You are currently viewing Gut Feelings: Clinical Hypnosis for Disorders Gut-Brain Interaction

Gut Feelings: Clinical Hypnosis for Disorders Gut-Brain Interaction

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Presented by the Office of Continuing Education and The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Recorded on Friday, July 9, 2021

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 1.5 APA CEs for Psychologists, and 1.5 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSW, and LMFTs

Workshop Description:

Clinical hypnosis has reliably been found to produce both short- and long-term treatment benefits for functional gastrointestinal disorders (i.e., functional dyspepsia, functional abdominal pain, and irritable bowel syndrome). Moreover, as various physiological and autonomic nervous system variables have been found to contribute to these functional gastrointestinal disorders, they have more appropriately been relabeled Disorders Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI). However, the exact mechanisms of action that result in such hypnotic intervention benefits have remained elusive.

This webinar will review the empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of various gut-directed clinical hypnosis strategies, address possible mechanisms of action, and outline these techniques for participant use. Moreover, recent research will be reviewed on a polyvagal-based hypnotic intervention effective with gut-brain interaction disorders. Furthermore, the polyvagal model’s relevance and this technique will be reviewed concerning the treatment of fibromyalgia, other pain disorders, and trauma.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this intermediate level workshop, participants will be able to:

1. List the relevant diagnostic criteria for two disorders of gut-brain interaction.

2. Site three references providing empirical support for the use of clinical hypnosis in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders.

3. List four hypnotic suggestions that have empirical support for reducing IBS symptoms.

4. Explain the polyvagal model’s relationship to disorders of gut-brain interaction and outline a relevant hypnotic intervention effective in reducing DGBI symptoms.

Professional Bio of Presenter Louis F. Damis, Ph.D., ABPP

Louis F. Damis, Ph.D., ABPP, is a diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology, a Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Health Psychology, an ASCH Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis, and a Senior Fellow of the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. He is a past president of the Florida and Washington, DC Societies of Clinical Hypnosis and is a Prime Reviewer and Executive Board Member of the ASCH. In addition to being a recent Guest Editor for a special issue on Trauma and Hypnosis for the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, he contributed several articles, including one on DGBI. Dr. Damis has over twenty-five years of experience teaching hypnosis for the ASCH and FSCH. Dr. Damis founded Integrative Health Psychology, PA and maintains a consulting, teaching, and therapy practice in Oviedo, FL.

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach.

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 3: Program will allow psychologists to maintain, develop, and increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profession.

Registration and Fees:

Community members: $65.00

SCEH Members/TCSPP Faculty and staff: $55.00

Students: $15.00


Damis, L. F. & Hamilton, M. S. (2020). Impact of hypnotic safety on disorders of gut-brain interaction: A pilot study, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 3(2), 150-168.

Palsson, O. S. & van Tilburg, M. (2015) Hypnosis and guided imagery treatment for gastrointestinal disorders: Experience with scripted protocols developed at the University of North Carolina. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 58(1), 5–21.

Porges, S. W. (2018). Polyvagal theory: A primer. In S. Porges & D. Dana, (Eds.), Clinical applications of the polyvagal theory (pp. 50–69). W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.

Schaefert, R., Klose P., Moser, G., & Häuser, W. (2014). Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of hypnosis in adult Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine 76(5), 389–398.

Vasant, D. H. & Whorwell, P. J. (2019). Gut-Focused Hypnotherapy for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Evidence-Base, Practical Aspects, and the Manchester Protocol. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 31(8): e13573.


Target Audience: Hypnosis practitioners, psychologists, LCSWs, MFTs, LCPCs, all mental health disciplines, health care professionals, graduate students welcome.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to [email protected]. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.