Exposure

Level 1 – Words

Click here for Words

Level 2 – Sentences and Paragraphs

Click here for Sentences

Click here for Paragraphs

Level 3 – Silly Cartoons and Pics of Food

Dog Cartoon

Cat Cartoon

Funny Eggs

Hallowe’en Pumpkin

Pumpkin & Toilet

Level 4 – Drawings and Cartoon Characters

Little unwell dude

Drawing of unwell woman

Medical drawing of how vomit happens

Cartoon man with bulging cheeks

Emoji with vomit in front

Level 5 – CGIs, Sketches, Graphic Comics

CGI of a teenager with drawn-in vomit

Pencil sketch (red) of men in hospital

Comic guy vomiting green

Comic book shot of young girl vomiting

Level 6 – Nauseous people

Man on couch

Nauseous man on bed

Woman with hand over mouth

Woman having hair held back

Woman waiting in bathroom

At this point, clients with children should work on Level 6 in the Kids’ Exposure Resource page – pictures of nauseous kids.

Level 7 – People around toilets

Woman back-to at toilet

Woman curled up on floor

Side view kneeling

Side view standing

Girl on toilet with bucket

Level 8 – People after vomiting

Baby after vomiting

Man spitting

Man after vomiting at fair

Man after vomiting water on floor

At this point, clients may work on Level 7 in the Kids’ Exposure Resource page – pictures of just vomit.

Level 9 – Pictures of people vomiting

B/W pic of girl at a club

Colour pic of girl at a club

B/W pic of boy at a table

Colour pic of boy at a table

Baby

Tween boy

Two people in a garage

Tween girl

Man drank a gallon of milk

Man beside bicycle

Little boy

Woman at a party

Frat boy

Carsick man

Carsick woman

Level 10 – Videos

Videos begin again with very easy, such as a car engine “vomiting” oil it doesn’t like, baby spit-up, etc. If watching and listening to these is too difficult, try watching with the sound off the first time.

Car engine

Oddbods cartoon

Fighting kittens

Baby spits up

Baby vomits milk

Toddler vomits a little FIRST MINUTE ONLY (new)

What to do when a child vomits – babysitter video (new)

Guy tries to drink a gallon of milk (no sound)

A man travelling vomits water FIRST 25 SECONDS ONLY

Swedish TV Hostess

Tyrone Davies

Seasick man (new)

New Zealand TV Host

Kids vomit on a ride (movie scene) (new)

Drunk man at a party

Seasick woman (new)

16 Kids’ concerts gone wrong (new)

Man on a plane

(This funny one is a “graduation video” for you!) Family Guy – when they drink Ipecac

Level 11 – Sounds

Click on the link, above, “LEVEL 11 – SOUNDS” which takes you to a page with 88 different vomiting sounds. Clients can peruse through the descriptions, or randomly click on a few to see how they manage their anxiety

LEVEL 12 – Smell

Click here to order a bottle of butyric acid for $9 from Amazon.com. This acid gives vomit its particular smell. I encourage clients to add it to a can of vegetable soup or anything they remember as having vomited as a kid. One of my clients remembers a dinner with steak and green beans, so she mixed some of that up in a blender and added the butyric acid.

This link won’t work for international clients, but try finding some locally or ask your high school science teacher to order it for you. That’s where I got mine.

Level 13 – Practice Cleaning Up

A lot of my clients seem to believe that if a child vomits in their bed, or anyone vomits in their house then it’s a huge catastrophic event akin to the zombie apocalypse. To reduce this catastrophizing tendency, I’ve had clients mix up some “vomit” according to the recipe in level 11, and pour it all over a kids bed, then practice cleaning it up, washing the laundry, etc. I’ve had other clients brainstorm what they would do if someone vomited on their carpet or furniture and if they’re willing to do the same thing, it can be really helpful.

Level 14 – Interoceptive Exposure

This level will probably be the most difficult for any client. Many never agree to even try it, which is fine – what they do in therapy is always up to them. Will any of these things make someone vomit? The truth is, nobody knows! Here are a few ideas:

  • spin around in an office chair to make yourself dizzy and nauseous
  • Run on a treadmill or outside after a large meal until you’re nauseous (check with your doctor first)
  • Buy the game “Beanboozled” and taste all the nasty jellybeans including vomit flavour, dog food, dirty dishwater, etc. You can also order Harry Potter “Every Flavour Bean” off the internet – any flavour or buy a variety!
  • After a large meal, stand in a room and spin around until you’re very dizzy
  • put a toothbrush or spoon handle far back in your throat until you gag
  • put some oatmeal in your mouth, or any food at all and spit it into the toilet. Pretend you’re vomiting. Try it with different foods.
  • try any of the above when you’re already not feeling well

Exposure to food/new foods/”unsafe” foods

If you find that you’re restricting your eating and/or you’re underweight, the idea of eating more may be very frightening to you. I’ve been there: as a teenager in university, far away from family, I restricted my eating to just bananas, milk and “Digestive” brand cookies (biscuits). It took me two years before I was eating normally again. The only way to do it is to take ONE BITE more than you normally would. So when you feel full and wouldn’t normally eat more, take one more bite. Force yourself. I cried over many of these bites, for months. At EVERY meal. If, like me, you only eat what you think are “safe” foods (no such thing – all food is safe to eat), take one bite of a new food at every meal. When you can handle that, take two bites. The next day three, and so on. You need to fake it til you make it. This is hard. But hang in there and one day you’ll love food and weigh 50 pounds more than you did in college (I was about 100 pounds then. I’m in my 60s now, and 2 pounds overweight at 150. It’s great!)