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In the following I will present my personal impressions of a workshop visit and then describe how I coped with my paruresis after the workshop. Possibly it will serve as an “inspiration” for the one or the other person concerned to design a personal “training program”.
[Julia attended our Virtual Workshop on August 12, 2023, led by IPA President Dan Rocker. She shared these thoughts prior to the workshop, and kindly followed-up with her post-workshop reaction. If you are considering attending any IPA workshop, you’ll find her comments valuable.
Greetings fellow members. The following is an edited and expanded version of a text I had sent to two board members upon my return from a trip abroad. Given the length of the flight, weeks prior to my journey I was feeling apprehensive.
Ever since I was six years old and was walked in on while on the potty by a neighbor boy, who announced with exuberant laughter “I hear you peeing!”, I have had bathroom issues. These issues snowballed over the years into a full-blown case of primary and secondary paruresis. When I was in a bathroom out of my comfort zone I would often feel like I was sitting on a time bomb that could go off at any moment. I had better be ready to run if someone knocks on that bathroom door or starts jiggling the handle.
This is Oliver. Why am I sharing this picture of an adorable little kitty? Last night I went to a college friend’s house. We’re sitting around having a few drinks and I have to use the bathroom which is down around the corner from where we’re all sitting. So, I go there and the “lock” is a tiny hook-and-eye set-up that is very sketchy and leaves a small crack in the door opening.
You have to understand, I am not afraid of flying in an airplane. As a kid, I loved the movement and motion of flying. But for the past fifty-five years, I haven’t flown very often at all. This all started because of an incident that happened at the end of the summer of 1968.
Our most recent Virtual Support Group Meeting took place last evening, and we had about twenty participants from all over the US, Canada, and Europe. In the first hour each participant was invited to talk about his or her experiences, both past and present, and as each person talked the others listened with clear empathy…
“I’m wondering if the people who are members in the IPA are a bunch of weirdos. I mean, they have to be, right?”
I’m sure this question has crossed your mind. 15+ years ago when I first learned about the International Paruresis Association I know I thought it.
The IPA Virtual Support Group is facilitated on a volunteer basis by myself and Steve Weinraub about once a month, and we hit a record on Sunday, August 28, with 31 participants. They included people from all over the United States, as well two people from the United Kingdom and one from Poland, and the age level ranged from early 20’s to late 70’s.
There are a great many things about the support work that I do on behalf of the IPA that provide me with personal satisfaction, but there is something truly special about supporting another guy during his first public graduated exposure experience. It brings great joy because I know that it can set him on a path which could lead to recovery,
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which has become the most widely accepted treatment for Paruresis, uses a model of graduated exposure (GE) based upon public in-person practice with a “pee buddy” from a local support group or an empathetic friend or family member, a model which has shown itself to be highly effective. In March of 2020, however, that model became difficult if not impossible to use as social venues closed down and personal contact outside of immediate family became severely limited, and the idea of virtual GE practice, following the same general procedure but done over video chat from a home bathroom, came to be used as an alternative.
Thank you so much for responding back to my letter! I have to be honest with you, when I received the package and seen who it was from it almost brought me to tears. I’m almost in tears now just thinking about it. I have felt so alone and hopeless dealing with my condition since I thought I was all alone. Finally someone knows how I feel and knows the type of issues I face on a daily basis.
INTERNATIONAL PARURESIS ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 21237
Catonsville, MD 21228
You Are Not Alone.
There Is Help For You!
Shy Bladder, Bashful Bladder, Pee Shy
IPA OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Friday
10:00am - 6:00pm (ET)
This website is NOT a substitute for medical or legal advice and does not constitute the practice of law, medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, clinical social work, or any other mental health profession. If you are having trouble urinating, you should always contact a physician since difficulty with voiding can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. We are a group of professional people and people who have suffered with paruresis. We have assembled a board and a board of advisors to help people cope with urinary dysfunction that has a psychological or social origin. On this website, we are NOT practicing medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, clinical social work or any other mental health profession. You should have your doctor evaluate your condition before diagnosing yourself, and seek the appropriate necessary mental health counseling if warranted. IPA, Inc. disclaims any and all legal liability whatsoever.