Gastro Girl Advisor Dr. Laurie Keefer Featured in NBC News on Efficacy of Hypnosis for GI Disorders

In this video, Dr. Keefer explains why gastroenterologists are turning to psychologists for help with their patients who don’t get relief from medication. Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for heartburn and other stomach conditions. It’s a powerful alternative treatment, backed with scientific evidence, that is increasingly being offered at the nation’s leading medical centers.

As a key member of the Rome Foundation, Dr. Keefer serves as a member of two Rome IV committees of the Rome IV book :  “Central Disorders of Gastrointestinal Pain” [Co-Chair] and “Biopsychosocial Aspects of Functional GI Disorders.  She also leads the Rome Foundation’s Psychogastroenterology Standing Committee which focuses on increasing the availability of GI-trained mental health professionals around the world.

Dr. Keefer is well known for her training of therapists in the implementation of evidence-based behavior therapies for GI diseases with an emphasis on gut-directed hypnotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy and is a sought-after lecturer on these topics.  She is also a member of Council for the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society.

In her current role at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, Dr. Keefer oversees Psychobehavioral Research for the Division of Gastroenterology and also Co-Directs a patient-centered subspecialty medical home within the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center called GRITT-IBDTM [Gaining Resilience Through Transitions] which focuses on reducing negative outcomes for patients with inflammatory bowel disease by enhancing resilience with behavioral tools.  She remains committed to the development of self-management tools that leverage the strong brain-gut connection in order to improve outcomes for patients with chronic digestive diseases.

Rome Foundation Links Mind-Gut in Treating Chronic Digestive Disorders

The Rome Foundation has recognized the value of linking mind and gut in treatment of chronic digestive disorders and is now supporting the development of a Rome Psychogastroenterology Group.

The goal of this group is to connect mental health providers interested in treating patients with GI disorders, including FGIDs with the Rome Foundation and treating gastroenterologists.

This program will have dual benefits:

  1. To encourage mental health providers to go into this GI subspecialty and to gain knowledge from training programs provided by this group
  2. To become a resource for patients with FGIDS being treated by gastroenterologists as part of Rome Foundation’s educational initiative.

Related Resources

Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Hypnosis in Adult Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Psychosomatic Medicine 76:389Y398 (2014)

Long-Term Success of GUT-Directed Group Hypnosis for Patients With Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Am J Gastroenterol  advance online publication, 19 February 2013;  doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.19

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