Psychosocial contributions (e.g., anxiety, depression) indirectly affect treatment of GI conditions via reduced compliance, premature discontinuation of medications, and poor lifestyle choices. Medical diagnoses can also elicit depression and anxiety, particularly from those who are predisposed to such conditions.
These issues can be effectively addressed by a clinical health psychologist via psychodiagnostic examination, Medical Adjustment Counseling, and biofeedback.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Psychodiagnostic examinations identify psychosocial contributions to physical symptoms and provide a roadmap to psychological treatment.
Medical Adjustment Counseling targets the following:
- helps patients understand their condition, triggers, symptom patterns, and prognosis
- improves lifestyle choices and environmental adaptations
- provides patients with strategies to improve their ability to cope and tolerate uncomfortable symptoms.
Biofeedback is a non-invasive, efficacious intervention for GI conditions. It targets autonomic nervous system functioning to reduce the inflammatory effects of stress on the digestive system and dampen their sensitivity to pain.