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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

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have two Masters Degrees and am successful in life. Great wife, job, kids. . . I have it all. I however have been controlled by one specific anxiety my whole life. This group helps and is doing very important work with very meaningful consequences for millions of people like me. In my situation, drug testing, which is required, is my worse nightmare even though I have never done any drugs in my life. anyway, this is a great nonprofit.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dr. Soifer and IPA gave me the path to true recovery. They were my last hope after almost 30 years of misery.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has changed my life in the most positive way. After 30+ years, I am truly free!!!

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1 Brian N.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paruresis is such a hidden and personal problem, it’s difficult to reach out for help. IPA not only helps you connect with others, they host workshops where you can work to overcome your anxiety in a safe and empowering environment. Most of all, you learn to be comfortable with yourself at whatever level you’re at, to stop beating yourself up, and to find the courage to keep working.

1 Inna S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IPA literally changes people's lives. Paruresis is a social phobia that affects all aspects of one's day-to-day experience from going out to accepting that next big promotion that requires travelling. IPA workshops help people experience live to its fullest and I'm honored to support this great organization.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Proud to be a part of the group that advocates on behalf of 7% of American population who can't urinate in public. This disability makes one's life miserable: people can't travel, date, go to concerts, get promoted if the job is related to flying, pass a drug test...thankfully, there is a treatment that IPA uses in its workshops all around the world. It has helped thousands of people and is continuing to do so by raising awareness of this problem and treating sufferers. I've been supporting them for 5 years and will stay a loyal member for more years to come.

Don_7

Client Served

Rating: 5

As I said in a previous review a few years ago, the process of getting free from shy bladder is a long one, and IPA has been with me every step of the way. They really understand the problem and have developed an effective workshop-based program for overcoming it. It has been little short of a miracle - still unfolding!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a shy bladder for over 50 years, and it was a constant source of worry. My first workshop with IPA and Steve Soifer in Detroit in about 2000 was a revelation; I discovered I was not alone, and that there was a solution to my problem. I have been to many workshops, and many practice sessions with a Toronto group, and the improvement has been amazing - and relieving! Don W

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Are you kidding me???? The end of the world is near!

Greg46

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I had paruresis for over 4 decades . Not much hope for me . And believe me this is hell . Get this info to school children it could end a lot of suffering . A well spent dollar .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at the IPA has always been helpful and supportive of anyone asking for help or advice. Since most of the members have "walked the walk", they understand the struggles that each person joining has in their life. My life has truly been transformed since finding the IPA over 10 years ago.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Workshops that the SBI runs have changed my life in so many ways it is difficult for most people to imagine. I have started living my life for the first time in 30 years without the worry and anxiety that used to be a part of my life everyday. Through the SBI I have also met so many amazing people and fellow travellers that have offered help and support in my work toward recovery. I don't know of any other venue where you could get help and meet people who understand living with Shy Bladder Syndrome and offer ways to work on recovery.

2 Ted_5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The worst part about paruresis is thinking that you are alone. Through finding the IPA site, I discovered I wasn't alone and there were people out there who could help. With the information on the website, I was able to start down the long road of recovery. I have been to two workshops, and now am a group leader. Not only have I improved, but I have seen improvement in the quality of life of others. Truly a fantastic group.

Chuck8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most informative site for those suffering from Paruresis. It was the site that I first discovered the name for my condition, and the efforts of those that run it have led to Urologist and others being educated about it. 5 super stars!

HowardB

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Having endured many years coping with paruresis I have been really pleased to learn and share more with others. Although I still have some difficulty dealing with it, I have improved and understand it much more.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 4

Paruresis has been part of my life for more than 30 years affecting my quality of life. Only when I found IPA online did I realize that so many others experienced the same problem .

By reading a book obtained through IPA I began to understand this condition. Then I attended an IPA workshop and began to make some progress. Improvement is slow but definite and I am now optimistic that I can overcome much of the aversion that I have to public washrooms.

joe-d

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would like to take a moment and say how much IPA has helped me. I have struggled with a shy bladder for 90% of my young adulthood life, from the age of 17 until well into my 40s. It was tremendous relief to find the support on IPA users forum bulletin board. The term Paruresis has a more precise definition for this condition. Before there were broad ranging categories that only talked of generalized feelings which could range from lack of self esteem to social anxiety. There was no possible way to describe what I was going through.

I felt alienated from what other people were able to do. Until I found the support group at IPA. I had my library transfer their recovery book to my branch and started reading it from cover to cover. Little by little I was able to grasp the understanding recovery is a gradual process. It is very good to relate with other people who are suffering as well. The most benefit I found was that I could give other people encouragement. I am still having to suppress my anxious feelings. Basically my main concern is will there be any privacy. I have a feeling I am with a bigger majority of people who are thinking the same way. I can say it definitely helps to write things out. To get a better understanding of the problem, is to get it out from the inside and look it in front of myself. I now know not hide the embarrassment and to get the problem out “on the table” to say what is the problem from the very beginning, so others will know what I’m talking about if I seem a little nervous.

Previous Stories
6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have dealt with Shy Bladder syndrome since as far back as I can remember. It was then considered a problem that only a child has trouble understanding. When we turn 18 we are considered adults. The problem just doesn't go away like a flick of a switch. At 18 I seriously started becoming more concerned and more pre-occupied with this every isolating problem. In my 30's I discovered a website called IPA for International Paruesis Association. From then on, I finally started to identify the problem. Shy Bladder actually has a technical name, Parursis. I became aware that I was not alone. There are many men and women out there of all ages who suffer. The benefits that I received from being able to share my experiences and offer my support to a bulletin board clearly out weigh any costs. In a nut shell, the most important lesson I've learned is to be up front and say what the problem is. I can't thank enough the people who run this site for providing an opportunity to share with and support the many who have lived with Shy Bladder Syndrome everyday of our lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was able to attend a workshop in Baltimore recently and that helped me immensely. Without the IPA I would be still wondering how to improve my phobia and seeking help in people and organizations with no knowledge of what paruresis actually is, let alone the methods to recover from it. For their continual support to thousands of people left in shame and in the dark the IPA provides information through their website and printed materials, provides support through leadership and an online forum, offers workshops with trained therapists for learning recovery techniques, and puts in many hours of research and advocacy for improving the lives of people with paruresis. There is no other source for such effective help and support available to us.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have suffered from Paruresis / Shy Bladder for over 25 years and would not have survived without the help of the IPA/Shy bladder institute. I have attended 3 workshops over the years and what I have learned from these workshops has helped me tremendously for what I need to do to overcome my shy bladder. With what I have learned from the IPA I have been able to start support groups here in New York and help others as well. They teach you the desentization techniques which is so crucial to helping overcome this problem. It's also nice to know that the IPA exists and that I always have someone to turn to for help, that is so important. If they did not exist I know I would have no one to turn to and that is very scary. Unfortunately the medical industry hasn't figured out how to treat paruresis effectively whereas the IPA has. The IPA does so much in terms of getting the word out to the world about how awful it is to have paruresis and how it paralyzes ones life and to let others know that help is readily available.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The International Paruresis Association (www.paruresis.org) is a relatively unknnown organisation which can be a life saver. For more than 40 years of my adult life I dealt with being pee shy. I had a phobia which almost always made it impossible for me to urinate if I thought anyone could see me or hear me pee. Although I did not think I was the only person with this condition, I was too ashamed of my shortcoming to talk about it with anyone else. Until I was in my 60's, I scheduled my life around never being more than a few hours away from the privacy of a toilet where I knew I would be safe. Then I discovered the website for the International Paruresis Association, and my life changed. The IPA is an enabling organization which teaches paruretics how to overcome what can be a debilitating phobia. The work is done by a tiny staff who conduct weekend workshops in the U.S. and some foreign countries, and by a volunteer staff who serve as leaders in an international network of support groups. I know of the benefits that can come from working with the IPA. After having attended several weekend workshops and having served as a support group leader for six years, I have first hand experience with people who are now able to do what they had once thought would be impossible for them. And I am such a person. The IPA teachings have enabled us to conquer our fear. Probably every telephone directory in this country contains the names of hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women with paruresis. It is estimated there are millions of us who have this phobia in varying degrees of intensity. But we don't talk about this, and the general public is unaware of us. Only a tiny number of paruretics know there is help available to us – much of it at no cost. Even much of the medical community does not know of the IPA and its services. The IPA is worthy of additional financial support – from government, from industry, and from individuals. It would benefit from having trained staff to raise public awareness of the organization and to make its services more widely available. The IPA could be involved in scientific research to benefit people who are pee shy. And the organization could sponsor legislation to ease the unintended burdens often placed on paruretics. Instead of changing the lives of relatively few people each year, the International Paruresis Association should be changing the lives of many.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Once I too broke the illusion of being the only person in the world to have a shy bladder, I found the IPA website and was so grateful for all the information, support and methods available for recovery. What Steve and his team do around the world for people has to be known by everybody so that no one needlessly suffers from what is a treatable phobia. Since contacting the organization and starting the support group I have been able to consistently improve and the quality of my life is so much greater. Had I only known sooner, all the isolation, the secrecy, the withdrawing from social situations and the compromises I made to accomodate a fear and its related anxieties would have been avoided. I think there is room for the organization to expand and work with local health organizations once their credibility is established, in order to help people more directly and with financial support from government tax sources. Otherwise, they are currently doing a great job and I am glad I can be involved.