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Cure Your Emetophobia & Thrive: The Researched-backed Self-help Programme to Overcome Your Fear of Being Sick Spiral-bound – March 20, 2013
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Cure your emetophobia and Thrive, the research-backed self-help programme to overcome your fear of being sick. This book has been written at the request of numerous readers of my 'Thrive' book. I have helped hundreds of emetophobics over the last twenty five years, and supervised the helping of many hundreds of others. This programme is based on my Thrive Programme, but it has been redesigned and re-engineered for people with a specific fear of vomiting/fear of being sick. Including a discussion about all the major research studies into emetophobia, and including my own recent follow-up study of the last 30+ emetophobics I have helped. Where does emeto come from? Why are 90% of the sufferers women? Why is it such a huge phobia to have (probably the worst of all of the phobias)? Why do so many women suffer from it (about 5-8% of all women - to a greater or lesser extent) and yet they mostly keep it secret from their family and friends? Why does exposure therapy generally not work for emetophobes? What are the shortfalls of CBT? Why is the Thrive Programme so effective in helping emetophobes? All these questions, and much more, are thoroughly explored and answered. Included in the book - the biggest study of it's type - is feedback data from recent ex-emetophobes we have helped. Childhood, parenting, anxiety, social phobia, depression, agorophobia, OCD, obsessive brooding, hyper vigilance, black and white thinking are all described in detailed. More importantly, the book details a step by step programme that you can follow at home, which will enable you to finally overcome your fear/phobia, get on with your life, and positively THRIVE.
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I found this book while looking for ways to help myself get over some anxiety I have in relation to vomiting. I read a lot of reviews, and started to get really excited and hopeful...it seemed there were SO many people saying that this book either mostly or completely cured their emetophobia. After being putting off a little by the price, I eventually decided it would be worth it if I could fix my issue.
First, I want to say, I decided to take the book very seriously, as suggested, even filling out the (what I consider) dorky contract with myself in the beginning. Usually, I don't bother with stuff like that, but I was extremely dedicated to getting rid of my emetophobia and willing to try what the author said.
However, something threw me for a loop right away in the first chapter. The author seemed to be inferring that God is not real, prayer is pointless, and so on. Now, to be upfront, my religion/faith is very important to me and central to my life but I am nowhere near the type to force my beliefs on others. So it did make me uncomfortable, but I thought, ok, the guy's an atheist, doesn't mean I have to subscribe to that, maybe the book can still help me. By chapter three, that message comes across a little stronger. He does come out and say you can still be cured if you are religious/spiritual, but then in so many words communicates that you are a naive fool if you are religious/spiritual because of course, it's all fairy tales. Ok, I got a little more uncomfortable, but still decided to push through. Finally, in chapter 5 he basically states that if you raise your children in your faith tradition, it's not much different than child abuse. That was finally enough for me. It is one thing to not hold a certain belief yourself and state that simply. It is another thing to repeatedly and insultingly foist your disbelief on an unsuspecting reader who is looking for help with a fear of vomiting, not simply declaring your point of view, but inferring if your reader doesn't agree, they are naive, uneducated, superstitious, child abusing and probably will have much less chance of recovery. At that point, I started to page through instead of intensively reading, hoping to find something to redeem the book. I came across a few other "gems." These included that believing in Santa Claus as an adult makes more sense than believing in God, that you can make anyone fall in love with you or get anyone to be your friend, and that some medical issues that I'm fairly certain have been scientifically settled as to cause are simply all in your head and thinking; for instance, PMS, depression caused by chemical imbalance, and physical addiction to cigarettes. At that point, I decided the author is a bit of a crackpot with a real agenda against and anger toward religion. And something I didn't even realize before purchasing: the author claims to be a therapist but I could find no educational or professional credentials for him. So it's just some random guy spouting his beliefs...no stated education and yet he has no problem contradicting something as accepted as the fact that nicotine is physically addicting. Quite frankly, it feels like a big money-making scam, and unfortunately, in my desperation to be fixed, I got taken in. You figure someone has a book published and it got good reviews, must be legitimate, right? Lesson learned!
Anyway, I know my review is lengthy, but I wanted to write it because no where in any reviews I read was any of this mentioned and I hope to save someone else the wasted time, money and disappointment I experienced.
So I bought the book. I have positives and negatives with regards to the book. It is great about looking at the psychological underpinnings of WHY fears and phobias exist. It uses examples from a lot of other fears and phobias (I wish it talked more about emetephobia throughout the book). It has specific exercises that help you to get over your emetephobia. It does require a substantial time requirement to perform all the activities in the book, but if you're like me, you're willing to invest any amount of time to get over the fear of vomiting.
So a sum of POSITIVES:
- lots of engaging activities
- good psychological background to reasoning
- activities are self-empowering and increase happiness with yourself (e.g., listing 10 positive things that you helped make each day)
- summaries of key concepts covered in the chapter at the end of the chapter
- areas in book to write answers/thoughts
- surveys/quizzes to assess yourself
Sum of NEGATIVES
- lots of talk about other phobias/fears, less talk about emetophobia (granted, they do have similar psychological underpinnings)
- negative view of religion/spirituality. If you are religious, go into it realizing that the book will put down religion (although one chapter has a section with an example of a lady that was religious and was still able to overcome emeophobia). I am religious and found it offensive.
- quite a bit of swearing - again, offensive to some (like me). Said many times that we look through life with "sh** tinted glasses." Very unnecessary.
- didn't overcome my emetophobia, and I went through all of the activities in the book. Granted, I think the book is more helpful to someone that has a fear of vomiting more so than someone who is chronically nauseous. Although I have changed behaviors such as how quickly I put food back in the fridge and going out to eat, I still can't get my mind off nausea when I am nauseous.
So would I buy it again? Probably - it was an interesting read, but I didn't find it as life changing as some other folks note.