Guided self-help and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.

If you have mild OCD symptoms and are highly motivated and well supported, then your professional might suggest guided self-help. This involves following the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) which includes exposure and response prevention (CBT-ERP), but without the one-to-one involvement of a therapist.

If you have mild OCD your professional might also recommend a group for CBT with ERP. This is different to a support group, where the emphasis would be on people supporting each other with the help of a facilitator but does not involve active treatment. However, group CBT for OCD is not often offered for children and young people as it can be difficult to find enough people of roughly the same age with mild OCD who all need treatment at the same time.

If your professional suggests guided self-help or group CBT, then you should be given the choice of whether to have one of these options or individual CBT-ERP.

If you start guided self-help or group therapy, it is important that your professional keeps track of whether your symptoms are improving. If they aren't, then you should be offered individual CBT-ERP.

Your parents or carers would usually be involved in your treatment. It might also be helpful to involve your school or college, to make sure they know the best way to support you.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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