Complement Ther Med. 2020 Nov 5;55:102605. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102605.Online ahead of print.

Laura Pemberton 1, Lauren Kita 2, Katrina Andrews 2


Author information

  • 1Australian College of Applied Psychology, Australia. Electronic address: 171080@my.acap.edu.au.
  • 2Australian College of Applied Psychology, Australia.


Gut Directed Hypnosis (GDH) is a specialised form of hypnotherapy originally developed to reduce gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a condition characterised by symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea and/or constipation as well as psychosocial symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Although the specific mechanism of action remains unclear, it is suggested that GDH works on the brain-gut axis to improve GI symptoms, psychological functioning and overall wellbeing. The present study aimed to expand upon the knowledge surrounding GDH by exploring practitioners' experiences of using GDH for IBS and their perceptions of how it impacts upon client wellbeing. Six practitioners trained in GDH participated in one hour semi-structured interviews. Thematic Analyses (TA) was used to analyse data. Three major themes emerged from data including: predisposing personality traits and vulnerabilities associated with IBS; GDH as evidence-based practice; and the future evolution of GDH. The findings from this study add to the growing body of literature exploring the use of GDH for IBS, by incorporating the perspective of practitioners working within this field.

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