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Treatments for Toilet Anxiety

The experience of toilet anxiety is unique to each individual, and consequently, different treatments will work better for different people. In many cases it will also be important to treat any other physical or psychological conditions that the individual is experiencing.

Some of the most common treatments for toilet anxiety are listed below.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) offers the most consistent evidence for the reduction of toilet anxiety, and is therefore one of the most accepted treatment options. CBT is a short-term focused approach to changing unhelpful thoughts, habits, and behaviours, and replacing them with healthier ones. This type of therapy can be used for a variety of issues, including anxiety, and may involve homework tasks in between sessions.

Graduated Exposure Therapy

Graduated Exposure Therapy is a common treatment for anxiety disorders, and involves exposure to the feared object or situation within a safe context. Exposure is graduated, so that the individual confronts their fear through a series of increasingly difficult challenges, until they reach the goal of a non-phobic response to their feared situation.


A number of medications have been trialed for the symptoms of toilet anxiety, however they have not been found to be very effective. Medications may still be used in some circumstances, particularly if the individual suffers from an additional physical or psychological condition. Medication may also be used as an adjunct to other treatment approaches.


In a hypnotherapy session, the therapist induces a state of deep relaxation in the patient. In this relaxed state, the brain can more readily replace unwanted thoughts and habits with those that are healthier and more useful.

Relaxation training

Relaxation training involves learning a technique that increases feelings of relaxation and calmness, while reducing negative feelings of stress and anxiety. A variety of relaxation techniques exist, with some of the most well know including deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi, yoga, and other forms of exercise.

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© Copyright Dr Simon Knowles 2018