ABSTRACT

Disgust fits the facts when there is a risk of contamination. In evolution this would have been an infection risk from expelled bodily fluids, such as blood, guts, sputum, vomit, and faeces. Disgust can also include social contamination. This chapter highlights the signature features of disgust and presents an example scenario of disgust in which the client has cut her stomach after a social event with two female friends of the same age. It discusses special considerations in disgust. Tackling the source of disgust can be tricky if it involves the client’s appearance, and therapists can avoid going ‘where angels fear to tread’. Disgust in therapy is most commonly seen in relation to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Being considered ‘untouchable’ can elicit feelings of disgust towards the self.