In the first three posts in this series, I provided an explanation of the fear called emetophobia and described the two elements of treatment: exposure and response prevention. We have finally completely the emetophobia supplement and the step-by-step process and hierarchy are part of that program.
We have 5 steps for emetophobia help and each step is broken into several tasks.
First Step: Imaginal Exposure
In the emetophobia supplement we start with exposure that is in the imagination. We use words, sentences and short stories that will trigger the fearful thoughts about throwing up. For most kids this is the easiest way to start the exposure process. We also provide the all the content you need.
Second Step: Imaginal Exposure 2
In this part of the program we use cartoons, pictures and photos so you child can gradually face and learn to tolerate their anxiety. We have carefully developed a gradual hierarchy to keep things from getting too overwhelming. We have done this so many times we are confident that these steps will work for most kids.
Third Step: Virtual Exposure
We start these steps with video cartoons that are available on the web. Then we gradually move toward more difficult videos of people. It is really amazing to see kids watch these with less alarm then they had when we first started with single words.
Fourth Step: Situational Exposure
In this part of the supplement we describe how you can help your child do exposures in actual situations that would previously be avoided.
Fifth Step: Interoceptive Exposures and Relapse Prevention
It is actually pretty rare that kids need these interoceptive exposures by this point in the process. However, we cover everything you might need if you child’s anxiety requires some additional work. Sometimes anxiety disorders will return and we give you guidelines and information about how to reduce this and what to do if it happens.
I want to credit the excellent site by Anna Christie, BA, M.Div., RCC, who has been a pioneer in treating this phobia.
Here is an excerpt from the guide that comes with the supplemental program.