Presenting Problem: Anxiety over needing the toilet
Number of Sessions: 3
RP approached me because she sometimes had severe anxiety if she thought she might need the toilet and a convenience would not be immediately available. She was embarrassed about this, felt silly and childish, but it was causing severe difficulty for her as she was unable to travel or go on holiday without feeling panicky. The anxiety usually came on abruptly, sometimes unexpectedly, especially if she was driving; this meant that she avoided driving wherever possible.
During the initial session we explored the problem and where it may have started. RP remembered a particular event whilst shopping when she urgently needed the toilet but could not find one. She went into another shop and asked to use the toilet, but was refused; finally she found one just in time.
I invited RP to recall this ‘worst memory’ of needing the toilet, which she had no problem doing and had a score of 10/10 which is as bad as it can be. She reported feeling anxious at that moment. She said she would rather feel calm in control, with an understanding that she always had plenty of time to find a toilet, should she need to go. She easily found a memory of feeling just like this. I did the BWRT work, and we finished the session with RP feeling very calm and positive. I was unable to re-trigger the 10/10 score from her worst memory – she said it was if there was no longer any emotional attachment to it, even though she could remember it. I asked her to imaging a time when she was stuck in a traffic jam and started to feel like she might need the loo – she said she felt no anxiety and in control.
We had one further session to work on some other things that she recalled, which she felt might be linked.
RP contacted me two weeks later to report that she had not suffered any further anxiety, had driven more that she had in the last six months, and was thinking about booking a holiday. She felt that BWRT had genuinely changed her life and given her back her freedom, in only three sessions.
If certain things make you anxious, worried or upset – even if you don’t know why – and you feel they are holding you back, get in touch with me so we can sort them out…