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  • Melissa Hunt, PhD - CBT for Chronic GI Disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Melissa Hunt, PhD - CBT for Chronic GI Disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • 10/14/2016
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Stiteler Hall (Room B26), University of Pennsylvania, 208 S 37th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • 27


  • Includes 3 CEs
  • Includes 3 CEs

Registration is closed

Gastrointestinal disorders of all kinds are exacerbated by stress and are also stressful. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent (approximately 10% of the population) functional bowel disorder that is highly co-morbid with anxiety disorders and depression and shares considerable conceptual overlap with both panic disorder and social anxiety. It also leads to considerable disability and distress. Managing these patients effectively requires a good conceptual understanding of the cognitive underpinnings of IBS as well as the kinds of avoidance behaviors (both obvious and subtle) that maintain and often exacerbate both symptoms and disability. There is significant empirical evidence supporting the use of CBT in treating IBS. The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn’s Disease and colitis, have clear biological pathophysiology, but share some of the same symptoms and can lead to heighted risk for IBS in a subset of patients. In addition, many IBD patients experience shame, avoidance and social anxiety about their condition. This workshop will cover what is known about the etiology and symptoms of IBS and IBD, how patients with these conditions present in clinical practice, IBS and IBD in the context of co-morbid panic and agoraphobia and/or social anxiety disorder, formulating appropriate treatment goals and basic cognitive and behavioral strategies for treating people with IBS, including IBS that is comorbid or secondary to a more serious IBD. Case material reflecting patients along a spectrum of severity will provide for lively discussion and acquisition of new skills and techniques. Audience participation, clinical questions and role-playing will be welcomed.

CE Learning Objectives

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Develop a case conceptualization that integrates GI disorders with any co-morbid mood or anxiety disorders.
  2. Describe what unique cognitive distortions and behavioral avoidance strategies (especially dietary restrictions) tend to maintain and exacerbate distress and disability in GI disorders.
  3. Describe how to modify the standard CBT approach to anxiety disorders to treat GI patients effectively.
Target Audience

This presentation is intended for mental health professionals, researchers, and graduate students. The instructional level of this presentation is intermediate

About Dr. Hunt

Dr. Hunt is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow and Diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She has served as the Chair of the Academic Training Committee for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and as a frequent program committee member for both ABCT and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

She conducts both applied and basic research in the broad domain of stress management and develops and tests novel interventions for behavioral health challenges, including chronic GI disorders. As a clinical scientist, her emphasis is on translating basic psychological science into treatments that are effective, acceptable, and accessible to patient populations. In particular, she focuses on identifying and correcting the underlying patient factors (e.g. distorted cognitions and avoidance) that lead to reduced quality of life, impairment and distress, particularly factors that exacerbate chronic health problems and make them harder to cope with.

In addition to teaching, supervising young clinicians and doing research, she has an active private practice in clinical psychology in which she utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, trauma and borderline personality disorders as well as with patients with chronic GI disorders.

Continuing Education

Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This program provides three (3) hours of CE credits. PBTA is also an authorized provider for CE credits for Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.

Full attendance is required to obtain CE credits for this program. APA guidelines do not permit PBTA to issue partial CE credits. No refunds are provided for CE programs. No exceptions allowed.

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