I have suffered from paruresis since I was 11 years old. I am now 27. After reaching a very low point, where I was feeling unable to cope with anything at all due to being unable to pee I decided to email UKPT to see if I could attend a workshop. I had already seen a counsellor and one psychologist on a recommendation from my GP and tried hypnotherapy. Non of these approaches helped.
Having made my decision I arrived on the Friday evening feeling very nervous and wondering why I was putting myself through this anxiety. This was short lived with a sentence along the lines of, you have your own private toilet, go when you want to, nobody will take any notice or come looking for you.
I knew that the workshop was run by people who suffered from paruresis but it was still surprising to feel that these people understood. The pressure was instantly off. I was able to make some progress ie actually pee in situations I wasn't sure I would be able to. The important point is that I was in control of what situations I attempted to pee in. If I managed then I was asked what I would like to try next and if I didn't I discussed with the workshop leader how I felt, suggestions were then made about how I could turn my negative feelings into positive ones. If there's one thing I learnt, try to turn negative thoughts into positive ones, thinking positive as well as relaxation techniques, taught over the weekend, meant my anxiety levels were decreasing and I was more successful in using the toilet, not just visiting it.
I'm not cured and to get the full benefit out of the workshop I'm going to carry on using toilets in different situations using what I learnt at the workshop. If you've looked at the website you'll probably already know that this is termed de-sense. Basically the more you expose yourself to a situation, starting with a place you are comfortable like a private bathroom, the more you get used to it, relax and pee.
If you suffer from paruresis, I would love to hear from you, whether you plan on attending a workshop or not. The other participants were men which didn't really matter as 99% of the content isn't gender specific but it would be nice to talk to other women about this issue.
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