What does the Intensive Program consist of?

In the Intensive program for the treatment of Obsessive Disorders of IPITIA the fundamental pillars of the AFOP® method reach their full potential.

The Intensive Program is a fully personalized program that lasts 2 to 7 days in which the person will be completely submerged in the process of curing OCD during 5-7 hours daily. The program is under the direction of our specialized psychologists, and is consistently supervised by the person who developed the AFOP method and director of the center, Damián Ruiz.

The intensive treatment is especially useful for those people who want to confront their OCD in a radical and conclusive way in order to get a head start in their curing process. The program helps the patient reach a point of inflection in the unblocking of the central nervous system, which is an essential part of the therapeutic process.

The theoretical pillars of the Intensive Program

AFOP® is an Analytical Experiential method. The therapy process starts with a profound analytical exploration of the problem’s causes. Taking this analysis as a base the therapist will propose exercises and real-life experiences which will help to unblock the central nervous system of the person, and train him to be able to manage a life without symptomatology.

The foundations and efficacy of the AFOP method lie in the analytical therapy of Carl Gustav Jung and Ethology (the study of animal behavior) and shape the phase of analysis of our intervention.

During the 2-7 days of the intensive program, the psychologists of IPITIA guide the patient through a profound exploration of their life and both factors that determined their development as well as factors that maintain the OCD, both through talk therapy as well as symbolism.
This exploration will be continuously alternated with practical, physical, symbolic exercises (in session) and reaching goals through real-life experiences (outside of the clinic) which will allow the unblocking and development of the before mentioned factors.

In the program Analysis and Experiences will be used in a joint effort to reduce the anxiety that is responsible for the obsessions and compulsions, and the identification and unblocking of those elements in the life of the patient that are currently maintaining the problem.

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When and why should I start the Intensive Program?

The intensive program is always linked to a broader therapeutic path in IPITIA. This means that both before and after the patient will receive either face-to-face or online sessions.

The intensive program is usually started in the beginning of the therapeutic process, in order to reach a point of inflection or a significant level of unblocking of the central nervous system, steering the therapy into the right direction. In other cases, the program is started after some time after having initiated the therapy. This can be recommendable when the psychologist detects important issues which require a specific and more intensive intervention.

Even when the program is started at the beginning of the therapy process, the case is previously analyzed thoroughly. This is done through a series of individual sessions which will provide the patient with a clear diagnostic. Also, these sessions help us to carefully personalize and plan the intensive program.

Once the intensive program is finished; the patient has to continue therapy in order to carry out the necessary changes and lifestyle in order to reduce the anxiety that has been causing the obsessive thoughts and rituals.

An Intensive Program: a Personalized Program

Our only objective is to improve the symptomatology of the patient. That’s why our intensive program is previously planned and designed based on each specific case. We never use a standardized plan. This is why we reach a high level of efficacy.

Strict programs and protocols have the advantage of being “easily applicable”, but they are very inconvenient in the sense that they are unable to satisfy the specific needs of every patient. We belief that each case is different, and that each patient deserves a specific and personalized approach.

We don’t limit ourselves in our interventions and we always intervene based on the analysis we make about the case. This analysis provides us with information on the areas of the central nervous system we need to develop in the patient, and in consequence the kind of intensive program this specific case needs. Our goal is to reach real and observable results, and we do everything in our might to reach them. We break with the limitations of the traditional practice and the septic relationship between patient and psychologist whenever necessary.

What will the therapy be like?

Even though personalization and flexibility are the keystones of the Intensive Program, there are certain conceptual elements that are a fundamental part of its structure. The following elements are always present; even though their presence might vary according to the duration and focus of the intensive program:

– Analysis and diagnosis of the factors that caused the problem and the factors that are currently maintaining the problem. The analytical and diagnostic work we do is necessary to profoundly investigate which parts of the personality have been underdeveloped. These areas need to be activated and developed in order to cause a reduction in the internal conflicts that are currently maintaining the anxiety.
Every day of the Intensive program some hours will be dedicated to exploring and analyzing these areas. This is done because the intense exercises and activation we carry out daily generate new emotions and concepts that need to be processed.

– Drive and Focalization exercises. These are physical techniques and specific AFOP exercises that will be provided by different health professionals, both inside and outside of the office. The goal of these exercises is to activate the instinct of the person.

– Workout. This tool represents and trains you to improve the connection between the internal (emotions, beliefs) and external (behavior, attitude) world of the patient. During the Workout sessions, which are carried out in adapted and soundproofed locations, the patient will face their fears in an innovative, bold and effective way, while being guided by one or two specialized psychologists. The name Workout, or training, refers to the objective of preparing the person internally to start facing their fears and overcoming their real-life goals, in order to reduce the anxiety which is currently causing the obsessions and compulsions.

– PPT. Personal Psychological Trainer. During the PPT hours the patient faces the outside world, “the streets”; he will reach important goals, with the help and support of the therapist. It doesn’t matter what their specific fears are. We use all the resources of Barcelona or their place of residence in order to create significant experiences and to overcome both their specific and general fears.
We will accompany the patient in the process of overcoming their inhibition in life that has been caused by the disorder. We will help them in any kind of situation, as long this situation holds true value for the patient. In other words we break with the limits of classic therapy in order to be able to break with OCD.

– Planning of the follow-up and life goals. Every patient who participates in the Intensive Program at IPITIA will end the program with a clear idea of what they need to do from that moment on in order to overcome their OCD. We will provide them with a final report including all this information.
In this report the patient will receive the therapeutic strategy to be followed; containing the frequency of the sessions, the short- and long-term goals that the person should reach, and the activities they should engage in, with the objective of introducing vital changes in their life and the way they relate to the world, which will reduce the symptomatology substantially and in most cases will make it disappear completely.

Do you have any questions?

A progressive recuperation of your Instinct

The therapeutic tools we explained will be used varyingly depending on the case, the specific issue and the moment of the Intensive Program we’re in. However, they’re all designed especially to help the person to recuperate their adaptive biological activation (Instinct), which is absent or lacking in the case of people suffering from OCD.
We help patients to create a pathway from the most profound place within them towards an outward vision; a vision that is focused on goals in the present and future, and not on the disease.

To use a metaphor of the book of Damián Ruiz (Freeing the monkey, Saving the princess), it is as if we find a hurt animal, we explore what happened (Analysis), and we train him (Exercises and Workout), in order to bring him back to their natural habitat later on, in the beginning accompanied (PPT), and posteriorly once he regained his instinct, alone (Planning of follow-up and life goals). This is what we call the Ethologic approach. And please don’t be offended by the metaphor: we share an 98,5% of our DNA with monkeys.

The Intensive Program to overcome Obsessive Disorders is especially useful for those who want to reach a point of inflection in order to reduce their anxiety, which is underlying and causing their pathology, in a radical and conclusive way.

The Intensive Program is a bold intervention, demanding for the patient and completely personalized, which accompanied by the necessary follow-up program, makes us reach our sole and only objective:

high levels of efficacy in treating and curing obsessive symptoms.

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