Profile image for Simon Knowles

Dr Simon Knowles

Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Health Psychology


Since 2004, Simon has been an academic in the Psychology discipline. Over this time, Simon has attained over AUD$3.2 million in competitive funding, published over 90 peer reviewed publications, and edited two books, with a third entitled “Psychogastroenterology with Adults: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals” just published by Routledge Press.

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 an active interest in eHealth research, having developed and evaluated mobile apps to improve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management/identification of psychological issues, and developed three online psychological assessment and treatment services for psychological distress associated with IBD ( [formally]) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; [formally]), and gastroparesis ( Simon is currently developing a website to help individuals who experience toilet anxiety - Together these eHealth resources have provided over 300,000 individuals across the world with comprehensive and accurate expert-reviewed sources of information and evidence-based psychologically-focused resilience programs.

Due to his expertise, Simon has multiple honorary clinical and research positions with St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne), Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Alfred Hospital, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School Monash University, and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Melbourne. Simon regularly provides lectures and workshops in relation to the psychological impact of gastrointestinal conditions, the interplay between the brain gut-axis, and developing and implementing psychological-focused interventions for individuals living with gastrointestinal conditions.

As an academic, Simon has an excellent teaching profile. After completing his PhD in 2003, Simon has been an active lecturer at several universities in Australia. He has taught in a range of areas including Psychology, Medicine, and Biotechnology. Simon teaching has been recognised both within the university (Swinburne University VC award for early career teaching) and externally (UniJobs has identified Simon as one of the top 3 lecturers at Swinburne University across multiple years). Simon has lectured and convened from the 1st year Introduction to Psychology unit to the final year clinical postgraduate unit, Foundations of Health Psychology.

Over the last 15 years at Swinburne, Simon has also held several senior administrative positions at Swinburne University, including mentoring junior and senior staff, Deputy Head of the Psychology Discipline, Facility Research Committee member, Facility Academic Committee member, Psychology Selection Coordinator, Psychology Major Coordinator, Coordinator of B.Soc.Sci, B.Arts, B.Sci and B.Health.Sci degree programs, Graduate Diploma of Psychology Coordinator, and Swinburne Psychology Clinic Board Member.

Simon is a member of numerous professional organisations including: Australian Psychological Society (APS), APS Clinical College for psychologists, APS college of Health psychologists, Gastroenterological Society of Australia, and a Life-member of the Australian Association for Clinical Hypnosis. He is currently a member of the APS college of Health psychologist’s national executive. Simon has a clinical-health practice that specialises in working with individuals with chronic illnesses of the gastrointestinal system, see

Research interests

Clinical Psychology; Health Psychology; eHealth; Gastroenterology; Chronic illness

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Efficacy of a hypnosis or mindfulness intervention for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): NOTE: Need to be enrolled in either part-time Honours OR Masters.

Psychological aspects of GI conditions :


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Abdominal pain - Clinical and psychological implications:

Coeliac disease: Exploring the impact of Coeliac disease on quality of life and the role of psychosocial processes in promoting resilience

Efficacy of a hypnosis or mindfulness intervention for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): (NOTE: Need to be enrolled in either part-time Honours OR Masters.)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Adolecents: Its psychosocial impact:  

Living with a Stoma: Psychosocial impact and its mediators:  

Living with Gastroparesis: Its impact on quality of life:  

Mental health help seeking behaviour: Predictors and clinical implications:   

Orthorexia: Exploration of a new disordered eating pattern: Clinical implications:  

Psychological impact of GI conditions (e.g., Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and their mediators:  

Psychosocial impact of Coeliac Disease: (Project involving the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) 

Sex, sexual health, happiness and gastrointestinal wellness:  

Social anxiety and its role in blowel and bladder anxieties

Fields of Research

  • Gastroenterology And Hepatology - 110307
  • Health, Clinical And Counselling Psychology - 170106

Teaching areas

Clinical Psychology;Health Psychology


Also published as: Knowles, Simon; Knowles, S.; Knowles, S. R.; Knowles, Simon R.; Knowles, Simon Robert
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2015: Online psychoeducation and support service for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease transitioning to adult services. *; Telematics Trust Grants
  • 2012: A validation of an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) online support program involving two studies *; Melbourne Health
  • 2012: Mindfulness and coping in chronic illness: insights from a study of joint replacement surgery *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: IBDeTherapy: Development and validation of the world's first evidence-based, automated online program for the assesment and treatment of IBD-associated anxiety and depression. *; Broad Medical Research Program Inflammatory Bowel Disease Grants
  • 2010: Assessing the anxiolytic effects of a proprietary magnolia and phosphatidylserine extract: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Canopus BioPharma) *; Canopus BioPharma

* Chief Investigator