Health and wellbeing blogs

Managing OCD with group therapy

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is very often misunderstood and trivialised by social and mainstream media, but we know that living with OCD can be extremely distressing. Psychologist David Cooper explains what OCD is and how group therapy can help.

4 Mar 2020

OCD symptoms

The symptoms of OCD can be very diverse. People who live with OCD might have urges to wash, check, order things or neutralise thoughts.

They tend to experience high anxiety and uncertainty. Many also have unacceptable or taboo thoughts and are afraid to get help due to shame or fear.

OCD can have a big impact on quality of life and people often don’t receive treatment for years. For those who do seek treatment, specific and targeted services available are often limited.

St John of God Health Care OCD group therapy

Group therapy options

If you are seeking help for your OCD, you may consider group therapy programs which are often offered to you as an outpatient.

Our day program offers patients a full day of treatment every week for 15 weeks. Each week will introduce skills to help you overcome symptoms, then you will have the opportunity to practice these skills in interactive workshops run by two psychologists.

Benefits of group therapy

Individual therapy for OCD can be effective, but group-based therapy can have a range of additional benefits including:

  • Giving you the opportunity to meet other people who are living with OCD and realise that there are others with similar experiences
  • The full-day program gives you significant time to problem-solve strategies and to practice new learning with the support of clinicians. This is rarely an option in traditional individual therapy.
  • Research shows that a group format results for OCD is just as effective as individual treatment.

If you or someone you know might benefit from this program, please contact the St John of God Counselling and Therapy Centre in Burwood on (02) 8746 4400 or email info.burwood@sjog.org.au

David Cooper Psychologist

About the Author

David Cooper is a psychologist at St John of God Burwood Hospital.