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ACT for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a protocol created by Nuno Ferreira and David Gillanders for the use of ACT with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

This protocol was used for a single group session that was then followed by work with a self-help workbook.

In the attachments you will find all the steps used during the session. The session maps on the contents of the self-help book and it is best used in conjunction with this book. You will also find the forms we used during the workshops to facilitate some of the exercises.

The effectiveness of this protocol was tested with refractory IBS patients (patients who had had a minimum of 12 months input from a physician without any significant change). Study participants showed improvement in symptoms, quality of life, use of avoidant behaviours and gastrointestinal specific anxiety after the intervention. The effects were medium to large and held up at 6 month follow-up. A paper regarding this study is due to be published soon.

The self-help workbook ("Better living with IBS") is now comercially available through Exisle Publishers or for those in the UK through Sheldon Press.

We'll be happy to respond to questions regarding this protocol.


Nuno Ferreira

Teaching Fellow in Clinical Psychology

University of Edinburgh

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