A Psychology 101 Classical Conditioning Explanation for Treating Encopresis.

The Power of Classical Conditioning:

The Soiling Solutions protocol for encopresis is often viewed negatively because of its reliance on suppositories and enemas. In addition, its theoretical rationale is based on a scientific theory which is quite behavioristic. This is often put down as a mechanistic view of we humans that appears to leave out our higher functions and the notion of a soul. Here is the behavioral account for the Soiling Solutions protocol in the simple terminology of Classical Conditioning theory.

Classical Conditioning in the Brain and Below!

The enema is an Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) and the resulting poop response is an Unconditioned Response (UCR).  You want to eventually get to a Conditioned Response (CR) to the time of day and stimuli associated with recognizing one’s own weak voiding urges (CS complex).  All of this is basic Psych 101 and the abbreviations here are very standard. Needless to say learning theory is not a popular part of Psychology, but it is very basic and important.  In many respects Classical Conditioning is a basic component of cognitive-behavioral approaches, but at a very elementary and powerful level. The basic learned connection is an S-S (stimulus-stimulus) linkage which takes place in the brain and is physically verifiable. It is something real that works and frees the child and parents to be more fully human and engaged in the rest of life.