I'm Michelle Marks. I'm a New York State Licensed Psychologist and I help people with IBS and other sensitive gut syndromes use the power of gut-brain psychology to relieve their symptoms, restore inner balance, and reclaim their lives!
If you're here, I know you're living with a digestive system that's run amok, and may even feel like your enemy!
Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or perhaps you struggle with a highly sensitive gut but haven't received an official diagnosis.
Whether your symptoms are an occasional and unpredictable nuisance, or they've completely taken over your life, causing you to severely restrict your diet and organize your life around where and when you'll be able to find a bathroom, I want you to know that you’re not alone. It's not something we talk about much, but millions and millions of people worldwide suffer from gut symptoms.
I know your symptoms are painful and frustrating, you may feel helpless or even hopeless, and worst of all, maybe you’ve been told by doctors, friends, or the internet that there's no cause and no cure for your symptoms, implying that your symptoms are not real or they're all in your head!
Wrong. And Wrong!
Your digestive symptoms are real. All digestive symptoms are real. Sometimes symptoms are caused by structural or tissue damage that can be detected by bloodwork or scans. These are known as Organic Disorders and they can often be managed or treated with medication or surgery.
Other symptoms are caused by a disturbance in the nervous system. These conditions are known as Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction and IBS is one of those disorders. IBS is real, your gut sensitivity and symptoms are real, and they deserve to be taken seriously!
So don’t let anyone tell you that your symptoms are all in your head!
But... even though your symptoms are not all in your head, your head does play an important role in how you experience your symptoms and how much you suffer, because your head houses your body's control center - your brain! And you're about to discover why that is very good news!
The Gut-Brain Connection
Your gut and your brain are in constant communication through your nervous system. Anything that’s happening in your gut can affect your brain and vice versa.
For a variety of reasons, none of which are your fault, sometimes gut-brain communication gets out of whack. When that happens, the result is that your brain can end up interpreting normal gut sensations as painful. Then insult gets added to injury when the more you try to control your symptoms, the worse they get. This can lead to stress, depression, anger, or anxiety, which further amplifies your symptoms in a cruel vicious cycle. And these same disruptions in gut-brain communication also directly impact how slowly or quickly food moves through your digestive system, causing constipation, diarrhea, or both!
IBS is a Disorder of Gut-Brain Communication
When your digestive symptoms are based on problems with gut-brain communication, treatment requires retraining the nervous system to reverse the cycle of symptom amplification and restore healthy gut function, and the best way to accomplish that is with Gut-Brain Therapy.
Gut-Brain Therapy isn’t typical psychotherapy. As part of a holistic approach to your symptoms and your well-being, Gut-Brain Therapy uses powerful mind-body methods to directly target the communication between your brain and your gut.
And this is great news because, unlike other approaches that restrict your diet and your life, Gut-Brain Therapy puts relief and restoration back in your hands!
I maintain a small telehealth practice that allows me the luxury of providing customized care in an environment that is hopeful, compassionate, and judgment-free. We work collaboratively to develop a treatment plan grounded in proven methods but tailored to your symptoms, needs, and the unique realities of your life.
The evidence-based and cutting-edge methods I use to target the discomfort and distress associated with IBS include:
- Gut-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Gut-Directed Hypnosis
- Mindfulness Training
- Wellness Coaching
- Positive Psychology
- and more
As one of very few specialists in Gut-Brain Therapy, I'm excited to offer you this drug-free treatment that helps you retrain your brain and gut to work together harmoniously, so you can experience the relief you deserve!
If you're interested in this empowering approach to IBS symptom relief, contact me to get started today!
As an alternative to individual therapy, I'm thrilled to be in the final stages of developing Mind Over IBS™, a 6-week structured, skills-based online training program. Mind Over IBS™ gives you a taste of all the best evidence-based gut-brain approaches and the practical tools to make them work for you. Click here to learn more and to join the waitlist.
I know how hard it can be to navigate unpredictable symptoms, and I know you're tired of having your digestive issues rule your life, leaving you in pain and feeling powerless! But you don't have to be powerless anymore. If you're ready to break free from the cycle of IBS symptoms and live fully again, contact me to learn more and get started today!