Our Premium Selection of the Best Online Therapy for OCD

Make sure you weigh-in all the options of using technology to get access to top-rated online OCD therapy programs.

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Calmerry is an online consulting platform connecting clients with first-class mental care professionals. The mission of the company is providing easy access to quality therapy and emotional support affordable to anyone. It hosts a supportive environment and a growing community of fully certified and detailly vetted therapists who draw upon clinical practices

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Pros

  • Licensed and vetted therapists
  • Flexibility in scheduling
  • Daily support sessions are available
  • Individual matching of clients and therapists
  • Affordable rates
  • One-on-one video sessions
  • No commute is necessary
  • Digital worksheets provided
  • Confidentiality

Cons

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The Online Therapy program is a well-thought program that can offer a lot to those in need of emotional support. The staff is highly qualified and has years of experience with treating mental health problems using proven and well-researched CBT methods.

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Pros

  • Access to hands-on tools 24/7
  • Available internationally
  • Evidence-based
  • Experienced & qualified therapists
  • HIPAA complaint
  • Live sessions
  • Long-term results

Cons

  • Can’t be used for emergency medical needs
  • No group therapies
  • No in-person, face-to-face, appointments
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Talkspace is the perfect substitution for traditional therapy. With 80% of Talkspace users finding this way of therapy as effective or more effective than traditional therapy, it’s the right choice for people who are looking for some help and support.

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Pros

  • Multiple monthly subscription plans are available
  • Convenient communication options
  • Teen counseling
  • Couples therapy
  • Medication management services
  • Licensed therapists
  • Option to choose your therapist from recommended suggestions

Cons

  • Group therapy is not available
  • No therapist bios are posted on the website
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Sesame offers coverage across the US, employing over 10 thousand medical practitioners that have since helped over 100 thousand patients. The platform allows doctors to charge their own price per appointment, lowering the overall expenses by as much as 60% by cutting out the middleman between patients and physicians. With Sesame, the platform users get clear care that involves just you, your doctor, and one upfront price.

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Pros

  • One transparent price per appointment.
  • No insurance is required.
  • Saves up to 60% by cutting out the middleman.
  • Doctors can provide prescriptions and order lab work.
  • Offers door-to-door delivery of medications.
  • All doctors are vetted and board-certified.

Cons

  • Appointment charges must be paid directly.
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HealthSapiens is an NYC-based online healthcare platform that connects patients with medical professionals. The medicine ranges from modern healthcare to traditional and alternative medicine. Doctors and therapists are available at all times, offering 24/7 medical support and guidance. The platform covers all 50 states via internet-connected devices and phones, and the platform charges a flat-rate monthly fee and no co-pay or per-visit fees.

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Pros

  • 24/7 availability to healthcare
  • Accessible from anywhere
  • Covers all 50 US states
  • No co-pay and per-visit charges
  • Licensed medical professionals
  • Low monthly payment plans
  • Affordable family plans
  • Confidential & private

Cons

  • Requires strong internet connection.
  • Does not accept insurance.
  • Therapists are automatically assigned.

Consumer Opinion Guide has developed a list of proven, top-rated online OCD therapy programs to help you find a licensed therapist who will allow you the mental healthcare support necessary to overcome your issues. With our resources, we have combed through reviews and ratings to deliver a listing of the best online therapy for OCD with the highest rating scores.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a very common mental disorder. It manifests through uncontrollable behavior, or compulsions, through reoccurring, obsessive thoughts. Individuals suffering from this mental health issue find themselves having the urge to repeat certain actions over and over again. OCD can interfere with all aspects of everyday life, including work, relationships, and academic studies. Luckily, the best online therapy for OCD is a great way to get the issue under control. But to know which therapy modality is right for you and which one of the top online therapy services is best for your situation, you first need to understand how OCD works, its symptoms and risk factors, as well as available therapy options.

person using a smartphone to attend the best online therapy for ocd
You can attend online therapy sessions via your smartphone!

What is OCD?

People with this disorder exhibit symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both at the same time.

Obsessions come in the form of thoughts, urges, or mental images. Most of the time, OCD also involves a degree of anxiety, as well. These impulses occur over and over again and the person usually has no apparent control over them. Most people who have OCD do not really want to have these thoughts and may even find them disturbing. To make matters worse, these obsessions are commonly followed by intensely uncomfortable feelings such as disgust and doubt. Furthermore, most people also feel that things need to be done “just right”.

Obsessions

The common obsessions in OCD are:

  • Contamination – This involves body fluids, dirt, germs, radiation, and similar contaminants.
  • Losing control – The fear of acting on impulses to harm self or others. Fear of stealing, Fear of horrific images.
  • Harm – Fear of being responsible for burglary or fire. Fear of not being careful enough and causing harm to others.
  • Perfectionism – Anything that concerns exactness. Fear of losing/forgetting important information. Not being able to decide whether to keep or throw away things. Fear of losing things.
  • Unwanted sexual thoughts – Sexual obsessions that involve incest or children. Overly perverse sexual thoughts. Obsessions about aggressive sexual behavior.
  • Religious obsessions – Fear of offending God or blaspheming, excessive concern with morality.
  • Miscellaneous obsessions – Sexual orientation, physical disease, superstition.

It is also important to note that almost all of the above thoughts are perfectly normal in moderation. Everyone has a disturbing thought from time to time, after all. But what makes the difference is the “obsessive” part. People who have OCD simply cannot stop having those thoughts and they can seriously interfere with their lives. Moreover, these obsessive thoughts can also trigger extreme anxiety and discomfort.

Compulsions

Compulsions form the second part of OCD. Basically, compulsions are the defensive system of our brain, serving to counteract our obsessions. The brain copes with the obsessions by creating compulsions to get a temporary reprieve. Compulsions do not have to be connected to dealing with the situation, they can also make an individual actively avoid similar situations. To put it simply, compulsive behavior is something that you would rather avoid, given the chance. That is why most people with OCD choose to get the best online therapy for OCD available to them.

The most common OCD compulsions are:

  • Cleaning/Washing – Excessive showering or toilet routines, excessively washing hands, excessive grooming, etc.
  • Checking – Excessive checking that nothing bad happened. Excessive checking that you did not make any mistakes. Constantly checking your physical condition, etc.
  • Repeating – Repeated body movements (blinking, tapping, touching, etc.). Re-reading or rewriting. Overly repeating routine activities. Repeating activities multiple times due to a “safe” number.
  • Mental compulsions – Constantly mentally reviewing events to prevent harm to oneself or others. Praying to prevent harm coming to others or yourself, counting while performing a task. “Cancelling” or “Undoing”.
  • Miscellaneous compulsions – Putting things in the “proper” order (most commonly associated with OCD), constantly needing reassurance, and avoiding situations.
person washing hands
Excessive hand washing is one of the most common OCD compulsions.

The thing to note about compulsions is that not every repetitive behavior is a compulsion. It all depends on the context. For example, training a new skill involves a great deal of repetition. Obviously, skill training is far from compulsive behavior. A good rule of thumb to identify compulsive behavior is to see why an individual does things. If a person does not really want to behave in a certain way but is compelled to do it for one reason or another, that is considered to be a compulsive behavior.

OCD risk factors

Most people with OCD are diagnosed by the age of 19 but it is not uncommon for it to manifest after the age of 35 either. According to NIM, the lifetime prevalence of OCD among U.S. adults is 2.3%. Furthermore, OCD is more prevalent in females.

What causes OCD is completely unknown but its risk factors are well-documented and include:

  • Genetics
  • Brain structure
  • Environmental factors

Genetic factors

People with first-degree relatives (siblings, parents, children) that have OCD are much more likely to develop OCD themselves. This risk is even higher if the parent, sibling, or child developed OCD in their early years. There is a definitive connection between genetics and OCD but the research on it is still ongoing.

Brain structure

According to numerous imaging studies (white matter study, MRI study, etc.), there is a difference between the frontal cortex and subcortical structures between people with OCD and those without. However, the exact connection between OCD and these abnormalities in the brain is not yet clear. The research is ongoing, and we are hopeful that it will provide us with a greater understanding of these connections in the future and help us create personalized OCD treatments.

Environmental factors

People that have suffered a childhood trauma have a greater chance of developing OCD. However, the relationship between environmental factors and OCD is not definitive, as the research on the subject is quite mixed.

Treatments for OCD

When it comes to treating OCD, there are only two viable methods as of today, medications and psychotherapy. There are some novel techniques that can be used if neither method works, such as FDA-approved transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation therapies, and similar. However, these are all “last-resort” measures, only to be undertaken if medications and psychotherapy do not show any effect. Most commonly, the treatment involves both methods at the same time.

medicine tablets
Psychotherapy combines with medications for maximum effect.

When it comes to medications, therapists will usually recommend SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), or clomipramine. Both of these are antidepressants that have a significant effect on treating OCD. When it comes to psychotherapy, there are two types that work very well with correcting OCD: CBT and ERP.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT helps with managing OCD by focusing on how the patient’s thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs affect their behavior and underlying feelings. If you want to find out exactly what CBT entails, we have a guide on cognitive behavioral therapy for you to peruse. For now, let’s just mention that changing your thoughts and feelings is an exceptionally good way of dealing with OCD.

ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention)

If you are looking for the best online therapy for OCD, one that is specifically designed for this disorder, you need to try ERP therapy. This therapy modality encourages patients to confront their obsessions and resist their compulsive urges. The sessions involve being put in situations that cause anxiety and resisting performing usual compulsions. The patients are encouraged to tolerate their anxiety to an extent, leading to a realization that the negative feelings will eventually go away without performing the compulsion.

While this therapy has been seen as the most effective way to correct OCD, it can be very challenging. In some cases, patients may feel more anxious at the start. It is important to talk to your health professional and discuss whether you are in the right state of mind to undergo ERP therapy. Many people simply cannot handle the requirements of the therapy and prefer to continue avoiding their issues. In some cases, it may be best to start with CBT and then “transition” to ERP. Or undergo both therapies or a combination of both at the same time. Every patient is different, after all, and may require a specific therapy approach.

Online therapy for OCD

person attending the best online therapy for ocd from a bar
You can attend online therapy sessions for OCD from virtually anywhere with good internet access.

The main issue most patients encounter is that there is a notable lack of ERP-trained therapists. This usually means that the therapy sessions (which are already quite costly) have even more cost to them. Having to travel to another town for a therapy session is also quite a time-consuming affair. The cost and the inconvenience may prevent individuals from attending therapy sessions on their own.

Luckily, people who are struggling with OCD have another, very viable, option these days. With the advent of technology and internet access being readily available, getting the best online therapy for OCD has never been easier! But is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

Online therapy vs in-person therapy

We’ve covered all the differences between online therapy vs in-person therapy in another article, but here are the most important bits:

  • Online therapy is more affordable
  • Online therapy is more convenient
  • In-person therapy allows for nonverbal cues
  • In-person therapy is far less accessible and difficult to schedule
  • Online therapy is reliant on the internet

There are numerous pros and cons to each option. Depending on your situation and preferences, you may want to choose one over the other. That being said, most people will have little choice in the matter, as in-person therapy suffers heavily from availability issues.

Furthermore, as per cost-effectiveness study performed by NIH, there is a significant reduction in cost when opting for the best online therapy for OCD instead of traditional, in-person, therapy.

Effectiveness of online OCD therapy

Online therapy follows the exact same principles as in-person therapy does. Thus, online treatment is equally effective. The greatest difference is in the setting. Having the sessions in the patient’s home allows for some unique therapy opportunities, and is one of the many advantages of online counseling. An example of this is ERP therapy, where the therapist asks the patient to confront their anxieties and fears in their daily lives. In traditional therapy, the therapist will need to wait until the next session to hear the report from the patient. But with online therapy, the therapist can “be there” while the patient is dealing with the OCD-triggering situations. Needless to say, this “hands-on” information can be critical in evaluating the treatment plan.

Furthermore, being able to talk with your therapist while dealing with an OCD-inducing trigger is a huge boon. The online format allows for conversations that happened around the very exposure, making it easier to continue with response prevention.

Teletherapy is not a new concept. But with the veritable “explosion” of devices capable of receiving voice and video (smartphones, PCs, tablets, etc.), it is more accessible than ever. Today, almost everyone has the access to the specialists they require. Online therapy is also quite cheaper than traditional therapy, but with one caveat. Many states still do not treat in-person therapy and online therapy the same when it comes to insurance. Some insurance companies might accept some PPOs, so the coverage is not all that bad. Luckily, there are many online therapy options that have lower prices due to this very fact, which makes them a very viable alternative.

How to start with online therapy?

The first thing you will want to do is consult your health professional. They will help you diagnose whether you are suffering from OCD and recommend solutions that are unique to you. After that, you will want to “shop around” for online therapy networks. You can find all the top rated online therapy companies at Consumer Opinion Guide. Even with all our resources, it may take some time for you to find the best online therapy for OCD. With all the information that we have in store for you, it will not take very long, either!

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