Psychological Treatments in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

A Primer for the Gastroenterologist

Olafur S. Palsson; William E. Whitehead


Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;11(3):208-216. 

In This Article

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy and interpersonal therapy (a less common variant of psychodynamic therapy focused on interpersonal relationships) are insight-oriented therapies that aim at reducing symptoms through gaining an understanding of unconscious processes that may be responsible for those symptoms. Both psychodynamic therapy and interpersonal therapy were reported to improve IBS symptoms in early RCTs (Supplementary Table 4), but the largest and most rigorous RCT of interpersonal therapy for IBS by Creed et al[34] failed to show any advantage over standard medical care. On the basis of this mixed experience and the lack of therapists offering interpersonal therapy, the only type of psychodynamic therapy tested in multiple RCTs for FGIDs, psychodynamic treatment is not considered a generally useful option for FGID patients.