Psychiatry Investig.  2016 Jan;13(1):161-163. 10.4306/pi.2016.13.1.161.

Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reduction for Paruresis: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Institute, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea.


Paruresis is a special type of non-generalized social phobia that involves fear and avoidance of urination in public restrooms. We administered eight 60-minute sessions of desensitization of triggers and urge reduction (DeTUR), an addiction protocol of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, to a 29-year old man with paruresis of 10 year duration. Because phobic avoidance is the hallmark of any anxiety disorder, we applied DeTUR targeting the urge to avoid each anxiety-provoking situation in succession. After treatment, the participant no longer met the requirements for a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder, and the self-reported symptoms of social anxiety had decreased to non-clinical levels; furthermore, these treatment gains were maintained at the one-year follow-up. Further clinical studies are needed to generalize this finding.


Paruresis; Social phobia; Social anxiety disorder; Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy; Desensitization of triggers and urge reduction; Treatment

MeSH Terms

Anxiety Disorders
Eye Movements
Follow-Up Studies
Phobic Disorders
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