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Emetophobia is a serious, debilitating mental illness that conservatively affects between 0.1% and 0.2% of the population, according to one study. We have listed relevant research here. This adds up to approximately 500,000 people in the United States alone and 12 million world-wide. Other studies suggest about 6% of women and 1% of men in the world have a fear of vomiting but depending on its impact on their daily lives they may or may not seek treatment for it. Often people with emetophobia have trouble finding available clinicians with experience. Emetophobia has an early onset, in childhood, and so work with children will be imperative but research is very limited. Many parents seek treatment for their anxious children, but often the child is afraid to say any words associated with vomiting so diagnosis can be difficult and thus treatment is often ineffective.

Emetophobia, or the fear of vomiting, is under-researched and little is known about it in the medical and psychotherapeutic community. This leads many clinicians to misdiagnose emetophobia, or attempt to treat it as they would other phobias. Yet emetophobia is unique and does not respond to many typical treatments for phobias. Nevertheless, the standard, evidence-based treatment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is indicated. Many clinicians may not know how to set up an exposure hierarchy for emetophobia and so we have provided one here for adults and one for children. This page has information on the characteristics of emetophobia.

If you have been previously unfamiliar with emetophobia, we encourage you to read through the information on this website, and perhaps listen to Anna’s “Emetophobia Help” podcast. For a more in-depth study of the research, diagnosis, and treatment of emetophobia please purchase our book for therapists to be published in April, 2023.

25 thoughts on “Home

  1. Danielle says:

    Anna your website has been so helpful for me as a clinician to learn and be able to help a teen that I diagnosed with Emetophobia. Your information on exposure hierarchies has been so useful. I wanted to share some ideas for exposure to words: Mad Libs and writing funny haiku. After a while of exposure to individual words (in session and at home using post-it notes around the house) we have moved on to Mad Libs and last night haiku poems. Luckily my client has a great sense of humor so we have both spent a lot of time coming up
    with as many gross and triggering words as possible and laughing about the outcome. We did 3 haiku – one on how it looks, one on texture, one on smell. And one more about it happening in a car – one of her biggest triggers. I have also encouraged clt to do word exposures using silly voices. I hope these ideas are useful for others.

      • Alissa says:

        I’m in northern California about 2.5 hours of Sacramento
        Do you know of anyone who does telehealth who specializes in GAD andayne would be willing to help with emetophobia too that could help me out here?

        I feel Ike where I live is bubbled in the past and has no helpful resources for anything of my health concerns

  2. Charlie says:

    Hi!

    I’m wondering if you could point me towards any emetophobia organizations where a fellow sufferer like myself could volunteer?

  3. Wow. Thank you so much for this resource. One of my autistic clients found this themselves and it really helped them make progress. I have used it with younger clients ever since, and some stuck adults. I am a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist specialising in emetophobia and mist clients get better using my system however you e made it that bit better and enabled my clients to test results.

  4. Ingrid Jurgensen says:

    Hi. I have a 10 yr old daughter suffering from extreme Emetophobia and everything in your posts are her case. I’ve read through your suggested program and it sounds amazing but I was wondering if additionally you could refer me to someone in Miami that could help us through this. I would really really appreciate it.
    Thank you

  5. Adriana Thompson says:

    Hello Anna, I am in desperate need of help for my 20 yr old daughter. After so much searching I came across your site. Could you point me in the right direction we are in northeast NJ

  6. Lauren says:

    I need help in maryland for a 12 year old boy. It’s debilitating for him. Anyone you know or can help me in maryland? Preferably near Baltimore but I will go far and wide for my boy.

  7. Sandy Rubenstein says:

    Can you recommend an emetophobia specialist in the Washington, DC, area (including Maryland and Northern Virginia) for a 16-year-old girl? Thank you very much.

  8. Laura Moore says:

    My daughter is suffering from emetophobia. She won’t go outside, or go to school, is afraid to touch anything, and won’t leave the couch. I’m looking for any suggestions in the state of Virginia for therapy to help her overcome this fear.

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