What is a workshop?

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 use intensive residential weekend workshops taking place within a therapeutic environment. We know from our own experiences that that can sound quite scary and because of that we limit attendance to a small group so that the two workshop leaders can give you all individual support.   

We also 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 weekend; you will progress at your own pace and at your own comfort level.

The workshops are based on those run by Professor Soifer (the President of the International Paruresis Association based in the USA), and are described in the book he co-authored, Shy Bladder Syndrome. 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 weekend – some people need 2 or 3 workshops to make major progress and some require even more, but the majority find the beginners 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 the workshop only with the workshop leaders in private, not with other participants.

The workshop fee at present is £120, reduced to £20 if you are a student or on benefits. 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.

Feedback is always very positive which you can see if you visit the most recent evaluation report. You can also read more under Case Studies. Between 2003 and 2017 we ran more than 99 workshops, which demonstrates the considerable expertise we have developed in running workshops.   

What is a beginners’ workshop?
What are the follow-up workshops?

Download our Workshop Feedback Evaluation Report

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

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