Why did those who beat OCD overcome it?
In the fun and witty animated film “The Croods” there is a scene near the end where the characters, the caveman family, have to make a decision which could put their lives at risk, to add to this they do not know what will happen, nor in which direction they are headed. Through this the writer and the director are trying to explain the mystery of human evolution.
During the therapy aimed at Obsessive Disorders which we give here in IPITIA and the AFOP® method which I have developed, there is a moment in which the patient must make a symbolic “leap” on an evolutionary level. What I mean by that is to get out of your known mental space and to enter an unknown psychic area. We are not merely talking about the trite expression of “getting out of your comfort zone.” It is much more than that, you have to take on the risk of being yourself through the fight, struggle to reach a certain objective. reaching out to desire, fighting fear.
So, how and why do you manage to manage that?
Firstly and fundamentally it comes through regularity and perseverance with treatment.
Secondly, it is to know that the therapeutic area, the psychology meeting room as I call it (not without a certain feeling of anachrony), in which we will meet every week or every fortnight is a preparation and testing space for the real therapeutic work which is done within real life contexts.
Thirdly, it is to understand that the therapy is not based on learning to manage obsessions, nor on accepting the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as something chronic with which you have to live. It is not about giving advice on what to do when obsessions and rituals present themselves nor analyzing through a complex paradigm the deeper meaning of the obsessive content. Here we work to free from the internal prison in which our patients are trapped.
How do we do this?
By activating the primitive components in your organism and integrating, and this applies to both men and women, the feminine side – what Jung would called the “animus”. This is the origin of my book title, “Freeing the Monkey, saving the Princess”.
What is necessary for this to happen?
The patient has to undertake certain actions in his or her life. If you do not do them or if you only do a simulation you will not get any results. All that seems like a break away or transgression and does not break out of the known mental space in which you navigate, will not be of any help.
There comes a moment in the course of therapy in which you need to dare yourself and this means being able to act, to spread out, to connect with yourself, to break down the barriers and the unnecessary prejudices which are only the expression of the fears which impede the expression of your authentic self.
I always say that those who overcome an obsessive disorder do so because they have considerably changed their lives. In a sense what is meant by this is that you cannot overcome OCD if you do not dare to change your life.
Does this mean leaving your partner, your family, where you live, your cat…? No. It means changing the way you interact with your surroundings, among other things, and do go from over-adaptation to spontaneity and freedom from both inhibition and fears.
It is not difficult to overcome an obsessive disorder but it is necessary to follow certain steps and for that to be possible no one can let themselves be anchored in cowardice.
If you start, you have to go for it. This is what we do here in IPITIA.
Director of IPITIA