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Advanced Treatment Approach Promise Hope for Emetophobia


New Treatment Strategies For Emetophobia Replace Outdated Techniques

Emetophobia, which is the fear of vomiting or vomit, is considered by some, wrongly, to be a lifelong condition without the possibility for recovery. Although the nature of emetophobia makes the condition difficult to treat, a proper systematic approach can be very successful and the fear need not be simply tolerated.

The difficulty with emetophobia is that unlike other fears, it is difficult to impossible to utilize the typical phobia treatment approach of systematic desensitization, in which the subject is gradually exposed to increasing amount of the feared situation until confidence is restored and the fear eliminated. Obviously it is extremely difficult and traumatic to vomit on demand and use this approach and it is impossible to vomit ďa littleĒ. Some therapies for emetophobia recommend inducing vomiting as a means of overcoming the fear, but this in and of itself it usually not curative nor well tolerated.

The most successful approaches Iíve seen with emetophobia have included several common traits and focuses. Initially, the emetophobic must be educated on the physiological effects of anxiety to reduce the apprehension of the symptoms. With this understanding, an attitude of allowing can more easily be incorporated in the treatment.

Since gradual exposure is not realistically possible with the fear of vomiting itself, select programs utilize advanced metal rehearsal exercises that allow the individual to experience the feared scenario in their mindís eye in a manner in which the subconscious takes the imagery as reality, not unlike self-hypnosis. This is a very effective technique when taught properly and even more powerful when incorporated with cutting edge methods from neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). All of the above can be used not only as means of desensitization to the fear, but as means of quickly teaching relaxation in the face of the anxiety.

Unfortunately, due to the relative rarity of emetophobia, there are very few resources for individuals to turn to for assistance with this debilitating phobia. The most comprehensive system available in my opinion is the Emetophobia Eraser program which includes not only all the exercises and techniques discussed, but significantly more, in an easy to follow step by step solution specifically geared to emetophobia. More information can be found at


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