Glastonbury is round the corner and for many the outlook is of excited anticipation.
But for many the prospect of a festival is bathed in dread, the festival toilet approaches. And for some the prospect of panic attacks and extreme worry can blight an otherwise happy time.
Glastonbury has been reducing the number of Portaloos in favour of the greener 'Long Drop". Although the portable loo was no delight, it did have a seat and a lock and a roof. Whereas the Long drop though worthy, lacks the privacy of a sealed cubicle. It also has the long drop, striking fear into the toilet phobic.
Festivals can create a double misery for those that suffer from toilet anxiety. The fear of not getting to one to one in time due to overcrowding is one fear, closely followed by not being able to go due to lack of privacy. The double whammy!
Helping clients overcome their fears is my job and for those that suffer from toilet anxiety ( there are many), a festival is an ideal testing ground for new approaches.
The most common problem is the fear of finding a toilet, usually the client exhausts themselves in trying to plan when and where they will find relief. Letting go of this compulsion that they 'must' know where the toilets are situated is the first step in building their confidence.
Building resilience to the feeling of needing to pee is also an important part of freeing a person of the nightmare of being in unfamiliar surroundings and to navigate uncharted territory. I often remind them that through the night the body holds urine perfectly well without having to consciously grip or tense the body. And that this process has been going on for years without any need to plan. The body knows what to do.
Trusting in the body is fundamental to building confidence and reducing panic attacks and anxiety.
A festival presents a perfect storm of uncertainty.