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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

International Paruresis Association, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Health, Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: The International Paruresis Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to cure Paruresis (shy bladder) and improve the lives of all people affected.

Target demographics: Anyone and everyone suffering from paruresis.

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Shy Bladder Center, Worldwide IPA Support Groups, and Prisoners with Paruresis

Community Stories

147 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have suffered with this condition for 41 years. It has severely affected me and in many ways defined who I am. I learned of IPA perhaps 12 years ago and was too afraid to take action. Last month I finally decided to attend a workshop and I can't even believe what happened. By meeting and connecting with others with this same condition in an environment with an outstanding leader, in one weekend my life has changed dramatically. I would consider myself 80 percent recovered and I know what to do to work on the remaining 20 percent. For anyone even considering attending, take the plunge. You won't regret it!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Currently, I serve on the board of the International Paruresis Association (IPA). The IPA is a wonderful organization that has helped me tremendously with my shy bladder. As an organization, we strive to help folks with paruresis to live their lives to the fullest. We provide resources such as workshops and educational materials. We are most of all caring and compassionate.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best organization of its type. IPA is committed to helping people who have shy bladder with emotional support, recovery techniques, advice for dealing with medical personnel, and advocacy for legal and legislative issue related to this condition. The best decision I made was to attend a workshop 15 years ago. Travel is so much easier, events are not anxiety-inducing, and I no longer judge myself for a condition that is surprisingly common.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with IPA for about ten years now, and it is truly a life-changing organization. I joined mainly because I wanted to travel but my fear kept me from doing so. I now have a passport and am a frequent traveler.

I've attended two IPA workshops for shy bladder treatment. They are unlike anything any doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist has ever done for me. It is really amazing to be in a room full of people who know the same shame you experience. The knowledge provided at these workshops and on IPA's website is diverse- people explore the many psychological and medical methods for how they are able to move beyond this painful condition, but the actual practice that occurs at the workshops really is powerful and would be difficult to recreate at any doctor's office.

IPAs objectives are equally diverse- not only helping people recover from shy bladder, but working to change drug-testing laws to accommodate paruretics; and working to influence public restroom access and design to accommodate paruretics. There is just so much to be accomplished by this organization, and it's the only one like it out there!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The workshops that Steve and his team have been immensely helpful for me in dealing with my phobia. Thank you all soooooooooo much!!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Exceptional workshops, volunteerism and support to those suffering from a relatively common condition, paruresis, often referred to as shy bladder syndrome. This non-profit works to change regulations to support the building of bathroom that provide more privacy for individuals and for drug testing methodologies, i.e., oral fluid analysis, to substitute for urinalysis where people are watched as they provide a sample. As someone who has paruresis the organization has helped me to reduce the severity of issue (it may always be there to some extent but I live more comfortably now) and meet and work alongside others in support sessions who also identify as paruretics. This condition can have an enormous negative impact on people's lives if one can imagine not wanting to go anywhere where there might not be a "safe" bathroom or not taking a long plane flight due to discomfort with using the restroom on the plane. IPA is the only organization addressing this issue.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

I found out about the organization after I read a book by the Exec. Director. Once I found out that there were other people with the same type of problem, that knowledge alone helped me get started to reduce the phobia I have had for over 50 years. This is a wonderful organization and is helping a lot of people who have paruresis.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Living with Paruresis is really difficult... especially in silence! The IPA's existence and continued efforts has helped greatly in this internet age because before you even tell the 1st person in your life about your problem you have already been met w/ the fact that you are not alone. The IPA plays an indispensable role in recovery from Paruresis as it is a keystone to build around and look to for guidance through this difficult journey.
Thx

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have had paruresis during my entire adult life. Using public restrooms was always a challenge, and it made my life so much more difficult than it seemed to be for my friends who were able to function easily and without stress. Thanks to the coaching of IPA and its local chapter I was able to overcome my paruresis and now no longer have that great interference in my life -- which is important since in my work life as well as in my personal life I am in public places almost every day and this always caused anxiety for me. I can never thank IPA enough for their care in publicizing this rarely-talked-about subject and for providing nonjudgmental support and coaching for us ordinary citizens.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just wanted to say thank you to the international Peruresis association for helping me with my shy bladder syndrome. I attended a workshop in Detroit Michigan in 2018 and it helped with my understanding of the condition and also improved my fear of urinating in public

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with and for non-profits large and small, and have never met another that does so much with such a modest budget. Ethical in its spending and accountability, decade after decade, IPA pursues new avenues and persists at long standing ones, to improve the lives of paruretics around the world.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent organization! Great tools and information at a minimal cost.

2 princessofpee

Advisor

Rating: 5

For over 40 years, I suffered from the damaging effects of Shy Bladder Syndrome (paruresis). I simply could not urinate at will when I needed to, no matter how hard I tried.

The serious emotional toll that was exacted was just as debilitating as the physical discomfort. My daily life became severely restricted: I constructed it around the presence or absence of bathroom facilities - and the people I might encounter in them. I missed out on all kinds of life-affirming activities and opportunities.

Over the course of many years, I consulted with a host of urologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. No person or technique helped because the nature of my condition was misunderstood.

In 1997, I made a startling discovery that ultimately changed the course of my life. I located an Internet-based Discussion Forum that is now operated by The International Paruresis Association (IPA). Here I found others with my symptoms - people who communicated and commiserated about this condition. I felt as if I had just found a lifeboat full of survivors from the same nightmare.

Supported by members and leaders of the IPA, I began a journey toward a goal of complete recovery from paruresis.

I learned that Shy Bladder Syndrome could effectively be treated through exposure-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. I enrolled in two workshops that the IPA sponsored and at each made tremendous progress, step by step. Armed with new-found confidence and dedication, I continued to practice many of the exercises I learned - over and over. Instead of avoiding bathrooms, I confronted them head on. Gradually, I won my battle over paruresis, to the extent it no longer controls my life.

I am eternally grateful to the International Paruresis Association, which, for over 20 years, has helped those who are afflicted with and affected by Shy Bladder Syndrome. Operated by a small group of professionals and primarily staffed by a core of hard-working volunteers, the IPA has helped thousands of men and women realize a difference in their lives through its workshops, newsletters, websites, counseling sessions, research and outreach.

Previous Stories
3

Advisor

Rating: 5

As someone who suffered from a severe case of shy bladder syndrome for 40+ years, I didn't know who else to turn to. All the professionals from whom I had sought help had failed me, and the people in my life, while supportive, didn't know what to say or do to relieve the constant and heightened anxiety I felt each time I entered a bathroom. My life had become increasingly limited because of my condition. Then, back in 1997, I discovered the IPA, then in its infancy stages. Suddenly I found others with my symptoms who commiserated and communicated. I went on to take two IPA-sponsored workshops, practiced the exercises that were taught to me there, and gradually recovered. As a result, I regained my life. What more could one ask? At the same time, I developed meaningful and longstanding friendships with many of those people who are either fellow sufferers of paruresis or equally dedicated to helping people recover from this debilitating condition.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization. It helped me deal with my persona situation and learn how to recover from it. If you suffer from Paruresis, I highly recommended contacting IPA and attending a workshop.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended an IPA workshop many years ago. It was at an airport hotel in Los Angeles. And it helped, a LOT! I have been pee-shy ever since my mother scolded me MANY years ago, for peeing on a hedge in our backyard. (I'm now 83.) By no means did the workshop "cure" me, but it has made an enormous difference in my life. I am much emboldened now and, given the "modesty panels" that most rest rooms have these days, I have little or no trouble peeing (urinating sounds too "clinical"). I have supported IPA with a donation most every year, I believe. And hey, it's tax deductible.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The IPA workshops that I attended with Dr. Soifer and his team were extremely helpful. I was so happy that I could find a group that could help me work through these pee shy issues that I suffered from for years and years.

2 Mark M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great group. Dr. Steve Soifer has put together something not available anywhere in the world!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

IPA is truly a fantastic organization. They provide a service to so many that no one else does and do a great job. I have donated to them since 2012 when I found them and will continue to do so. Keep up the great work IPA!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The only organization out there that is of real help for the social phobia paruresis. Great workshops and support. They made all the difference for me.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If it were not for the IPA, I would not be where I am today. The help and support that I have received from the workshops they offer and the wonderful support of the people on the message board, have helped me to partially recover from paruresis. When I found this website for IPA, I thought it was too good to be true. Other people have shy bladder too? I thought it was just me! When I finally got up the nerve to sign up for a workshop, that is when things started to change. When I left that workshop, on the long drive home, I stopped at a large rest area for the first time in my 44 years. Why the first time? Because before I knew I couldn't "succeed" in one, so why stop? This time I had a little bit of hope. Low and behold I was able to "leg go" for the first time ever in a public rest room with others present. This opened up new hopes for me. Travelling had always been very difficult. Now I have less fear and more freedom to do the things I want to do. IPA is a wonderful organization, one of a kind. I'm so glad I found it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is an amazing non-profit dedicated to dealing with a social anxiety called paruresis. They address the hidden phobia that no one wants to talk about with an excellent website, education materials and workshops. They have made a huge difference in thousands of lives.