This will take some thinking about. But in the meantime here is a summary from a successful therapist.
RECOVERY SKILLS (WITH THANKS TO FREE 2 PEE BY CHRIS MCCULLOUGH)
1. Take an accepting attitude about paruresis; it does not define your worth as a person in any way.
2. Peeing is not something you do, it is something you allow to happen.
3. Go in a cubicle or a urinal without intending to pee. Just be there and get used to being there. If anxiety gets above moderate, leave, calm down, and return. Do this until you cease to panic or get anxious about the place. Notice how no-one takes any notice of you. Learn what the “normal” behaviour is as exhibited by others.
4. Take an attitude of power; that you own the place. Use confident body language. If somebody looks at you, think to yourself “Hey, you looking at me?” Attitude and body language reinforce each other.
5. Physically relax before you enter the place, and in it: relaxing image, slow deep breathing, relax muscles, relax sphincter. Take your time.
6. Use of a hierarchy of difficulty and practice, practice, practice. Leave a toilet after a try and return to it to try again. Use fluid loading, and pee only a little so you can practice often. If you have a misfire, forget it, just remember the times you do pee.
7. Try staying in a cubicle and confront your fear of inconveniencing others. Similarly, so long as you are not too anxious, wait people out. Its your toilet, there’s no rush. That gives time for anxiety to reduce. Again notice that no-one notices you.
8. Use anchoring: e.g. place hand on wall to steady yourself.
9. Use cue words or images to associate them with peeing.
a. practice desensing in your imagination. Switch from the anxiety provoking image to a calm relaxing one, and back again
b. If AP was brought about by an anxiety, re-enact the experience using visualisation but give it a positive outcome e.g. for bullying, visualise the experience but change it to one where you hit back successfully – take your revenge.
11. Tell others of your paruresis. Have you heard about the phobia called paruresis aka shy bladder. Well, I’ve got it. Is my having it a problem for you? It is a seriously heavy problem for me.
Email me and I can send you a handout from our workshops with more useful info
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