Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was first described over a century ago. It is a highly prevalent disorder that can be severely disabling--both physiologically and psychologically. Traditionally, IBS has been treated with medical interventions. However, psychotherapeutic interventions are increasingly being added to the therapeutic arsenal. This paper will review the evidence for the effectiveness of these psychotherapeutic interventions. Specifically, an overview of IBS treatment research using hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, multicomponent therapy, and bowel retraining will be presented. Tentative conclusions, which can be drawn from this body of literature, will be offered; suggestions for future research will be presented.
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