A Crack in the Mask: The Felt Sense Method

unconscious attitudes towards our body’s elimination processes are formed in these early years. Toilet training can be easy for some children and very traumatic for others. The effect of the training depends on the individual child’s temperament, the attitude of the trainer, and the way that the task is presented. Voluntary control of urination is normally developed during the second or third year of life.4 During our training, we learn to identify the feeling of wet and soiled diapers. We are taught that these conditions are not desirable, especially in social situations. We learn to estimate our social acceptability by observing the reactions of others concerning our control or lack of control when we are wet or smelling of urine or feces. At this early age, issues of self-image and even self-imposed isolation can arise surrounding the need to develop bladder control, and these issues can continue into adolescence and adulthood.5 As developing children, when we do things over and over again, we do not consciously think of it as practice, but that is exactly what we are doing: We are practicing. Dr. Howard Bennett, a Washington pediatrician, advises children and the parents of the children who have bed-wetting issues that it takes practice to achieve bladder control. “If you pay attention to your bladder in the daytime, you’ll pay more attention at night,” Bennett says.6 To regain bladder control as adults, we have to go through a form of adult toilet training. No matter how unappealing this may sound, it is true. Learning control of the bladder is the same as when we were infants: “Voluntary control of urination is accomplished by contracting the sphincter urethrae, which closes the urethra.”7 But as adults, we must approach the task of learning this voluntary control with a conscious attitude of purpose and with a desired outcome in mind. For adults, the steps to regaining bladder control set down in this book are: 1. Looking at the psychological attitudes surrounding your incontinence. 2. Acquiring knowledge and understanding about your condition. 3. Gaining understanding about the pelvic muscles and developing muscle contraction skills. 4. Then you have to consciously PRACTICE!!! These steps are the building blocks for the Felt Sense Method®, which this book is about. The FSM is the methodology that, with practice, will lead to conscious bladder control. xvi A CRACK IN THE MASK

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