinked.
It's almost like I'm shooting for part clinical psychology practice, part farm/self sufficiency school, part nutrition/health education, and part personal trainer, all influenced by the mind-body connection.
My background: BS in architecture with post-grad classes taken in chemistry (1 course), nutrition (2 semesters), biology (2 semesters), and currently veering into psychology territory with developmental psychology. I plan on continuing to take psychology classes to make up for my lack of them in undergrad. Also, I've spent the last five years vetting jobs in gardening, landscape architecture, winemaking, and professional cooking. I'm now the personal assistant to someone whose operation touches on all these issues, which has given me some clarity but not the sense of truly feeling confident in any one path. There are so many possible routes to doing this, and I've realized I'm getting anxious/deferring moving forward in any one direction because I'm afraid of missteps/wasting money.
One thing is for sure: I don't want to go to school for nutrition. I've always been interested in food and eating well, and I don't think you need to go to school to dissect vitamins and minerals (a la Michael Pollan's thoughts on nutritionism) versus knowing to eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and maybe some animal proteins and dairy products thrown in for good measure.
So now, the actual question. With this background information in mind, have you heard of any precedent places/therapists/practices that try to reconcile these topics holistically like this? I'm open to anything anywhere in the world. Or, in a similar vein, can you recommend any masters programs/routes that might closely align with where I'm headed so that I can be credentialed in something trustworthy?
Or do you think it savvy to take all my ideas and go for something with tangible, practical skills, like a master's in clinical mental health counseling. Or I've debated a master's in health psychology, which seems to touch on a lot of these issues, but I'd need a PhD to practice clinically and boy is that a long route. I do want to be taken seriously though and not seen as some new agey witchdoctor.
Thanks for any advice, even if I'm trying to stuff 10 pounds into a 5 pound bag! The prospect of this gives me tremendous excitement, it's just that now I want to get on with it!