Yes, there are support groups available for individuals with OCD.
One of the best places to find this information is through the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (OCF), a national association for treatment providers, individuals, and families working and dealing with OCD (www.ocfoundation.org).
According to the OCF, several types of support groups are available:
1. Professionally assisted groups: A therapist runs this type of group and leads group therapy. The therapist may use the group as a way to help motivate individuals and hold them accountable for doing exposures, in addition to giving lectures or lessons on how to challenge obsessions and compulsions. There is usually a fee for these groups, which insurance may or may not cover.
2. Mutual support groups: The leaders may be individuals with OCD who have recovered or family members of individuals with OCD who want to be able to help others dealing with the disorder. Instead of being therapeutic, these groups help to disseminate information about OCD, such as where to get professional help or what research studies might be ongoing. They may also bring in speakers to teach the group about OCD or something related to it, such as depression or social anxiety. There is often no fee or a small fee for these groups.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous: This is a twelve-step program and is modeled on the first twelve-step program, the well known one for alcoholism. These groups are purely member-driven, and they typically collect a small fee for the use of the meeting room. As in other twelve-step programs, the person works through a set of steps and is given a sponsor to assist him or her through each step and any difficult times he or she may have.
4. Giving Obsessive Compulsive Another Lifestyle (G.O.A.L.) group: This group involves a mental health professional, but is run by the members. These groups are designed to help individuals continue to do exposures and work on relapse prevention. The professionals assist with any exposure development or ideas, but the bulk of the group time is spent doing exposure therapy with others to mutually assist people in their recovery. There may be a fee involved with these groups depending on how the professional has helped to set up the group.