How to cure emetophobia (fear of being sick)

How to cure emetophobia

There has been little research into the treatment of emetophobia. Veale and Lambrou (2006) have reported that “clinicians generally regard it as challenging to treat because of high dropout or a poor response to treatment”.


Mainly unsuccessful treatments for emetophobia

Treatments such as CBT tend to have a limited affect partly due to some using exposure therapy – which is an emetophobes worst nightmare! Also, because CBT provides coping strategies when infact emetophobes are extremely good at coping, considering the amount of anxiety they create. These coping strategies just give them more to obsess about and means that they are constantly fire fighting rather than resolving creation of anxiety in the first place.

Hypnotherapy also tends to be ineffective due to the very obsessive and controlling nature of emetophobes thinking. This overrides any positive suggestions that are provided.


Can you cure emetophobia?

The key issues of emetophobia are high social anxiety, low self-esteem, the lack of coping skills and extremely high desire for control because they know they can’t cope.


The most effective help is teaching emetophobes how to cope, then they can completely overcome their fear. This is achieved by building on the key foundation stones of self-esteem, social confidence and a sense of being powerful.

This can be achieved in a number of ways and gradually. One way to build up a sense of being powerful and able to cope is by recognising what safety seeking behaviours you conduct and challenging yourself with them. For example, not cutting up food to check that it is cooked properly. Without challenging yourself to do this you will never know if you can cope – normally you would avoid such challenges. Recognising and managing your thinking about the situation, before, during and after the challenge is vital. Reflecting on your experiences in a helpful way is key to your improvement and realisation that you can cope. An example of reflecting in a helpful way would be to say to yourself “I survived, I got through it and did it - that shows that even if I get anxious I can do it and cope”. Doing this means that it will become easier the more times you do it, until you don’t generate any anxiety in the situation.


Cure your Emetophobia & Thrive

The Thrive Programme (and Cure your Emetophobia & Thrive) takes this approach and is extremely effective. In fact, it has been demonstrated to be the most effective cure for emetophobia available.

The programme provides clients with an understanding of all aspects of their thinking, in particular any beliefs that are holding them back e.g. “I can’t cope with being sick”. The programme focusses on learning about and building a sense of being powerful, social confidence and self-esteem. Building on these provides the individuals with coping skills and this reduces their anxiety and need to control.

The largest study now published demonstrates the effectiveness of The Thrive Programme for curing emetophobia. At the beginning of the study 98.4% of 62 emetophobia respondents rated their phobia as having a severe impact upon their lives. Upon completion of The Thrive Programme 88.7% of the participants rated their symptoms as having little or no impact on their lives. The remaining 11.3% rated them as having a modest impact.

As you can see in the graph below the individual’s self-esteem, social confidence and sense of being powerful increased from ~15% to 85% in the period of 6 weeks.

Change in Self esteem and social confidence in six weeks

If you would like to find out more and take a step to completely overcoming emetophobia, then please get in touch.

The next post will be some case studies and testimonials of from those who I have worked with and completely overcome emetophobia.