Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that can assist in reducing symptoms of social anxiety disorders, including paruresis (commonly known as shy bladder).  EMDR explores negative thoughts and body sensations associated with past negative experiences that may be influencing current functioning. These negative experiences and thoughts are reprocessed and more positive, helpful, and accurate thoughts and body sensations are explored and reinforced.

It is common that shy bladder begins at school with onset coinciding with negative social experiences where one felt a real or perceived sense of social judgment, humiliation, or embarrassment.  The worry or fear that one may be negatively perceived by peers or others continues, which can result in a fear and avoidance of social situations. Shy bladder symptoms can result in avoidance and refusal to use restrooms outside of one’s own home, creating significant distress and compensation behaviors.

EMDR can reprocess negative past experiences, body sensations, and feelings associated with onset events and memories of past humiliations and embarrassments.  EMDR can be used to challenge and reduce social anxiety, including shy bladder. EMDR can be used to strengthen and reinforce inner strengths and resources to support long term benefits and overall anxiety reduction.  EMDR is typically a short-term psychotherapy treatment with fast benefit and long lasting results.

If you or your child have been struggling with thoughts and fears of social anxiety, or have been limited in your activities and routines due to avoidance or difficulty using public restrooms to urinate, I encourage you to explore if psychotherapy treatment might benefit you.  

About the Author

AnnMarie Nelson, LMFT 97177 offers in-person psychotherapy from her office in beautiful Mission Viejo, California, and web services for those who reside in California.  She specializes in treating trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and life transitions such as death and divorce. She treats children and adults to regain social opportunities and reduce social anxiety, including paruresis.  Her office welcomes your call at 949.445.0510.

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