The Brain-Gut Connection: Evidence-Based Psychological Strategies

Thursday, February 25, 2021 - Friday, February 26, 2021 Date & Location
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:45 AM - Friday, February 26, 2021, 12:45 PM

Many clients presenting to community mental health providers experience gastrointestinal symptoms including chronic pain, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis), and feeding concerns including avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Children, adolescents, and young adults with chronic GI problems often miss school, have greater healthcare utilization, and have parents who miss more workdays; they also have higher rates of depression and anxiety than youth with other chronic diseases. Many gastroenterologists routinely refer patients for mental health services, and while mental health providers may be well-versed in treating mental health concerns they may be less familiar with the application of psychological interventions for specific GI symptoms. This skills-focused workshop will educate community mental health providers on the most recent research about the brain-gut connection and outline evidence-based treatments for clients presenting with a variety of GI symptoms. Using lecture, clinical examples, and skill-building activities this two day virtual workshop will equip clinicians to work with clients to improve quality of life and reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.

Who should attend?
Psychologists, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and trainees

Recognize commonly diagnosed pediatric gastrointestinal conditions and describe the biopsychosocial conceptualization and treatment model for these disorders.
Recall specific GI-focused questions that can be incorporated into the psychological assessment process and the language/metaphors to utilize when discussing the biopsychosocial treatment approach.
Identify and apply evidence-based psychological treatment strategies for the management of pain and other GI-related symptoms.
Describe strategies to promote functioning and to maintain/enhance quality of life in pediatric patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal conditions.
Recognize feeding behaviors and difficulties across developmental stages and differentiate picky eating versus avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) versus other eating disorders.
Identify and apply evidence-based psychological treatment strategies for feeding difficulties including avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

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