Motivational Therapy for Bed-Wetting

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Motivational Therapy for Bed-Wetting

Topic Overview

Motivational therapy for bedwetting often simply involves telling children that they have control of their bodies and encouraging them to gain that control. Parents and the child together can also design a reward system for dry days that will encourage and motivate the child.

This therapy may involve a series of counselling sessions with a trained professional. During the sessions, the counsellor encourages the child to take responsibility for the bedwetting and to be very involved in the treatment. The counsellor, parents, and child decide what reward (praise, stickers, or trinkets) the child will be given for dry days and/or nights.

Motivational therapy helps many children gain some degree of control over their bedwetting. But if it doesn't help your child in 3 to 6 months, try other methods.

  • It is unclear exactly how many children gain complete bladder control through motivational therapy alone. Results from studies vary widely.
  • Children who do gain complete bladder control with motivational therapy are less likely to return to accidental wetting after treatment than children who are treated with other therapies.

This treatment works best for children who want to take part in it. It is often used in combination with other treatments, especially moisture alarms, dry-bed training, or self-awakening therapy.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised November 30, 2010

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