Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Hypn. 2012 Oct;55(2):160-7.

Comment on Zimmerman's use of the river metaphor in irritable bowel syndrome treatment.

Author information



The river approach has been used effectively in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome within the U.K. National Health Service (Gonsalkorale, Houghton, & Whorwell, 2002; Whorwell, 2006) and in single case studies (Galovski & Blanchard, 2002; Zimmerman, 2003; Kraft & Kraft, 2007). Zimmerman (2003) pointed out that this metaphor was extremely powerful in that it linked the altered motility of the digestive system to an emotional disturbance: by encouraging his patient to imagine a smooth flowing river, he helped her to come to terms with her emotional conflict and, in turn, to experience normal gut activity. The author reviews this approach to treatment and offers an alternative which utilizes process suggestions, accessing questions and truisms while providing clients with the space to imagine their own tailor-made scene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center