When discussing a mental illness, therapists do not use the word “cured.”
Cured implies a disease, and OCD is not a disease; it is a disorder. A disease is something that you catch, like the flu. You could go to the doctor and get some medication, and the flu would be gone in a few days.
On the other hand, a mental disorder is a pattern of thinking and behaving that interferes in a person’s daily life. In the case of OCD, people with OCD may know logically that washing their hands for two hours is excessive, but their fear of germs is so great that it overrides that logic and compels them to continue to wash.
They may have felt this behavior was helpful to them when they started it, or it probably did not initially interfere greatly with their daily life. However, as time went on, and it got more out of control, the washing became harder and harder to stop and developed into a compulsion.
Therapy can help a person learn new ways to deal with obsessions and decrease compulsions, but that individual is making behavioral changes rather than being cured of his or her OCD.
Medications can help to alter the way a person’s brain processes information, but that medication will not cure the person because once the person stops the medications, his or her chances for relapse are rather high, because psychotropic medications do not permanently alter the brain.
A combination of therapy and medicine, or even therapy alone, can help drastically reduce and control the symptoms of OCD, but there is no way to permanently cure a mental disorder.