Overcoming OCD
Information for College Students

If Your College Limits the Number of CBT Therapy Sessions

If your college or university offers Cognitive Behavior Therapy through the student health center or counseling service, that’s a plus.  If they limit the number of visits you can have, that can pose a challenge.

The usual treatment time for CBT is between eight and 12 weekly sessions.  Some people with severe OCD require more frequent visits.  You may also require follow-up or “maintenance” sessions if your symptoms return or change.

If your school limits the number of in-person CBT therapy sessions you can attend, be sure to make the most of every session by being candid with your therapist about your fears and intrusive thoughts—no matter how bad they may seem.  An experienced therapist won’t be surprised or think less of you for what you are thinking—OCD is causing your obsessions; it’s not a character flaw or a weakness on your part, and you certainly are not a bad person for having OCD.

Then, be sure you do all your exposure exercises that your therapist prescribes between sessions.  It’s hard work, but you will get better faster if you do your homework and keep your therapist up to date on your successes and failures.  He or she will design a homework program that gradually increases in difficulty, giving you more challenging exposures as you progress.

If your school doesn’t offer enough sessions for you to learn to manage your OCD, you’ll need to work with a trained cognitive behavior therapist off campus.  You should be able to take your medical records with you, so the new therapist will be able to help you continue your treatment seamlessly.

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