Overcoming OCD
Information for College Students

Should I Join A Support Group?

If your therapist conducts Cognitive Behavior Therapy in a group setting, he or she may suggest you join the treatment group, which can be a very effective form of CBT.  But that is not the same thing as joining a support group.

A support group provides information about OCD, encouragement and emotional support for OCD sufferers.  There are also some groups especially for family members and friends of an OCD sufferer.

A support group is not a substitute for CBT therapy.  Many people work with a cognitive behavior therapist and are successful in learning to manage their OCD without joining a support group.  Other people benefit from participating in a support group.

A good support group focuses on CBT as the appropriate treatment for OCD.  The best groups are either conducted by a cognitive behavior therapist or have a CBT-trained therapist overseeing the session to keep it on track.  You should not join a group if it is only a social gathering, focuses on the negatives of OCD, is completely unstructured or dominated by one or a few individuals, or does not endorse CBT.  “Alternative” therapies such as hypnosis, psychoanalysis, meditation, diet, relaxation and the like are not effective OCD treatments and are not supported by scientific evidence or clinical trials.

  • To find a support group in the Chicagoland area, go to the More Resources section of this web site.
  • To find a support group outside the Chicagoland area, go to the International OCD Foundation web site, where there are listings for other parts of the U.S.
  • If you live in an area where there are no OCD support groups, consider participating in an online group at groups.yahoo.com (type OCD in the search box).

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