Treatments which should not be recommended for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Insufficient evidence – there either hasn’t been any research on this treatment option or there is a small amount of evidence with unclear conclusions.

  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling are not recommended as treatment for OCD as they are unlikely to be effective.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation involves using pulsing magnetic fields to activate or suppress the brain. It is non-invasive as the machine is held close to your head and doesn’t involve any surgery. It has been tried as a treatment for OCD in adults where other treatments have not worked. There is virtually no research on its use for children and young people.
  • Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes in certain areas of the brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate certain cells and chemicals within the brain. It has been tried as a treatment for OCD in adults, but there are concerns about the risks and uncertain benefits. There is no research involving children and young people.

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.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.