Our Three Workshops

As you read more about this condition, you will discover that the treatment recommended by clinical psychologists is based on standard techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): to improve self-esteem, to realign your views of reality, and to enable you to start facing your fears in a controlled way using small steps.

We have three types of workshop;

  1. Physical Beginners
  2. Virtual Beginners
  3. Physical Follow-up

The physical beginners is an intensive residential weekend workshop taking place within a therapeutic environment in order to achieve this. We have been running these since 2003 and they are highly successful, as over 90% of attendees make progress during one of these workshops.

The pandemic forced us to suspend physical workshops, and so we developed a virtual format as a replacement. The Virtual Workshops are a condensed version of our regular Beginners Workshops with all the activity taking place within one full day. Just as in our normal workshops we know that that can sound quite scary, and because of that we limit attendance to a small group so that the workshop leaders can give you all individual support. The virtual workshops have also proved to be very useful, and opened up the possibility for people to attend who actually would not have attended a physical version because of their difficulty to leave home and travel. Hence we continue to run these virtual workshops going forward.

Virtual workshops are a good start, however the nature of them being virtual means that the potential to progress is more limited. Ian Harris, one of our workshop leaders, experienced in running both virtuals and physicals says “If you can make it to a physical workshop, then do it – you will have a much greater opportunity to take control of your shy bladder”.

For the beginners workshops, we know that the thought of facing your fears may sound impossible, so we help you to decide your own starting point to be as safe as you want. There is no set target over the workshop; you will progress at your own pace and at your own comfort level.

The physical follow-up workshop is open to anybody who has attended either of the beginner workshops. In those, there is no need for some of the theoretical aspects to be explained, so there is a higher level of practical de-sensitisation. They are also residential weekend workshops.

It is important to note that the UKPT does not provide professional treatment; instead, it uses a self-help ethos, where the volunteer leaders are not medically or psychologically qualified, but are recovering from the condition themselves having “graduated” from our workshops. They are passing on what they learnt in a layman’s capacity. Feedback so far is that this approach is helpful to participants. However, it is not the aim of the UKPT to be a replacement for professional therapy; instead, it is providing support, especially where professional resources are not available. 

Note that generally no-one is cured in a workshop, virtual or real – some people need 2 or 3 workshops to make major progress and some require even more, but the majority find the first workshop enables them to make a significant start to gaining control over the condition, helping them to see a way forward and make an action plan. A good way is to see it like training for a marathon: it takes time and perseverance, but it can be done so long as you don't rush it and expect miracles.

Confidentiality is key; you will discuss your progress during a Workshop only with the workshop leaders in private, not with other participants.

The Physical Workshop fee is £165, and the Virtual Workshop fee is £75. If money is a problem, don't let it be. You can make a contribution instead of paying the full fee. The policy of UKPT is that lack of money should not prevent anyone participating, and there is a small bursary fund available for those who might otherwise struggle to attend. Please note that as a UK Charity we cannot offer financial support to non-UK residents. However, people from outside of the UK who have paruresis are welcome to attend our workshops, and they often do.

Note that in order to attend the Virtual Workshop you will need to;

  • have a good internet connection
  • install Zoom on your smartphone, tablet or laptop (desktop will not work as you need to move it around)
  • have a level of privacy and access to your own private toilet to do virtual de-sensing at home
  • be available for the full day (about 9:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Feedback from Virtual Workshop attendees has been overwhelmingly positive:
"Yesterday I was able to use office urinals for the first time ever, absolutely stoked about it!"

“Very pleased with my progress on the workshop day, better than expected, practising in my home made a big difference”

On the leaders “I could not see how they could be any better. A few words come into mind. Empathy, Caring, Humility and Passionate people.”

“I am amazed by how much progress I made in just 1 day and I can now really see that I may be able to overcome this problem. All the workshop leaders were lovely and I felt very comfortable talking to them. I am excited to get out there and practice different toilet situations. Thank you so much for the help and I would really recommend these workshops, don't suffer in silence”

“The actual desensitisation was carried out within each person’s comfort zone with no pressure and the co-ordinators couldn’t have been more sensitive and supportive.”

For more feedback about the work of UKPT over the years since it was established please visit our most recent evaluation report. You can also read more under Workshop Feedback. Between 2003 and 2021 we ran over 100 workshops, which demonstrates the considerable expertise we have developed in running workshops.

Upcoming Workshop Information

For Women

Since the vast majority of shy-bladder sufferers are men, then most of our physical and follow up workshops are attended largely by men. However women have paruresis too, and it’s important for us to be available for them as well, even if many of them choose to keep it hidden. Women’s needs for information about paruresis are largely the same as for men, but their support needs are different. Our workshops are fully open to women, but we need to make advance arrangements to ensure that we can make the correct support available. It’s also important that other women attend the same workshop to share experiences and enable you to get maximum benefit. 

Most women prefer to consider a virtual workshop via zoom. We can more readily ensure you have the necessary support, and it’s much more likely that there will be other female attendees. So in the first instance it would be helpful for us if you could get in touch via email at if you’re interested in booking a workshop. We can discuss your needs and identify which is going to be the best way for you to benefit from the workshop experience.

Download our Workshop Feedback Evaluation Report

An Evaluation of Psychological Desensitisation Workshops Provided by the United Kingdom Paruresis Trust

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Last review date: January 2023.
Next review date: January 2026.

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