In this video Damián Ruiz, Director of the Institut Psicològic Internacional de Barcelona explains why it is important to adapt all technical and theoretical knowledge to each particular situation in the psychological therapy of serious cases.
Why it is possible to overcome OCD?
“Many of the things I will say are the result of the experience of treating hundreds of people, from all over the world, and with a more than satisfactory effectiveness in the majority of the cases. Even though we encounter some cases of resistance in the therapy process, we are researching and working on this in order to keep on improving the treatment.”
“You have to strengthen your personality and therefore you have to propose yourself goals to conquer in real life, it doesn’t matter if you’re successful or if you fail, that’s the least important part, the important part is that you learn to compete and to fight, legally and ethically obviously. To manage this you might have to train yourself in sports, read biographies, novels, or books that inspire and activate you, don’t fall into the trap of products that only make you reflect or analyze throughout the day if what you’re doing is wrong or right. Life is also action and every human being, whatever he’s like, has his place in the world. You have to be able to find it but for this to happen you need to take the first step.“
How do we cure an obsessive disorder with the AFOP method?
“I developed the AFOP method, short for Drive, Activation and Focalization, when I started to become conscious of what was really happening to the people who were suffering from an obsessive disorder. I realized that the common ground in all patients with OCD was a high level of anxiety which was linked to a latent depression which in turn was very related to the fear itself.”
How to avoid relapses once you’ve overcome an obsessive disorder?
“Overcoming an obsessive disorder doesn’t consist in controlling your thoughts, while it is true that the idea of accepting them is better than to fight them but then the person is still connected to what would be the cognition. Through our methodology the AFOP method, we know that the only way to avoid an obsessive disorder to re-appear is “living”.”
The tyranny of “What will they think of me?”
“When I say “What will they think of me” I’m referring myself to the fear that our actions, feelings, or verbal expressions will be questioned by an environment which acts as a jury or judge to us.
But let’s analyze this idea that makes many people feel trapped, especially in very conservative societies and communities. The first question we should ask ourselves when we think What will they think of me? is Who? Who is actually judging me? If you go out on the streets in New York or London wearing a yellow hat that is half a meter in length, most people probably won’t find it strange when they see you. If you would do this in a small town in Spain or Mexico the possibilities that you will be the topic of conversation for the entire next week are very high, probably including a thorough analysis of your personality and maybe even of your family.”
Why genetic predisposition doesn’t mean you will be condemned to the disease.
“Genetics predispose you but don’t condemn you. It is true that it is easier and more comfortable to consider a psychological disorder as something organic, but many therapists and I are able to affirm, after years of professional experience, that all psychological problems have an external cause that explains them. Obviously there can be a certain base vulnerability in the person but without this cause there is no illness.”
HOCD Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
“Having said this, and this serves as an introduction in order not to stigmatize the subject we’re talking about, I can affirm with confidence that not a single person that I or a member of the team of IPITIA has treated with HOCD turned out to be gay. Even more so, we could nearly guarantee that people who suffer from HOCD are never gay.I know that everyone will think that he or she could be the exception but there haven’t been any.Then, why does this homosexual content appear? Why does one suffer from this terrible fear of liking someone of the same sex? What does it mean?”
How to find your own identity?
“How does one construe their own identity? Firstly you need to know where your roots lie, starting by your family, your ancestors, your community, your culture, and the traditions that are linked to it. All this will define your psychic spinal column, from which you can start to grow. You shouldn’t confuse the necessity to start from the roots with not de-attaching yourself from them. They are the elements which will allow you to grow but if you limit yourself to being a permanent imitation of the past you’re at risk of becoming rigid; even hostile or untrustful towards the new and the unknown.”