G-0LXZDGBNQ6 Don't Hate your Guts! Holistic Treatment for Disorders of the Gut/Brain Interaction with Dr. Jennifer Franklin - The Holistic Counseling Podcast

Episode 38

Published on:

24th Nov 2021

Don't Hate your Guts! Holistic Treatment for Disorders of the Gut/Brain Interaction with Dr. Jennifer Franklin

Why does psychology matter in gut health? Can you use your psychology as a powerful tool to promote healing in your physical body? How can your body and mind help one another to recenter and find peace?


Dr. Jennifer Franklin is an experiential, relational, somatic, and mindfulness-based psychologist with about twenty years of psychotherapy experience. She has an educational background in mind-body/holistic psychology. Dually licensed in North Carolina and California, Dr. Franklin offers individual and couples therapy, teletherapy, and consultation.

Dr. Franklin worked at the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders and specializes in healing functional medical problems, especially Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction like IBS, along with issues associated with anxiety, panic, interpersonal relationships, attachment, and trauma. She has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, has taught mindfulness/Vipassana meditation, and has been a long-time yoga practitioner.

Visit the Don't Hate Your Guts website as well as Open Door Therapy. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Email her at drfranklin@opendoortherapy.com

See also Dr. Franklin's newly launched Brain-Gut Connection Webinar Series!


  • Why does psychology matter in treating the gut
  • Be aware of your influence
  • Use your body to help your mind

Why does psychology matter in treating the gut

The gut-brain axis … the vagus nerve is part of the nervous system that allows your brain and gut … and other digestive organs as well to communicate … there is always this [gut to brain] communication happening in our bodies and there’s a lot of information being transmitted about what’s happening in our bodies. (Dr. Jennifer Franklin)

The messages that flow from the gut to the brain are essential for proper brain function because they are messengers of homeostasis in the body.

This is because the gut gives information about the environment that the body is in. This information is sent by the gut to the brain.

On the other hand, people’s psychology impacts them in various ways. People’s desires, perceptions, wants, needs, and fears fluctuate daily. This is an important variable because, with awareness, one can influence it to create positive change.

Be aware of your influence

Even though someone cannot control their symptoms, they can control their thoughts and can work to shift their perspective for the greater good of their physical health.

When there’s a stressor and a threat in our environment, whether, in our internal environment or our external environment, our brain zooms in on the threat … that threat are our symptoms, so then we get more focused … on the symptoms that are not making us feel very good, then we feel helpless to stop them, then we feel out of control … it leads to an unpleasant cascade of psychological, and worse, physiological symptoms. (Dr. Jennifer Franklin)

This is where psychology becomes important in physical health: be aware of the influence that you can have over your thoughts.

Use this ability benevolently and help your healing, instead of hyper-focusing on what is wrong. Focus on what you can influence positively.

Use your body to help your mind

Just as how you can use your mind to help your body, you can use your body to help your mind overcome stress and anxiety.

Moving the body with slow, steady, and calm movements shows the brain that the body is safe, not in danger, and can relax.

Activities such as yoga and gentle exercise help regear the mind from being in an activated nervous system to getting back “into the body”, out of the mind, and therefore in the present moment, as oftentimes anxiety and stress are future-related.

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Visit the Don't Hate Your Guts website as well as Open Door Therapy

Connect with Dr. Franklin on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube

Email her at drfranklin@opendoortherapy.com

See also Dr. Franklin's newly launched Brain-Gut Connection Webinar Series!

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About the Podcast

The Holistic Counseling Podcast
Answering the call to build your holistic practice
The Holistic Counseling Podcast hosted by Chris McDonald, a Licensed Professional Counselor, inspires mental health therapists to explore treatment options outside the realm of traditional therapy. Yes, Chris knows all about the stigmas attached to holistic therapy, yet she also knows how the client benefits far outweigh the looks, what-ifs, and worries about what people will think of you as a Mental Health Professional.

With a 200-hour Yoga Teacher and Group Practice Owner to her name, Chris specializes in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief in young adults. She has seen firsthand how beneficial mindfulness, relaxation skills, meditation, and yoga have been in supplementing traditional therapy - especially in today’s world.

If you’re a Mental Health Therapist looking for the most up-to-date holistic treatments and wanting to learn how to integrate them into treatments, The Holistic Counseling Podcast is just for you! Chris helps you take your practice to the next level with a thriving holistic counseling service that you can give with confidence. Are you ready?

About your host

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Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holistic provider with a group practice, “Path to Hope Counseling” in North Raleigh. She is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and offers gentle yoga classes, workshops and private yoga sessions. She specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma and grief in young adults in transition. She teaches clients relaxation skills, mindfulness, meditation and uses Brainspotting in treatment of trauma. Chris also offers Therapy for Therapists and wrote the book “Holistic Self-Care for Counselors.” She is passionate about helping other Mental Health Therapists and created “The Holistic Counseling Podcast.” Her favorite holistic daily rourtines include yoga and meditation.