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Treating Disgust in Anxiety Disorders


Address correspondence to Elizabeth C. Mason, Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), Level 4, The O'Brien Centre, University of New South Wales at St. Vincent's Hospital, 394-404 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia. E-mail:


There is now a significant body of work which indicates that excessive disgust responses play a crucial role in certain anxiety disorders. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that disgust may not be effectively reduced by exposure therapy. Because of this, there is a need to arm clinicians with additional therapeutic tools to target maladaptive disgust responses. This study reviews potential strategies that may be useful in reducing disgust in the context of anxiety disorders. This review is intended to provide a useful starting point to inform clinicians and suggest possible future research directions. Ultimately, by ameliorating dysfunctional and distressing emotions other than fear that are prominent in certain anxiety disorders, such as disgust, treatments for anxiety disorders may be improved.