What is encopresis?

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What is encopresis?

The technical term for the child who is withholding his bowel movement is called encopresis. Encopresis is generally seen in children four and up, although it can be seen in some three year olds. This is time at which the child knows that they have to go to the bathroom, but they withhold. They will maybe not want to sit on the toilet. Some of these children will only go in a diaper. Some of these children will play and never stop their play in order to go to the bathroom. The most common reason for encopresis is that the children do not go to the bathroom, they withhold, and after a while, the fecal matter seeps out and gets in their pants. There are things that a parent can do to help children with this, but in all honestly, it is not an easy thing to treat.

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Alan Yellin, PhD


Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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