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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Tips on finding a therapist?

    I live in Chicago and there are literally hundreds of therapists in my area (who also take my insurance). Does anyone have any tips on finding a good therapist who would be able to work with this phobia? I've tried googling a bunch of different things but didn't find much. I also would love to find someone who doesn't do exposure therapy. Is it even possible to recover without exposure? I've experienced exposure of myself and others over the past few years and my phobia is worse than ever. I'm more interested in learning coping techniques. Any tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Tips on finding a therapist?

    There's an article I wrote in the "Information and Research" section about how to find and choose a therapist. Most will not have heard of emetophobia, so look for someone who specializes in anxiety disorders in general and look for someone who's nice. A jerk-therapist won't be interested in learning anything new.

    As for "exposure" I'm not sure what you mean by "I've experienced exposure of myself and others" but it doesn't sound like it was part of a treatment program. Simply being sick yourself or seeing someone else sick would naturally re-traumatize you and make your phobia worse.

    Therapists use two techniques to treat phobias: gradual exposure and flooding. Flooding means you put the person in the anxious situation they fear most and make them stay there until their anxiety comes down. Research shows the best success with this, but virtually all of it is done on spider phobia and none of it on emetophobia. Gradual exposure is very slowly and gradually exposing the client to what they fear in small, easily-managed steps. This has been re-named "gradual desensitization" because so many people have used the term "exposure" to denote "flooding."

    Gradually desensitizing to the thing you fear most is the best way to treat a phobia. It's well-researched, tried and true. If you find a nice therapist who's willing to learn you can point them to my resource page on my website where they can find all the tools they need to help you - one baby step at a time. It takes a while, it's not magic, but emetophobia is highly treatable so don't give up!
    For more info about emetophobia and treatment:

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    DISCLAIMER ~ Any advice I give on this forum is well-intentioned and given as to a peer or friend or for educational purposes. It does not in any way constitute psychotherapeutic or medical advice. Please discuss anything you may learn from my posts with your doctor and psychotherapist prior to making any decisions or changes or taking any actions.

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