Who can help?


Psychiatrists are probably the top of the chain in the mental health field. They are medically trained doctors who choose to specialise in mental health conditions and are qualified to prescribe medication for mental illnesses as well as recommending other treatments. Psychiatrists will cost the most if you decide to go privately and in the UK psychiatrists are far and few between but likely to be who you see if you are admitted to hospital for a mental health condition.

Psychologists & Psychotherapists

Psychologists are extensively trained in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders but are not medically trained like psychiatrists are. Psychologists cannot prescribe or administer medications but can make suggestions that seeing a medical practitioner could be an added benefit alongside therapy.

Psychologists can sometimes work alongside a psychiatrist should this be needed for your individual case. They will come up with an appropriate treatment plan and guide you through it, teach you the relevant skills to help you manage your condition.

If you decide to go private, psychologists have a varied price ranging from £50-£200+ depending on credentials and experience. In the US you may want to discuss your options with your insurance provider to see if you can get financial help that way or some clinicians offer a sliding scale, again this would have to be discussed and will be based on individual needs.

When you come across psychologists / psychotherapists you’ll probably (actually, you should) see a bunch of letters after their name, I’ll give some examples below, it signifies that they are fully accredited, they’ve done the gruelling studying, the billion-hour long exams and community work so they have come across pretty much everything in the mental health field.

Some USA credentials you should see if you decide to go stateside for treatment, all of these credentials allow for OCD treatment, but different states will provide different licenses:

  • LMFT – Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
  • MFT – Marriage & Family Therapist
  • AMFT – Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (can treat under supervision)
  • LPCC – Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
  • APCC – Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

UK psychologists/ counselors should be registered to a professional board such as the British Psychological Society and The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Therapy red flags to look out for:

  • Anyone who says they specialize in everything mental health related, it’s impossible to specialize in everything
  • Coaches claiming to treat OCD through lived experience- this is not a profession!
  • Life coaches in general claiming to treat OCD
  • Anyone claiming they can cure OCD – there is no damn cure!
  • Any professional who doesn’t use ERP or hasn’t heard of ERP – this is where you need to RUN!
  • Anyone using talk therapy to treat OCD, this can make OCD worse!

Always, check credentials and treatment method of a professional before engaging in treatment for OCD, you are well within your right to ask questions. Your mental health deserves the best you can give it.

General Practitioner (GP)

In most circumstances the first port of call for help will be a visit to your GP, especially if you have no other options but to go through the NHS if you reside in the UK. The GP can prescribe medication and make a referral for you to join a wait list for therapy/counselling.

Unfortunately, a GP’s method of pushing pills without therapy alongside them is only masking the surface of the disorder, just like a plaster on a cut. A GP cannot provide you with therapy but it is important to be as open and honest with them about your symptoms so they can make the appropriate referrals and have less of a chance of misdiagnosing, which unfortunately is quite common. Your GP may also recommend a self-help book, in the UK its likely to be ‘Break Free From OCD’. Seeing your GP is the cheapest but longest route to treatment for OCD.


You can help yourself massively by being willing to do whatever it takes to get better.

If you’re not willing or you’ve been forced into treatment before you’re ready it’s likely to be a waste of time but this doesn’t mean don’t bother – it means you can go along to your appointments find out what your therapist expects of you or what the GP recommends, there’s nothing to say you have to go along with it right there and then.

Keep in mind that you have OCD though, it’s the doubting disorder and will try to convince you that you don’t need treatment!


You may also feel it’s something you can’t do, but how do you know unless you try? It will also feel daunting and absolutely scare the crap out of you to discuss intrusive thoughts and compulsions but remember none of what you are experiencing is new to any OCD therapist, they’ve heard it all before and some even have OCD themselves (you’re welcome for the one and only piece of reassurance you’ll get from me ;p)!

Self-help books are also available, but I personally didn’t get on with them; I wasn’t prepared for how triggering they are, nor did I really understand the concept of what they were trying to get me to do. I needed professional guidance. But I will link some recommended self help books on the Gadgets & Gizmos page.

Build yourself a support system – this doesn’t mean you need loads of people around you all the time – I found that less was more.

Your therapist is part of this system, it’s not always just who’s closest to you. Tell the people you trust the most in this world, it could be family members, those you live with or a couple of close friends just so that you can have support outside of the therapy room.

Back to the less is more cliche, I actually told my family and friends that they would be helping by not helping. I couldn’t stand the thought of a tonne of different opinions flying around telling me how I should be getting better, I needed to do it my way and stick to what I had decided on without feeling the pressure of not taking someone else’s advice.

So a couple of friends, my husband, my mum and sister all knew what I was dealing with and it all came out with me completely breaking down because I couldn’t cope alone anymore and those close to me started to notice I wasn’t myself, so they knew by default not necessarily by my choice. Everyone else I told when I was ready and in a way that I could also educate them on OCD because of how misrepresented it is.

Research!! Research is a great way to gain insight on OCD, how it works, the treatment for it, it will help you to feel less alone and I promise you will be part of an incredible community of OCD warriors, professionals and those who choose to advocate. Just make sure you are researching for education purposes not reassurance purposes. You can find great information on the resources page of what/ who to get information from.