Gastro Psychology

1. About us

Gastroenterology Psychological Services are for adults living with a gastrological condition or symptoms and under the care of the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust Gastroenterology team, who have psychological difficulties related to their gastrological symptoms. Our service offers specialist psychological and emotional support to individuals, focussed on the links between physical and emotional health.

Gastro conditions can cause pain/discomfort, fatigue, problems with sleep and appetite and lead to worry and embarrassment about managing your bowels. It is challenging to manage all of this at home daily. There may be difficult decisions to make between different NHS treatment options. We know that people living with Crohn’s or Colitis (and other gastro conditions) are more likely to experience problems with their mood, especially when they have active symptoms.

You may have heard of the ‘gut-brain axis’ which is the direct link between the brain and the gut: Anxiety or depression can affect gut symptoms. Also, having symptoms in your gut has been linked to developing new psychological symptoms.

For all the reasons above, we know that living with a gastro condition can affect your quality of life. There are times when it can be helpful to talk confidentially with someone trained in emotional well-being.

The Clinical Health Psychology Gastro service offers assessments and ongoing psychological therapy with individuals on an outpatient basis. The starting point is an assessment to understand your situation and decide whether psychology sessions will be useful or there may be other services we can refer you to who better meet your needs. You can use the sessions to work on different ways of coping with the impact of your gastro condition/symptoms, or any other ways in which your physical health affects your mood. We usually offer up to six sessions initially but can meet slightly more or less depending on your needs.

We work in partnership with NHS Talking Therapies (formerly known as IAPT services), who have a role to support people with Long Term Conditions including irritable bowel syndrome. Some patients will be referred to either NHS Calderdale Talking Therapies, NHS Kirklees Talking Therapies or VitaMinds Talking Therapy (Calderdale) services where this is the best option for their needs.

We also work as part of the Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease team, for example offering training and discussion of patients’ needs. So, we will be part of the care planning for some patients who have not been referred to us. The goal is to ensure that for all patients of the team, both their physical and psychological/emotional needs are being considered within their routine care.

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2. Meet the team

Dr Catherine Wright, Consultant Clinical Psychologist (HCPC registered)

Secretary Kirsty Sharp

Dr Stacey Boardman - Clinical Psychologist

3. What can you expect at your appointment?

On your first appointment you will meet with the psychologist to discuss the support you need. This appointment can be face-to-face or by video or telephone appointments if this is more suitable for you. We can also help arrange hospital transport, translators, and other specific requirements you may have to help you to attend and make use of the appointment.

This might be your first time talking to someone about your feelings. We understand that this can feel daunting. We will make sure to go at your own pace to enable you to feel comfortable.
During the assessment we will ask questions about areas such as your emotional wellbeing, physical health, employment, and your family/friends. After we have met with you, we usually write a letter summarising our discussion and the outcome of the assessment. We ask for your consent to copy in your GP and the person that referred you to our service.

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4. Where will gastro psychology service be offered?

At Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.

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5. How can you be referred to the service?

If you are a resident of Calderdale or Huddersfield and receiving support from the gastroenterologists at CHFT, you can discuss a referral to our service with your nurse/doctor/other healthcare professional. If your referral is accepted, you will be sent an opt-in letter. You then have three weeks to respond with your decision to opt-in. If you opt-in you will be added to our waiting list, and we will be in touch to arrange your first session.

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6. Contact Us

Our secretary can be reached on 01422 222058 Monday to Friday between 8:30am-4pm.

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7. Useful links and additional information

  • Samaritans Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair. 116 123
  • Mental health and wellbeing with Crohn's or Colitis (
  • The IBS Network NHS Talking Therapies, for needs including living with long-term conditions:
  • Helping you to improve your wellbeing Mental health - NHS 

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