“I Cured My Emetophobia with Thrive”

When I met Paul I was feeling very low. I have had ‘emetophobia’ for around 20 years and I’d always thought that was just the way my life would be. I thought about sick (being sick, feeling sick, others being sick) all day, every day and carried out many safety behaviours, thinking I was preventing myself from catching a bug or becoming sick. I didn’t let my phobia ruin my life or stop me from doing anything I really wanted to do but it certainly ruled my life and had a big part to play in the choices I made. When I felt nauseous (which was often a daily occurrence) it would send me into a panic attack, worrying, overthinking and shaking in anxiety. I thought I was a positive person – I had re-trained and secured my dream job and lost weight both of which I thought would change my life but having achieved both I realised they didn’t.

The light bulb moment was an anticipated visit to the dentist. I knew I would have to have some work done. I was anxious for two whole days and I tried to explain to my sister (through tears and high emotion) why I was so worried – I thought the dentist would make me sick. She gave me the kick I needed and suggested I visit the doctor to try to sort my problem out.

So Monday morning I just about got myself into the dentist chair and he managed to file my tooth down. Afterwards I burst into tears and was about to go to the doctors but I told myself that they would probably see me in this state and prescribe anti-depressants which I certainly did not want or need. I went home and searched the internet for an alternative option when I came across the Thrive Programme.

I watched some of the testimonials and thought this was exactly what I needed, so I ordered Rob’s book from Amazon. Further research on the website while waiting for the book to arrive lead me to Paul’s website. Rob tells you that you can work through the book yourself but I thought ‘If I’m going to do this then I want to do it properly’ so I contacted Paul and set up an initial consultation later that week.

I started the Thrive Programme the next week and anxiously returned to Paul’s practice, not knowing how this would go or what to expect. That first meeting Paul explained the relationship between the Locus of Control, Self Esteem and Social Anxiety and completed a quiz to see where I sat on all three. My self-esteem was very low and my social anxiety very high. I became very emotional that I had such a low opinion of myself.

Throughout the weeks I have worked through the book a chapter at a time, completing the actions and then talking about them and the rest of my week with Paul at the end of the week.

Eight weeks in (with two to go), I believe that my ‘emetophobia’ is gone (in fact, I’ve learnt that it wasn’t real to begin with!) I have dealt with situations I’ve been presented with in a calm manner where before I would have panicked and brooded over them, knowing I now have the skills to deal with anything. I have challenged and stopped carrying out my safety behaviours and I have tried so many new activities in addition to working through the book that I wonder what I was doing with my time before I started! My self-esteem has soared and my social anxiety has lowered dramatically.

Like most things in life it hasn’t been easy but it is most definitely worth it, I’ve had to put in time, hard work and effort to look at my limiting belief systems and unhelpful thinking styles and changing them to more helpful, positive ones. Paul has been an incredible support, challenging me when I needed it and listening, offering additional suggestions and examples to help me to understand things. Since that first week I have looked forward to my weekly visit knowing I was on the path to a better, happier, more confident life, ruled by me and not my horrible fear.

I turned 40 this year and I can honestly say ‘Life begins at 40!!’

I would recommend Paul and the Thrive Programme to anyone with ‘emetophobia’

Many thanks to Louise Ward for working so hard and doing so well! – Paul