A lot of folks email me about how I got treated, and what to look for in finding a psychotherapist to help...so here are some tips from my own experience, research, and upcoming book:

1) The relationship is #1...be prepared to "interview" several therapists and choose the one you just "click with". Notice your gut instinct. Don't assume they might turn out ok in the end - be sure right away. Normally, you will click with a warm, friendly, caring individual who seems sincere and genuine - who you think you might be able to point out their mistakes and they'd be ok with that. Avoid arrogance, rudeness, or indifference to your pain and terror. A feeling of safety is primary for emetophobes because feeling in danger all the time is the nature of the disorder. Find someone you believe you will eventually feel safe with/trust completely(itdoesn't usuallyhappen right away).

2) The most conventional therapy for phobias, and emetophobia is no exception, is CBT ("cognitive-behavioral therapy"). You'll want to interview folks with this basic training from a bona fide institution/registering body. The nature of good therapy these days is integrative, meaning they will also have knowledge of or training in other kinds of therapy such as Gestalt, Emotion-Focussed, Family Systems, Hypnosis, Rogerian, etc. Training in EMDR (links provided here) is gaining importance in treatment.I don't recommendtherapists with only one discipline for this particular phobia, especially if it's severe. Avoid any "quick fix" solutions, short-term or exclusively "solution-focussed" therapy. This is becoming quite popular now with health insurance companies, and may bring some temporary relief of symptoms butoften with this phobia it doesn't even do that. Be prepared for 50-100 sessions, not 5-10.

3) Knowledge of emetophobia, or experience in treating it is not necessary. You will want to choose a therapist who is open to learning, however, and will learn along with you -- will trulylisten to you and what you know about the phobia, and will validate your own experience, rather than try to diagnose it as something else.

4) You must be willing to make the commitment to therapy. It is a huge commitment on your part of time, energy, money, and the willingness to endure some pain, suffering, and even a bit of fear in order to get well. Your therapist cannot "cure" you, by you simply showing up to appointments. You can, however, be free from this phobia if you commit to the work of therapy -- and acknowledge that it may take a long time, but it's well worth it.

5) Never agree to exposure therapy that frightens you. If the suggestion is to make you vomit with ipecac, or start by sitting in a hospital emergency room and the thought of that scares the hell out of you - your instinct is right - it will scare the hell out of you. Exposure therapy is based on a "hierarchy of fears" beginning with something you don't really fear at all. It may be just a drawing (drawn by you) of a stick man with a li