The Brain-Gut Connection in Clinical Practice:

A Workshop With Dr Simon Knowles

Saturday 12th October 2019 – Brisbane, QLD

Pacific Hotel Spring Hill Brisbane. 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill Brisbane.

Enquiries: Dr Liam Connor, ACPA QLD Section Chair at

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The Queensland Section of ACPA is delighted to host a unique workshop with Clinical Psychologist, Dr Simon Knowles (Swinburne University of Technology).   We extend a warm invitation to members, prospective members, and colleagues in the profession to join us in this exciting learning opportunity. This workshop is open to all professionals who work with or have an interest in learning how to apply evidence-based psychological strategies to the brain-gut connection and its influences on psychopathology and wellbeing.


Simon is a recognised leading expert in the field of Psychogastroenterology, which is the application of psychological science and practice to gastrointestinal health and illness. Simon’s clinical and research interests relate to the biological and psychological interactions of gastrointestinal conditions and the brain-gut axis, particularly how to ameliorate the significant impact of living with chronic gastrointestinal conditions through psychological interventions.  Simon has a clinical-health practice that specialises in working with individuals with chronic illnesses of the gastrointestinal system, see  Simon has published multiple journal articles and his most recent book “Functional gastrointestinal disorders: a biopsychosocial approach” (2018) is an important reference piece for working within the field of psychogastroenterology.

Workshop Description

A growing body of research indicates that the brain-gut-axis plays an important role in the development of pathology in gastrointestinal conditions, having both physical and psychological components and effects.  Depression and anxiety can exacerbate gut dysfunction and vice versa. Patients may feel embarrassed to disclose these gut issues in therapy further perpetuating discomfort and distress.  Proper identification, assessment and intervention by psychologists, counsellors and health professionals can improve treatment outcomes both physically and psychologically for their patients.

In this workshop, Simon will provide a background briefing to the physiological and psychological processes associated with chronic GI conditions, with a specific focus on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The majority of the workshop time will be spent in the review and demonstration of a range of evidence-based focused psychological strategies for the GI system, utilising Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, and Hypnosis. The format will involve small group activities, case study discussions, and demonstration of techniques.

Workshop objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will:

– Be able to describe the primary elements in the Brain-Gut-Axis and psychopathology;

– Be able to explain the bidirectional nature of the Brain-Gut-Axis

– Learn and practice a range of specific Focused Psychological Strategies for the management of GI conditions; and

– Leave the workshop with immediately applicable interventions for their clinical practice.


Saturday 12th October, 2019


9am – 5pm


Pacific Hotel Spring Hill Brisbane. 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill Brisbane.

ph: 07 3831 6177

Public Transport and Car Parking

Roma street station is the closest transport hub to the venue and is a short walk through the Botanic Gardens.

Car parking is available for $15 per day. Please contact the venue to arrange this.


ACPA student member: $100

University students: $200

ACPA members: $200

Non ACPA members: $280


Please click on the link below to register for this workshop (note a 50c booking fee applies).

Registration closes 12noon 4th October 2019

This workshop is fully catered. Please advise of any dietary requirements upon registration.

Continuing Professional Development

The day comprises 6 hours professional development. Members of other disciplines or professions attending the event may be able to claim the workshop as CPD provided their governing body does not require event accreditation for PD hours.

Terms and Conditions issues receipts at the time of registration, and this confirms registration. Please retain receipts for your records, including as a Tax Invoice/Receipt for the transaction. No other receipts are available via this booking system.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds are offered for all cancellations received in writing via email to Cancellations must be received two weeks in advance by 30th September 2019.

Regrettably, due to the logistics and terms of event management, refunds are not possible after this date, regardless of personal circumstances or difficulties preventing attendance. The cancellation policy is final and not negotiable. However, should the event be cancelled for any reason, a full refund will be issued.

Registrations are transferable to another person in all cases. However, notification of transfer of registration including any dietary requirements must be received by 12noon 4th October 2019. Transfer of registration to another person is NOT possible after this date, or for only a portion of the event.


Please direct all enquiries to Dr Liam Connor, ACPA QLD section chair at