Overcoming OCD
Information for College Students

How To Make Your Treatment Successful

There are few things in life that come with a guarantee.  Many of the most worthwhile experiences require a substantial commitment.

When you begin Cognitive Behavior Therapy to treat your OCD, your therapist will be very open and honest with you about the commitment you’ll need to make to be successful in overcoming your symptoms.

At first, the sessions with your therapist will be new and you may be nervous.  In the Exposure and Response Prevention therapy you will confront the fears, doubts or disturbing thoughts that are your obsessions—and this will be difficult.  But you will learn that, by confronting your obsessions and waiting longer and longer to perform the compulsions, you will be “reprogramming” your brain to overcome the obsessions.

You will also be given ERP “homework” exercises to do between sessions.  It’s very important that you make the commitment to do all of this homework and keep track of it according to your therapist’s instructions.  If you don’t do the exposures (no matter what excuse you give yourself—too tired, ran out of time, was too upset, or whatever) you will delay your recovery.

To be successful at CBT, you need to:

  • Attend all of your therapy sessions
  • Be open and frank with your therapist—nothing is too terrible to tell your therapist
  • Do your therapy homework
  • Give your therapist feedback about your progress

No, there are no guarantees.  But most people who complete CBT therapy do enjoy substantial relief from OCD symptoms—or the symptoms may even fade away entirely. 

When people cancel therapy sessions or don’t do the assigned exposure homework, it could be “recovery avoidance.”  Don’t let your progress get derailed.  Commit to work hard and rely on your therapist for guidance so that you can get relief from OCD as fast as possible.

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