Psychological influences on the gut

The opportunity to retrain as a psychoanalytical psychotherapist sharpened my interest on the influence of the meaning of life experience on gut function and on the role of psychological therapies in treating gut illness. Collaboration with Professor Francis Creed in Manchester led to the award of a large dual centre grant funded by the Medical Research Council. This demonstrated that brief dynamic psychotherapy and SSRI antidepressants could lead to lasting improvements in symptoms of IBS that were unrelated to any alteration in gut physiology.

  1. Read NW (1999). Harnessing the patient’s powers of recovery: The role of the psychotherapies in the irritable bowel syndrome. In Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. series. (Ed. Houghton. L .A. and Whorwell P. J.) 13(3):473-87.
  2. Read, N.W, (2000) Bridging the gap between mind and body: do cultural and psychoanalytical concepts of visceral disease have an explanation in contemporary neuroscience? In EA Mayer and CB Saper (Eds) The Biological Basis for Mind Body Interactions. Progress in Brain Research 122, pp 424-443.
  3. Creed F, Guthrie E, Read NW, Thompson D, Ratcliffe J, Fernandez L, Palmer S, Rigby C, Tomenson B. (2000) A randomised trial comparing the cost effectiveness of psychotherapy and antidepressants for severe irritable bowel syndrome. J Psychosom Res 48 (3): 102
  4. Read NW. Panacea or Placebo (2002). What Nutritional Supplements mean to users. In Ransley J, Donnelly J and Read NW. Food and Nutritional Supplements in Health and Disease. Heidelberg. Springer-Verlag.
  5. Read N.W. (2000). Cerebral activation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterology. 119 (5): 1420-1420.
  6. Hobbis I, Turpin G and Read NW (2002). The Prevalence of Abuse Experiences in Sufferers of Functional Bowel Disease
  7. Creed, F., Ratcliffe, J., Fernandes, L., Palmer, S., Rigby, C., Tomenson, B., Guthrie, E., Read, N., Thompson, D. (2005). Outcome in severe irritable bowel syndrome with and without accompanying depressive, panic and neurasthenic disorders. Br J Psychiatry. 186: 507-515