Mary overcomes her fear of being sick and makes a splash in today’s newspaper!

Mary is notably one of our biggest supporters having dedicatedly overcome her fear of being sick last year. After 75 years, Mary decided enough was enough and that it was time to do something about it. After researching about her fear of being sick and discovering Cure Your Emetophobia & Thrive, Mary decided to put all her energies into taking back control of her panic and anxiety symptoms.
Since then, Mary has gone on to many things (including sitting and being interviewed for a National Newspaper!) from relearning to drive, taking up new hobbies and meeting new people (including a Guest Appearance at our Thrive Annual Conference in which we were honoured). Mary’s new drive for life is only possible down to the amount of effort and work she put in herself to stopping her phobia. Mary wanted to get better and she made sure nothing prevented her from getting to that goal. Each time Mary needed the motivation and clarity to continue, she looked inside herself and sought a new way to create it. This alone makes her one of the most knowledgeable people in overcoming emetophobia (or any phobia for that matter).
The Thrive Programme helped Mary get to a place where she believed that she was creating her fear and instilled dedicated techniques with which to help herself overcome it. When things didn’t go well, she did not let that dishearten her, she got on with it, set her attitude to Thrive, and helped herself in ways she’d never have foreseen. Mary shows that if you put in the work, be kind to yourself, and manage your thinking anything is possible. Even at 81 years old!

You can read the whole article here. And [...]

Next Emetophobia Seminar taking Place in Edinburgh in June

The New Thrive Programme® offers a ground-breaking way to cure the effects of phobias and anxiety

The Thrive Programme® is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, from 11-17th May, using revolutionary techniques for those suffering from phobias and anxiety. Andrew Farquharson, Thrive Programme consultant, is publicising the benefits of the programme and specifically the results it can have for those suffering from the debilitating condition of emetophobia (an intolerable fear of sickness and vomiting).

Due to the huge success of the programme amongst emetophobia sufferers, Andrew is offering people the chance to speak to him in person and to find out more about the programme. A seminar will take place at The Links Hotel, Edinburgh on 6 June 2015, with Andrew as the keynote speaker and featuring ex-emetophobics who are now completely free of the condition having used the Thrive Programme®.

Katie (28), one of the speakers at the event, who lives in Edinburgh, says of her experience, saying ‘After suffering from emetophobia for around 10 years, I had lost all confidence in myself, I had stopped going out and socialising completely, and was suffering from two to three anxiety attacks each week.’ After completing the Thrive Programme® Katie is now completely recovered, and has got not only her life back, but also her self-confidence and happiness. Katie says, ‘’I now feel fantastic and no longer feel that I just have to learn to live with this phobia, I can now live a life completely free of it’.’

Emetophobia is a condition that is estimated to affect as much as 8.8% percent of the population. In Scotland that could be around 470,000 people, which is just short of the population of Edinburgh (Hout and Bouman 2011).

The Thrive Programme® demonstrates how [...]

Are you positive with cancer?

In the United Kingdom, around 900 people every day are diagnosed with cancer, meaning that on average 75 people experience a life changing medical diagnosis each hour. This can be extremely difficult and can have a huge emotional impact, resulting in shock, fear and disbelief. Equally, there may be a sense of resentment and anger at the diagnosis, and a feeling of a lack of control and understanding.

Despite its increasingly successful treatment – with survival rates doubling in the last forty years- the word ‘cancer’ still creates a tremendous amount of fear. These negative connotations ensure that ‘cancer’ has become the true ‘c’ word of our time. Understandably, when faced with a diagnosis there are many challenges to overcome, both in a medical and a psychological manner. Undergoing treatment can be daunting, particularly due to some of the possible side effects. Hair loss and hair thinning can be an upsetting consequence of treatment, and many people find it to be one of the biggest anxieties surrounding cancer. It is important to remember, however, that whilst many of these side effects may be upsetting and inconvenient, they are unlikely to pose any sort of long term threat to one’s health. Despite this, these anxieties are still very real and normal, and the worry about one’s mortality is a common experience. The idea of living after cancer is often forgotten, and the immediate thoughts tend to be of death and negativity.

Cancer receives a huge amount of media attention, and it is often expressed in relatively catastrophic and disempowering terms, giving the very idea of cancer, and the word itself even more power. Much of the media dictates that tea, broccoli, or even getting your nails done, [...]

Feeling Fuzzy

The beginning of the week always feels like a brand new start.

The best time to turn over a new leaf.

Time to get going with gusto!

But good intentions do not always make it through to Tuesday morning, and if they do, by Wednesday we’ve usually lost our focus.

Perhaps you’ve been feeling like this for a while? As Thoreau said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.’

You might have a few projects ticking over, a few things you’d like to challenge yourself on or personal issues to address. They might not be big things: a few pounds to lose before the summer, a some unused items to put onto e bay, friends you have been meaning to catch up with. Or perhaps you’re in a rut, feeling demoralised or a bit down?

In a world of smartphones, 24/7 news and digital technology, it can also become easy to slip into something psychologist Daniel Goleman calls ‘neural buzz’, where the volume of messages, alerts and information demanding our attention clouds our ability to focus on any one task. It can be hard to switch off over a weekend and focus on outside life when our phones buzz constantly at any hour of the day or night and work emails can be reached at the touch of a button.

In daily life, it’s so easy to slip into routines and ruts and keep things simply ‘ticking over’, and for some people there is safety behind this familiarity. But we’ve all heard the saying, ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans’, so if you’re using the familiarity of your routine as an excuse – and it’s an easy [...]

By |April 14th, 2015|Blog & News|0 Comments|

Why is it so important to process events in an INTERNAL way?

Why is it so important to process events in an INTERNAL way?
This short video discusses the difference between processing events in an external manner versus an internal manner. If you’ve read any of my Thrive books, you will know what is meant by an internal and external locus of control. If not, here is a short introduction.

The word ‘locus’ is Latin for ‘place’, and the ‘control’ refers to how much power or influence you believe you have over events in your life. Locus of control is a concept that was first developed by clinical psychologist Julian Rotter in the 1950s.

People with an internal locus of control have a high sense of primary control, believing that they strongly influence most of the events and outcomes in their lives. They also have a high sense of secondary control, believing that even when events are outside their primary control, they have the skills and resources to respond positively, cope and bounce back.

People with an external locus of control generally have a low sense of primary control, believing that external forces (such as fate, luck, other people) determine most of the events and outcomes in their lives. They also have a low sense of secondary control, believing that they do not have the skills and resources to cope with events outside their primary control.

Once you have your locus of control it becomes habitual to see, think and process experiences in relation to it. You begin to attribute the causes of events and experiences in life to either internal, or external causes, further propagating your belief. Every time you interpret and process an event in your life, which you do many times daily, you are further strengthening your [...]

Perfectionist thinking – causing emetophobia

The following update is from the March 2014 version of  ‘Overcome your emetophobia and thrive’.
The update is from the section on the “Perfectionist thinking style’

The perfectionist style
‘I’m a bit of a perfectionist’, is something that I quite often hear coming from my social phobic/ brooder/ obsessive/ catastrophic/ black and white thinking style clients during our initial consultation/assessment session. It sounds quite nice if you think about it – ‘I’m a bit of a perfectionist’. It’s a little bit like saying ‘yes, I am a little bit special’.
Difficulty is, due to the intense social anxiety these people suffer from (although they often don’t know it), there is a lot of ‘spin’ going on with a phrase like this.  I say this, because actually a ‘perfectionist’ is really a person running away from feeling like shit.  Deep down, they usually feel worthless, unlovable and a failure. They are continually fighting to get away from these unbearable deep-down feelings. As a result, they set themselves very high standards. They cannot tolerate failure, because failure puts them back in touch with some very uncomfortable feelings.
The trouble is, if you set yourself ridiculously high standards you inevitably do not meet them a lot of the time. This means that you frequently see yourself as failing – which is exactly what you were trying to avoid! You then tend to give yourself a really hard time for failing to reach your standards, often berating yourself for days after a perceived poor performance. This only increases your desire to be ‘perfect’ so that you can get away from these feelings of worthlessness and ‘not being good enough’. You, therefore, work even harder at being faultless, setting further [...]

How do we create, maintain and change a belief system?


In the powerpoint video below, I describe how we create, maintain and change a belief system. I do this using ‘the balloon metaphor’…


Common mistakes when overcoming emetophobia

The following is a ‘cure your emetophobia and thrive’ book update from March 2014.
The update comes from the final chapter, and the ‘common mistakes people make’ section.
Common Mistakes People Make
Let’s have a look at where you might go wrong…
Persistent and continuous effort (PACE)
You want to spend the next six weeks or so re-training yourself: changing your limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking styles and developing new skills.  You need to put in some work every single day.  You are building up momentum and you want that momentum to become so big and powerful that it becomes habitual.  At that point, you can more or less stop putting any effort in. Imagine you are creating a big snowball and you are starting to push that snowball down a hill… it is only when it becomes big enough, and the momentum sufficient, that you can stop pushing it, and it will continue on down the hill under it’s own steam.  Stop pushing too early and the snowball will grind to a halt. Then you have to start pushing all over again.
Another metaphor could be push-starting a car. When you have owned crappy cars, like some of the ones I’ve owned in the past, you’ll get this straight away… When push starting a car, you need to first get the car moving, then keep it moving whilst the driver engages a gear and waits for the engine to splutter into life. Only once the engine has taken over completely, can you stop pushing.  Stop too early and you have to start the whole bloody thing over again. In fact, push starting a car is a great metaphor for overcoming emetophobia for another [...]

‘Significant Others’ – how friends and loved ones can collude with our beliefs

The following few pages come from the March 2014 edition of  ‘Cure your emetophobia and thrive’

Significant others
A ‘significant other’ is any person who is important to an individual’s life or wellbeing. Sociologically speaking, it is any person with a strong influence on an individual’s self-evaluation, who is important to this individual. Therapeutically, significant others are usually the client’s spouse, best friend, or parents. If a therapist, doctor, or other health-care professional is not careful (in avoiding unnecessary long-term treatment), they can become the significant other for their patient or client. In this situation, it is the ‘care’ of the professional that is validating the illness or problem that the client wanted help in overcoming in the first place!
A significant other, understandably, shows love, encouragement and support for their friend/partner/child, they listen to their worries and fears, help and support them through painful, emotional, or other difficult times.  They mop their brow, fetch and carry, take them to their appointments, speak to the doctors and therapists, learn all about their friend/partner/child’s condition, and, importantly, rarely challenge them.
This ‘significant other’ is just what we would all want if we suffered a heart attack, stroke, broke a leg or suffered some other similar setback – who doesn’t want a little tender loving care when they feel lost, in pain, or unhappy? The difficulty is, that there is sometimes a fine line between ‘giving support’ and ‘colluding and validating’ (reinforcing). The significant other can be the person that (usually unintentionally) helps to provide the reinforcements mentioned in the previous section.
Significant others can often help to maintain a person’s fear of being sick. This is particularly true with children – very often the parents (unwittingly, [...]

Self-esteem is key to weight management

Self-esteem as a key to weight-management

Are you on first name terms with your muffin-top?

Bingo wings in a flap?

Or on a mission to put on a few pounds and get back into the ‘healthy’ range?

Research shows that high self-esteem is significant in helping you to achieve weight-related goals. Psychologists believe it’s our reaction to setbacks that will determine our eventual success.

Self-esteem is about how you think about you; it’s a feeling and not just a number on the scales. You can build high self-esteem. This is something that The Thrive Programme helps with.

High self-esteem enables you to embrace a healthy eating plan with confidence. It means you will feel motivated to ‘pick yourself up’ again and persevere after a setback. With low-self-esteem you feel worse for longer.

Having high self-esteem means you can keep your weight management both in control and in perspective.

When people with high self-esteem have a ‘blip’ on a diet, they view it as such and move on. With low-self-esteem you are likely feel defeated, feel like a failure and give up. People with low self-esteem will beat themselves up about perceived ‘diet fails’, especially if you’re also something of a perfectionist.

Struggling with a lifestyle change without robust ‘psychological foundations’ (including self-esteem), you may start to believe you can never be fitter and healthier. You will seek comfort in the ‘bad habits’ that you’re trying to escape in the first place. Happiness really isn’t found at the bottom of a Cadbury’s Crème Egg…. And no you don’t need to eat four of them to prove this!

While drumming up willpower to jumpstart a diet is within most people’s grasp, this only works while your new habit is in the spotlight – the willpower soon wears off, especially when [...]