Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Shy Bladder
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is linked to three things: thought, behavior and feelings. It’s similar (ish) to hypnotherapy is so far that it aims to reprogram the automatic responses of the sub-conscious mind.
It’s a “talking” treatment. In other words it involves conversing with the trained therapist about your thoughts and feelings. This can, in turn, help you to better manage and cope with psychological problems of all kinds. In this case, specifically shy bladder syndrome.
It works by changing how you think and how you react to these thoughts which will, obviously, make you feel better. CBT is all about the here and now. It’s not about looking back and getting to the root of the problem. It takes the issue as it is right now and works to change thoughts and behaviors.
I appreciate that this definition is perhaps a little confusing but basically we talking about the following:
The way you think when you walk into a public restroom and the way you act and how you feel. Right now that’s probably not a good set of actions and emotions which is why they need to change. The CBT therapist will work with you, through the power of questions and conversation, in order to change those initial thoughts when you need to pee in public places. They will then look to re-shape your natural behavior and work on the much better way you feel and the positivity.
It will help the viscous circle of negative thoughts, behavior and feelings. As you walk towards a restroom or a urinal just consider the way you currently think. Consider the way you act. How doe that make you feel? Now consider walking up there with confidence. Knowing there’s no problem and you’ll be able to pee no matter who’s around. Think about how these improved thoughts will make you behave and how good you’ll feel! Welcome to the work of cognitive behavioral therapy because that’s what it’s all about!
Does CBT For Shy Bladder Work?
CBT for paruresis is actually one of the most popular and recognised treatments for the condition around today. As Shy Bladder Syndrome has been officially categorised as a form of social anxiety and as CBT is a recognised treatment for anxiety of all types it’s obvious that it’s going to be effective.
I cannot stress enough though … you need to work with a trained therapist. Take your time to research and find the right support local to you and make sure they’re familiar with your condition before you commit to anyone.
A good starting point for those reading in the UK is the official register of Accredited BABCP CBT and AREBT therapists. This register can be accessed at www.cbtregisteruk.com
For those in the US you may want to first check out the Academy Of Cognitive Therapy. This organisation is a certifying organization for cognitive behavioral therapy. It “evaluates applicants’ knowledge and ability of applicants from all mental health fields before granting certification”.
Other CBT certification organisations exist worldwide. You may want to start with an internet search in your own location.
If you’re expecting an overnight miracle though you can forget it! It’s not a quick fix. It takes time, effort and commitment. Oh, and it may not be that cheap either … therapists have to make a living like all of us!
CBT And Graduated Exposure Therapy
I’ve discussed another popular form of treatment called Graduated Exposure Therapy. As the name of this treatment suggests, this involves exposing yourself to the difficult environment of the public toilets and building up gradually. Bit by bit you’ll become used to the anxiety experienced in relatively comfortable restrooms and build up to more difficult ones until, eventually, you can deal with any situation.
Graduated exposure therapy need to be practised regularly and the level of difficulty and discomfort built up over time. This, therefore, is certainly not for those who want a quick, comfortable result.
Whilst this is a very different treatment in itself it often goes hand in hand with cognitive behavioral therapy. Basically, it helps cement the work of the therapist and helps the “new” thoughts, behaviors and feelings bed in to your revised mindset.When practised alongside CBT it can help achieve faster results than each treatment undertaken separately.