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Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: How Psychologists Can Treat Chronic Digestive Disease

You may earn this many credits: 3

Megan Petrik, Ph.D., LP |  Brooke Palmer, Ph.D., LP
3 Hours
Audio and Video


About the Program:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive disorder associated with a high disease burden, extensive negative impact on quality of life, increased rates of depression and anxiety, and significant healthcare utilization and expenditures. IBS occurs in 10-15% of the population and accounts for up to 12% of visits to primary care providers. Traditional medical management often fails to provide full relief of IBS symptoms, leaving many patients undertreated. The current perspective on the etiology and maintenance of IBS symptoms has evolved to include a biopsychosocial perspective which offers new pathways for helping patients manage symptoms. Psychologists and other mental health practitioners have a large role to play in this effort by applying scientifically based principles
and techniques to improve digestive functioning. However, there is a lack of professionals trained in this area. The presenters will offer a unique and engaging seminar that will inform the audience about the fundamentals of delivering cognitive behavioral interventions for patients with IBS. Topics discussed will include education about the brain-gut axis and biopsychosocial model of treating IBS, research evidence supporting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for IBS, application of CBT to improve GI symptoms, and the utilization of telemedicine for delivery of this intervention. Given the high rates of co-occurrence between IBS and anxiety and depressive disorders, we will discuss considerations for addressing psychiatric comorbidities in IBS. Increasing psychologist knowledge of this evidence-based treatment creates the opportunity to improve care for patients with IBS regionally. This seminar is targeted to the following audiences: generalist psychologists and other mental health practitioners who have a CBT background and are looking to expand their client base, health psychologists, and those who practice in a medical or integrated care setting.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how to conceptualize irritable bowel syndrome using a biopsychosocial model and how dysregulation in the brain-gut axis contribute to the development and maintenance of this disorder.
  2. Compare the efficacy of psychological interventions for irritable bowel syndrome to the efficacy of traditional medical management approaches.
  3. Apply cognitive behavioral interventions to treat irritable bowel syndrome and learn pathways for additional training in psychogastroenterology.

This session is at the intermediate level and is designed for psychologists and other mental health professionals.

This session qualifies for 3.0 continuing education credits. You must attend the full 3-hour program to get continuing education credit for the event.

The Minnesota Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Minnesota Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Megan Petrik, Ph.D., LP Related seminars and products

Megan Petrik, Ph.D., LP, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant
Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School within the Division of General Internal Medicine. She earned her Ph.D. in
Clinical Psychology from Marquette University and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2016. She specializes in health psychology with subspeciality expertise in psychogastroenterology. Her clinical work involves assessment, psychotherapy, and consultation for patients with chronic gastrointestinal conditions and other medical conditions. Her research focuses on understanding how psychological factors impact digestive disorders. She serves as the training director for the clinical health psychology fellowship in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, which involves training post-doctoral fellows in evidence based brain-gut psychotherapies for digestive diseases.

The speaker has indicated no conflicts of interest

Brooke Palmer, Ph.D., LP Related seminars and products

Brooke Palmer, Ph.D., LP, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She earned her Ph.D. in Health Psychology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She engages in clinical work in outpatient and inpatient settings often focusing on patients living with complex and/or chronic health conditions. Her research interests include women’s health and binge eating. During fellowship, she has received advanced training in the psychological management of patients with digestive disorders, especially disorders of gut-brain interaction.

The speakers has indicated they have no conflicts of interest.

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