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Motivational Therapy for Bed-Wetting


Topic Overview

Motivational therapy for bed-wetting 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 counseling sessions with a trained professional. During the sessions, the counselor encourages the child to take responsibility for the bed-wetting and to be very involved in the treatment. The counselor, 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 bed-wetting. 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.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last RevisedOctober 26, 2010

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