Therapee Bedwetting Solutions for Little Ones
by Dr. Sagie
Dr. Jacob Sagie and his son, Tal Sagie, are coming to the rescue for a rarely spoken about but large problem: bedwetting.
It affects countless people from young children to adults, along with their family members. Dr. Sagie realized that the status-quo treatment wasn’t working because it didn’t treat the correct underlying problem. So he and Tal came up with a solution, which has proven to have a 90% success rate.
We used Dr. Sagie’s system for our son after trying every other method out there. I wished I had known about this method of therapy sooner. Within two weeks, the nighttime bedwetting had ended just in time for his school’s overnight camping trip. It was such a relief to be able to use this simple method and for our son to gain confidence so quickly with Dr. Sagie’s method.
I’m forever grateful that Dr. Sagie invented this program and it’s a great lesson for us all – as Dr. Sagie believes, “if you see a need, fill it and don’t give up on your dream of helping others.”
- Tell us about your business – what’s your mission; your soul’s purpose and why you created your wellness business or service?
Our business is treating every child in the world who suffers from bedwetting. Enuresis (Bedwetting) is one of the most prevalent and frustrating disorders among children. It is cross-cultural; tens of millions of children worldwide suffer from bedwetting. It is estimated that in the United States alone, 5-7 million children are affected at any given time.
Bedwetting can seem like an incurable problem for both parents and children. Children may feel humiliated by it. They may feel unable to participate in normal activities such as visits away from home or sleep-away camps. In extreme cases, enuresis can be seen as an obstacle among young adults who are interested in dating and marriage.
Nevertheless, very few clinics routinely treat enuretic patients. Most clinics consider enuresis a medical problem. The patient undergoes comprehensive and unnecessary medical assessment, often with no findings. The treatment model that is often used is drug therapy (mainly Desmopressin – DDAVP). Some progress might be seen when the patient is on the medication but there is often a relapse when the patient stops. In addition, this drug is expensive and may cause side effects.
Some clinics treat patients with a buzzer (Enuresis alarm) which has only been found to be effective in up to 50% of the patients when supervised by a professional.
Some doctors simply prescribe pull-ups, which are covered by some health insurance companies.
The majority of enuretics (90%) have neither anatomical nor psychological problems and the primary source of the issue is a learning fault due to unusually deep sleep. Enuresis can be attributed to a clear hereditary factor.
I’ve been a bedwetting specialist since 1984 with clinical and research experience of over 40,000 enuretic patients, ranging in age from 4-35. I direct 10 enuresis clinics in Israel and was the founder and director of the enuresis clinic of The Schneider Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) since 1994. We’ve treated patients from all over the world, mainly from the United States, Canada, Australia and England, via Skype, for the past ten years.
I’ve developed a unique Multi-Modality face-to-face treatment for bedwetting, producing a success rate of over 90% within 3-5 months. It is a combination of an exclusively-developed device together with a unique treatment plan. The treatment is tailored to each individual and takes into account all of the various aspects of enuresis.
But I’m not alone; my eldest son Tal (yes, a 6-year-old ex-bedwetter) is my colleague and partner. Seeing the power that this change can make in a child’s life, he also decided to dedicate his professional career to the treatment of bedwetting. He is currently a doctorate student (nearly at the end), researching bedwetting, of course. Tal is the man behind the revolutionary invention.
Our Challenge was to provide millions of Enuretic patients worldwide with our clinically-proven treatment.
We faced a few major obstacles:
- The face-to-face treatment is expensive. It is time-consuming for the therapist, requiring a special venue and other expenses.
- The geographical distance: the clinic must be accessible.
- The language barrier: the treatment must be conducted in the patient’s mother tongue and take cultural issues into consideration
- We transferred our Multi-Modality Enuresis Treatment into an Interactive and online Enuresis software called THERAPEE. We identified and gathered every possible scenario that we might face during our current treatment process and every possible profile of an enuretic patient.
- We developed numerous sophisticated and complex algorithms. By using those algorithms, we can offer similar responses to the ones given in our in-person clinics.
- We use a “virtual chart” where the parents supply the information regarding the treatment. The system analyzes the provided data and the algorithm chooses the correct response.
- The response is given to the patient via a video clip or a sequence of video clips.
In those clips, the “virtual therapist” (In fact a real bedwetting specialist) will address the patient and his parents, giving feedback concerning the patient’s progress. Assignments will be demonstrated and statistical reports will be presented.
THERAPEE, is the first online interactive bedwetting treatment in the world. Tal Sagie’s invention enables millions of children with bedwetting problems to benefit from the successful Multi-Modality treatment from the comfort of their own home. We are so proud to see the encouraging responses and reviews that we receive from thankful parents and children worldwide; it motivates us to keep striving for better solutions to improve the quality of life of so many children who suffer from this problem.
- Tell us about your journey and your story….what got you to this point today?
My story started 6 decades ago. However, the first steps of my journey were 3 decades ago. There is one incident that I’ll never forget for as long as I live. I was 8 years old and slept over for a few nights at my cousin’s house. One morning, I woke up completely soaked in urine, having had a very big accident during the night. I was so ashamed that I attempted to hide it by refusing to get out of bed for a few hours in the hope that it would be dry by then. Thankfully, I stopped wetting the bed not too long after that.
Years passed and I pursued a career as a psychotherapist, specializing in family and marriage counseling and treatment. When I became a father of 4 wonderful children, my eldest son, who was 6 at the time, was a bedwetter. I didn’t know how I could help him. We were living in England where I was working, and his pediatrician referred us to a hospital clinic specializing in Enuresis.
My son went through a comprehensive diagnosis with no findings. He received medication with no improvement. I used to take him to the clinic every few weeks, where the nurse checked his height and weight and some other physical parameters each time, something which to this day I do not understand, considering he was seen by a doctor. I remember his miserable face when he woke up every morning in his wet bed; he looked so helpless and my wife and I felt the same. He looked at us; said nothing, but his face said it all.
One of the most difficult things for a parent is when they see their child’s suffering; we feel helpless and don’t know what to do to make it better. At that moment, I made a commitment: no matter what, I would not rest until I had helped my son stop having accidents at night.
I realized that the current available treatment wasn’t working and every visit to the clinic was just more of the same. I asked the doctor if there was any other course of action that we should consider. The doctor mentioned the usage of a bedwetting alarm and referred us to an agency that rented them out. We received basic information on how to operate the device, which was quite cumbersome and not user-friendly. I vaguely remembered from my Psychology courses what a bedwetting alarm was. We started the treatment but faced many problems; my son didn’t wake when the alarm went off and I didn’t know what to do next.
I went to the university library and read anything I could get my hands on about bedwetting and the enuresis alarm (the internet didn’t exist yet). The more I read, the more I understood bedwetting and the logic behind the use of the alarm. I combined the treatment with other elements of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy which I felt could be beneficial. His first dry night occurred after 2 weeks! The smile on my son’s face (and on ours as well) was unforgettable. Gradually, he succeeded and stayed dry more nights, and eventually stopped wetting completely within 3 months.
It was a life-altering event. If I could help my own son overcome bedwetting, why not help other children who suffer from bedwetting and are struggling just like we were? I knew that my career as a marriage and family therapist was about to end. From that moment, I devoted my entire professional career to the treatment of bedwetting. I specialized in the Psychophysiology of Enuresis with an emphasis on the relationship between Enuresis and depth of sleep. I’m heavily involved in research, I lecture in scientific conferences and in academic institutions.
Most importantly, I’m proud to say that I’ve helped tens of thousands of children, teenagers and adults to stop bedwetting and improve their quality of life.
- How are you changing the face of healthcare and/or the wellness industry? How do you create, innovate or break the rules in healthcare?
I decided that, after all, the reason we are all here is because behind every bed wetter is a human being – a child or adult – who is affected by the condition. They are the “silent sufferers”, and that includes parents and siblings who are involved in the nightly routine. I believe that we need to remind ourselves of the people who are personally affected. This understanding is fundamental in helping the child to stop wetting the bed. So, with your permission, a few personal words.
A few years ago, I received a phone call from a young man of 25, a school counselor, who asked to consult with me about one of his students who suffers from bedwetting. “You probably don’t remember me,” he said, “but I’ll remember you for the rest of my life. When I was 10, I came to see you in your bedwetting clinic. My parents accused me of being too lazy to wake up at night and go to the bathroom. They said that I don’t care about wetting my bed and that I have no motivation to solve this problem. To make me feel even worse, they said that this is exactly how my pediatrician feels about me as well.
I was embarrassed, frustrated, shamed, defeated and helpless. I didn’t know what to say or do; how can I convince them that it wasn’t my fault? That I was not doing it on purpose and that I desperately wanted it to stop? You said to my parents; ‘You don’t understand. He is not wetting his bed on purpose and he is not lazy; he is just such a deep sleeper that he doesn’t feel it or know when it happens.’ It was the first time in my life that I felt that someone understood me and I will never forget it. I remember every detail from that meeting; it made me so happy and full of hope. Following your treatment, I stopped bedwetting completely within 4 months.”
Yes, young man; I did understand you. I know what it feels like to be a bedwetter. I have a confession to make. I, myself, was a bedwetter. It has been over 55 years and I remember it all too well. I remember that my parents used to wake me and my brother and take us to the bathroom (the most common mistake that today I advocate against – but that is for a future blog post). They were never angry with me nor blamed me for wetting my bed, and I am very thankful for that. Treatment wasn’t an option at that time.
Today, our revolutionary solution for bedwetting is a game changer for tens of millions of families worldwide who couldn’t find a solution for their child’s bedwetting issue.
We realized that although bedwetting is the second most common problem among children, the knowledge and understanding of professionals and of parents as well are quite limited. Therefore, parents’ attitude toward their child who suffers from bedwetting was based on false assumptions and misconceptions, sometimes due to advice by professionals. Therefore, we offer free, comprehensive, relevant, and accessible knowledge to every parent and professional in their language.
- What personal and professional legacy or impact do you want to leave on the world?
Bedwetting is curable. You can improve your child’s quality of life. Never accept the “professional” advice: “Do nothing, eventually, he/she will grow out bedwetting”.
The person offering this advice is actually saying; “I really don’t know what to do”. Remember, it is rare for the cause of bedwetting to be physical. Since bedwetting children usually stay dry during the day, the likelihood of a medical problem is very low, making medical tests redundant.
- In your opinion, what is the most significant factor in healing or overall wellness?
The most important factor is the therapist’s expertise and experience and the patient’s commitment to follow his recommendations.
- What do you wish people realized when it comes to their health or about the wellness industry?
The knowledge is out there; knowledge is power; go and gain it. Most aspects concerning your well-being are controlled by you. Live right; master your way of living and improve the quality of your life.
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your wellness business? And, what has really helped you move the needle in making your vision a reality?
The first milestone occurred 4 years after I started to practice bedwetting treatment. I conducted a comprehensive research as part of my doctorate dissertation. The breakthrough research’s findings were defined by Prof. Perez Lavie, a world-renowned sleep researcher as “a milestone in understanding the relationship between bedwetting and depth of sleep”. The second breakthrough was the brilliant invention of TheraPee by Tal Sagie.
- Tell us about the start-up scares: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated giving up?
We never contemplated giving up. Although it took us over 3 years to develop the software and its algorithms, and although we had many setbacks along the way, we knew that this was going to be something huge, more than we could imagine. This motivated us and drove us to never give up.
We tried to be realistic and told ourselves that this product, regardless how good it will be, will never reach the same results as a human therapist in a face-to-face treatment. We were totally wrong; TheraPee exceeds the results (over 90% success rate) of the walk-in clinic, except in unique and unusual cases where we need to add the human therapist’s intervention.
- Did you ever fail or make a substantial mistake in business or organization? Any serious challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. We were naïve and believed that if we’re doing something good by improving the quality of life of many children, we are immune and protected. We weren’t prepared for competitors who didn’t spare any dirty means to harm us (writing fake negative reviews, sending false complaints to Amazon about our device being unsafe, fake social media posts and more). We were trained in treating bedwetting, not in confronting evil people. I bitterly and sadly feel that this is the price we have to pay for doing something positive.
- What action has the most impact that you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
Finding a great solution is just the first step to success; unless people hear about it and use it, it will stay just a solution. When we shared our story on Facebook, the impact was overwhelming.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self about following your dreams?
When you have a dream, never give up; chase your dream. It might take time, you will face difficulties, but if you believe in yourself and in what you are doing, you’ll succeed.
- What’s the best piece of business or personal advice YOU’VE ever received?
Customer service is crucial for the success of your business. You should always support your customer; they should feel that you’re together with them throughout the entire process. We came to know that people appreciate attentive, prompt, caring, and sensitive customer service. Always be flexible. Remember, be smart and not right.
- What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give a new Wellness professional who really wants to make an impact in healthcare and people’s lives?
The product must be unique and, therefore, a thorough market research must be a prerequisite before trying to penetrate any market. When seeking foreign markets, always use local strategic partners
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
There is the routine work of dealing with incoming orders and shipments and customer support. The other part is working on improving the software and the device, translating the software into new languages, and finally, contacting prospective strategic partners. We work 24/7 since our customers are located across the entire globe (North and South America to Australia). There are always surprises so we never have a dull moment.
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I personally must know.)
I love and adore both, but if you insist, the Beatles whose impact, in my opinion, is the greatest.
Dr. Jacob Sagie
Dr. Sagie is a world-renowned expert in the field of bedwetting (enuresis). He is a certified Family Psychotherapist specializing in the Psychophysiology of Enuresis, who has treated more than 40,000 patients, ages four to thirty-five, worldwide since 1984. He is the founding director of multiple enuresis clinics worldwide. His TheraPee program has helped children on a global scale (including my own son!)
Dr. Sagie established and was director of the Enuresis Clinic at Schneider Children’s Medical Center, the largest children’s hospital in Israel. He also established the first enuresis clinic in China, the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC), a joint project of Project Hope (American aid health organization for developing countries) and Schneider Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Sagie has conducted a comprehensive research study with 257 patients with enuresis covering more than 4,800 episodes of enuresis (The Relationship between Nocturnal Enuresis, Time of Night and Waking Response in the Process of Treatment with Enuresis Alarm. Children’s Hospital Quarterly, 8(1), 1996 U.S.A).
His research is a milestone in understanding the relationship between enuresis and sleep and was presented at the International Scientific Conference of the European Sleep Society. Dr. Sagie has developed a unique treatment model for bedwetting which produces more than a 90% success rate within 3 to 5 months. He has been invited as a guest lecturer at academic institutions as well as for pediatricians, general practitioners, mental health practitioners, psychologists, social workers, senior nurses, teachers and parents worldwide, including Africa, Asia and the Far East. Dr. Sagie provides interviews and counseling on national and local television, radio and newspapers. He is the manager of the Bedwetting (Enuresis) Forum on the Ynet health forum. Dr. Sagie is the author of the book Hooray I’m dry (in Hebrew) – the comprehensive guide for bedwetting and toilet training.
Tal Sagie, M.A
Tal Sagie, Doctoral student, is an Enuresis specialist, specializing in children’s behavioral problems.
He has practiced bedwetting treatment since 1999 with more than 8,000 patients worldwide (children and adults up to thirty-five years old). He was the first bedwetting expert to conduct an online bedwetting treatment with patients worldwide. Mr. Sagie developed the first interactive enuresis web based software which is a breakthrough in the treatment of enuresis. He was head of the R&D team in the production of this advanced device for the treatment of bedwetting. He conducted a research study that examined the relationship between nocturnal enuresis and motility during sleep. Mr. Sagie has been invited as a guest lecturer at academic institutions for professionals and parents. He established, together with Dr. Jacob Sagie, the first enuresis clinic in China the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC), a joint project of Project Hope and Schneider Children’s Medical Center.