Group therapy for OCD can help you feel better and learn coping skills, and you can attend in person, through video call, or in a text chat. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions), and repeated behaviors performed to reduce anxiety (compulsions). Approximately 2%–3% of
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions), and repeated behaviors performed to reduce anxiety (compulsions). Approximately 2%–3% of adults in the United States are affected by OCD at some point during their lifetime.
OCD is typically treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy), such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and/or medication. Some people with OCD find value in joining a support group in addition to treatment.
This article discusses how to find a support group to help with OCD.
Support groups offer a space for people with similar experiences (such as the same health diagnosis) to come together and share support, resources, and information.
They may be organized by individuals or made available through support agencies such as:
Support groups can be:
Support groups typically involve regular meetings that take place in person or online.
Group therapy is a way for mental health professionals to offer an effective, affordable alternative to individual psychotherapy.
Group therapy can also:
Group therapy is proven to be effective at treating many mental health disorders, including OCD.
Therapy in a group setting also allows the therapist to observe how participants interact with each other and look for relational patterns.
Support groups can help members:
Support groups are not the same as group therapy. Group therapy is formal, professional therapy (such as CBT), offered by a mental health professional. It is similar to individual therapy, just in a group setting. Support groups, while beneficial, are not therapy and are not a substitute for therapy.
Anyone can start a support group, and not all of them are of high quality. Some signs a group may not be worth your time—or worse, be harmful—include:
If you attend a support group meeting and feel that the group isn't a good fit for you, you are not obligated to continue attending meetings.
Some indications a group is worth looking into or continuing include:
Before joining a support group, it may be helpful to ask the facilitator questions about:
Types of support groups include:
Each type comes with benefits and limitations. It may take a bit of time and exploration to find the group that is the right fit for you.
You can search for online and phone-based support groups for OCD through the:
Examples of online groups include:
To find an in-person group in your area, speak with your mental health professional, or try searching:
The first-line treatment for OCD is psychotherapy, such as CBT. CBT is effective in both one-on-one and group therapy.
People with OCD may also find connecting with others to be helpful. Support groups are not therapy and should not be used in place of therapy, but they can be a valuable addition to treatment. Support groups can help people with OCD share valuable resources, make social connections, and give and receive support.
If you are living with OCD, you may find joining a support group beneficial, in addition to your formal treatment. Talking with others who understand your experiences can be both helpful and validating. Your healthcare or mental health provider may have contact information for local support groups, or you can join one that is based online.
CBT (the first-line treatment for OCD) has been shown to be effective at treating OCD in a group setting.
Medication can be used to treat OCD, but often psychotherapy is used as a treatment without medication.