NOCD is an online platform that offers evidence-based treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that earned 3.5 stars overall during our independent review. Therapy services are available for anyone five years and older in the United States and internationally. NOCD also offers extra features likes OCD exercises and a community message board. The cost of NOCD ranges between $90 – $170 per session and some insurance plans are accepted.
Rating of NOCD’s Online Therapy
Emily Guarnotta is a PsyD. that specializes in perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, grief counseling for individuals who suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, as well as infertility support and therapy for new parents and seasoned parents. Dr. Guarnotta has written for Choosing Therapy since 2020 and in the summer of 2022 began reviewing online therapy and psychiatry platforms. During her independent review, NOCD earned 3.5 out of 5 stars overall, performing best in the categories of “Geographic Location”, “Insurance & Out-of-Network Benefits”, and “Therapist Matching or Selection”. However, NOCD underperformed in the categories of “Clientele Served” and “Range of Therapist Specialties & Treatment Approaches” compared to its competitors.
Pros & Cons of NOCD
NOCD is an online therapy platform that specializes in OCD treatment using exposure and response prevention (ERP). When you sign up with NOCD, you also get access to free educational content and a supportive community message board. Unfortunately, NOCD only provides therapy and does not provide psychiatry or medication management. Session costs are difficult to find and you must speak with a representative over the phone before you can get started.
How to Sign Up with NOCD
To sign up, you can create an account by visiting the NOCD website or by calling (312) 766-6780.
What is NOCD?
NOCD, pronounced No-CD, is an online therapy platform that offers evidence-based treatment for OCD with all its providers specializing in exposure and response prevention (ERP) for OCD. NOCD treats children, teens, and adults five years old and up. With NOCD, live therapy sessions cost $90 – $170 per session depending on the length of the session and select insurance plans are accepted.
NOCD provides treatment exclusively for OCD using exposure therapy (ERP) for OCD, an evidence-based treatment for OCD. ERP is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy for OCD that involves gradually exposing a person to anxiety-provoking stimuli without a chance to engage in compulsive behaviors. During ERP, a therapist guides you through ERP and provides exercises for you to do on your own.1
According to NOCD, most of their clients attend sessions twice a week for four weeks. However, session frequency and duration can vary depending on your individual treatment plan and preferences. Therapy is available to anyone five years and older, with some providers having additional training and experience working with children and teens. Children and teens must have consent from a parent or guardian to sign up.
With NOCD, there are no subscriptions or monthly fees and you pay a standard fee for each session. The fee varies depending on the length of the session and your insurance coverage. You will have the option to browse the therapist directory and choosing a provider or get matched by a live agent during your initial phone call. When I spoke to a representative, they informed me that a therapist in my state had availability the following day.
After you create an account with NOCD, you also gain access to OCD and ERP information and exercises to do on your own in addition to a community message board. All of these extra features can be accessed through the website or NOCD’s convenient Apple or Google app. The message board includes posts from NOCD therapists and staff sharing tips and information, as well as members seeking support.
There are clinician-guided videos available specifically for different types of OCD episodes, such as contamination, relationships, and perfectionism. A great perk to these videos are you can choose to watch, listen, or read through the exercise. Your therapist may even assign these exercises as homework to review during your session. All of these extra features earned NOCD 5 stars in the “Extra Features & Resources” category on our scoring criteria.
Who Is NOCD Right For?
NOCD is a great for anyone diagnosed with OCD desiring evidence-based treatment online and is available to anyone five years and older. NOCD specifically treats OCD using ERP and all NOCD therapists have training and experience in this area. NOCD also has a community feature that allows you to connect with other people who are also dealing with OCD.
Those Diagnosed With OCD Seeking Evidence-Based Care Virtually
NOCD offers ERP for OCD to anyone over the age of five. ERP is an evidence-based treatment for OCD, and has been shown to be effective in reducing OCD symptoms in several research studies.1 NOCD allows people with OCD to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes, making it a convenient therapy option. This is especially helpful for those living in areas with limited treatment options or anyone who is uncomfortable with seeing a provider in-person.
People Wanting Connect With Others With OCD
NOCD is really great for those wanting a place to connect with other people struggling with similar issues. The community feature makes it easy to give and receive support. You can even filter the message board to only see content relating to specific subtypes of OCD or from therapists, staff, or other members. This gives you control over your feed, which can be important if certain content is too triggering for you.
Who Might Want an Alternative to NOCD?
NOCD exclusively offers services for people with OCD who are interested in ERP therapy. Those with OCD and seeking medication or those with other mental health conditions will need to seek out an alternative.
Seeking Medication for Their OCD
NOCD’s main offering is therapy for OCD. The company does not offer any psychiatry services and does not have the option to prescribe medications for OCD. Anyone wanting medication for OCD will have to consider seeing a psychiatrist or using another platform. Platforms like Amwell or Talkspace offer psychiatry services on a per-session basis or a platform like Brightside Health can offer psychiatry services as a subscription.
To learn more about how these platforms work, you can read our in-depth review of Amwell, our Talkspace review, or our Brightside Health review.
Those With Other Mental Health Conditions
If you are experiencing other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders, then NOCD is not right for you. If you are experiencing other mental health conditions in addition to OCD, you will have to decide whether you’d like to exclusively focus on your OCD, or find a treatment approach that can address all of your symptoms. Platforms like BetterHelp and Calmerry offer a wide range of therapy options and have great subscription options available. You can also search an online therapist directory to find in-person services.
To learn more about these subscription-based therapy options, you can read our comprehensive review of BetterHelp or our Calmerry review.
NOCD User Reviews
NOCD has a 4.8 star rating from 7.1K reviews in the Apple App Store and a 4.2 star rating from 937 reviews in the Google Play Store. Most of the reviews of NOCD were positive and focused on the valuable tools and supportive community that the company provided. Some negative reviewers were dissatisfied with their therapy experiences, but this was a small percentage of reviews.
Many NOCD members expressed appreciation for the supportive community that the platform provides. The community functions like a message board where you can post questions or comments about OCD. Several reviewers shared that the community allowed them to connect with other people also struggling with OCD, which helped them to feel less alone. The NOCD community was also a place to share coping skills and strategies with one another.
I had an opportunity to explore the community and could see the value in it. Some posts were labeled with “trigger warning,” which indicated that the post may contain content that could be distressing for some people. Members could also share positive feedback about their therapists.
Valuable In-App Tools
Reviewers mentioned how much they enjoyed the self-guided exercises available in the app. These exercises allow you to do ERP exercises on your own. Each one guides you through identifying your obsessions, compulsions, and triggers and provides exposure exercises tailored specifically to you. It also allows you to track your distress during exposure activities and gives you information on how to cope. As a psychologist, I could see the value in the self-guided exercises for people who would like to start doing exposure work, but who are not yet ready to see a therapist.
It’s Just “Cookie Cutter” Therapy
A few negative reviewers described their experience with NOCD therapy as “cookie cutter,” meaning that they felt like their therapists were giving them generic treatment. They did not feel like their therapists tailored ERP to their specific needs. I did not have a chance to attend a therapy session, so I didn’t personally experience this. However, it is possible that some of the providers on the platform are more generic in their approach, while others are more engaging and individualize treatment. The same can be said of in-person therapists. Because only a small percentage of reviews were negative, I would caution against assuming that all NOCD providers approach treatment in this way.
How Much Does NOCD Cost?
NOCD costs $90-$170 per session. The cost of NOCD depends on the session length. The costs are as follows:
- 60-minute therapy session – $170
- 45-minute therapy session – $120
- 30-minute therapy session – $90
Does NOCD Accept Insurance?
Yes, NOCD is in-network with most major health insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and United Healthcare in all 50 states. Due to this fact, NOCD earned 5 stars in our “Insurance & Out-of-Network Benefits” category on our scoring criteria. You can learn more about whether your insurance is covered and verify your benefits on the NOCD insurance page. According to the company, most of its members with in-network insurance pay $50 or less per session.
NOCD can assist with out-of-network benefits. The company can provide you with a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company. NOCD also offers payment plans if your out-of-pocket costs are too high. The payment plan allows you to pay off a portion of your balance each week.
How to Schedule Your First Therapy Session With NOCD
To schedule your first therapy session with NOCD, you must first speak with an NOCD representative and they will help you setup your account. From there you will create your account, verify insurance, and schedule your appointment.
Follow these steps to schedule your first session:
- Book a free 15-minute phone call online or call 312-766-6780.
- A NOCD representative assist you with signing up for an account, verifying insurance benefits, and scheduling an appointment.
- Once you sign up for an account, you can view therapist profiles and choose your own provider or have the customer service representative choose one for you.
- Select the length of your live session, 30, 45, or 60 minutes, and the day you want to attend.
- Download the NOCD app through the Apple App Store store or Google Play Store for convenient access to your account and therapist.
NOCD Therapy: Detailed Review
NOCD therapists provide ERP for OCD. The cost of therapy with NOCD is $90 for a 30-minute session, $120 for a 45-minute session, and $170 for a 60-minute session. The company allows for flexibility when it comes to selecting a provider and choosing session length and frequency. Typically, therapy with NOCD is done twice weekly for several weeks and then decreases in frequency over time. The exact length of treatment depends on each individual’s treatment plan.
What is Therapy Like With NOCD?
Before you can ever attend a session, you must speak with an NOCD representative over the phone. During the initial phone call, a representative will ask you questions and help you schedule an appointment. With NOCD, you have the option to either select your own therapist or be matched with one. When I spoke to a representative, I was offered a therapy session the following day. There are even evening and weekend sessions available as well.
Therapy sessions with NOCD are held over live video via Zoom. Live sessions are either 30, 45, or 60 minutes depending on your treatment plan and preferences. Sessions are typically held twice a week for at least four weeks and then decreased, but ultimately you and your therapist can decide what treatment frequency and duration is best for you. NOCD therapists typically assign homework in-between sessions, which is available through the website or app.
I did not have an opportunity to attend a therapy session, but I was able to speak with an OCD representative about their therapy program and utilize the tools and community on the app. The representative that I spoke with was knowledgeable and answered all of my questions. I had tried to contact NOCD by email, but never received a response back. When I called the company directly, I was able to speak with someone right away. My experience with the app was positive. I found that it was easy to use and provided valuable information and tools for OCD.
NOCD vs Competitors
At the present time, NOCD is the only online treatment platform that exclusively focuses on treating OCD. With NOCD, you can rest assured that all of the therapists on the platform specialize in treating OCD and are trained in ERP. Because of its specialty, NOCD does not have any competitors. Other options available for help with OCD include in-person therapy and Impulse Therapy, a self-help course for OCD.
NOCD vs Impulse Therapy
Impulse therapy is an online OCD self-help course intended to help people better manage obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. The course can be taken on its own or in tandem with therapy session. Impulse costs $62.99 for lifetime access and the course is tailored to your specific OCD symptoms. Prior to taking the course, you are asked to answer several questions about your OCD, which is then used to individualize your experience. The course includes over 60 audio sessions of ERP and CBT therapy content, as well as over 100 relaxation meditations and mindfulness activities.
Compared to NOCD, Impulse Therapy’s course is much cheaper. However, Impulse Therapy is not therapy, rather it is an online course that you complete on your own at your own pace. NOCD also offers similar content that is tailored to your specific type of OCD, but its main feature is ERP therapy. Impulse Therapy may be right for you if you are already in therapy or you prefer a cheap option that you can do on your own. If you are looking to meet one-on-one with a therapist, then NOCD is the better option.
You can learn more about what their self-help courses offer by visiting the Impluse Therapy website.
NOCD vs In-Person Care
The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) offers a directory that allows you to search for OCD specialists in your area or those offering telehealth treatment. Your search can be narrowed down by type of provider, ages served, gender, specialty, and more. Since IOCDF is a directory, each provider or clinic sets its own rates and may or may not accept insurance. With NOCD, all therapists have the same rates and offer the same approach to treat OCD. In my opinion, one approach is not better than another, but rather depends on your preferences. If you’re seeking in-person care, then using the directory through IOCDF can be helpful, because all of the therapists specialize in treating OCD.
How NOCD Has Evolved
NOCD was founded in 2018 by Stephen Smith, a student at Pomona College who was personally affected by OCD. Smith was a college athlete whose life changed when he developed OCD. Smith faced challenges in finding affordable and accessible treatment, but once he was able to access ERP, his symptoms and quality of life improved. That led him to launch NOCD, whose mission is to improve hope for people with OCD by providing quality treatment and raising awareness.2, 3
Since its founding, NOCD has raised over $12 million to help expand its reach across the United States.2 In 2020, a study conducted by Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the efficacy of NOCD’s mobile app combined with live therapy was published in the academic journal Behavior Therapy. The clinical trial found that an eight-week course of NOCD’s program resulted in a clinically significant decrease in symptoms of OCD among participants.4
At the present time, NOCD holds over 20,000 therapy sessions per month in the United States and has over 100,000 engagements through its online OCD community. In the future, NOCD plans to continue to carry out its mission and expand its network to help make OCD treatment more accessible.3
Frequently Asked Questions About NOCD
What Credentials do NOCD Therapists Hold?
All NOCD therapists are licensed and have master’s or doctorate degrees in psychology, social work, or a related field. All therapists also have training and experience in treating OCD using ERP. Therapists may also have additional training in other areas, such as tic disorders, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, and LGBT competence. You can learn more by reviewing the NOCD therapist directory.
How Am I Matched With a Therapist on NOCD?
NOCD gives you the option to either select your own provider or get matched. During your initial phone call, an NOCD representative can help you choose a provider based on your personal preferences. You also have the option to view the provider directory once you sign up for an account and let the representative know which provider you would like to schedule an appointment with.
Can I Change Therapists?
If you would like to change your therapist, you will have to contact NOCD directly by phone 312-766-6780 or email [email protected]. You may either select a provider in the directory or request assistance being matched to a new therapist. You do not have an option to change your therapist on your own through the website or app.
Can I use my FSA or HSA Funds?
Yes, NOCD accepts FSA and HSA funds as a form of payment.
How Do I Cancel My Subscription/Account with NOCD?
You can cancel your account with NOCD through the website or app. To do so, sign into your account and click “view profile.” From there, scroll to the bottom and select “delete.” Your account will then be deleted.
Does NOCD Offer Refunds?
NOCD may offer refunds on a case-by-case basis. For more information, you can speak with a representative by phone 312-766-6780 or email [email protected].
Is NOCD HIPAA Compliant?
Final Verdict on NOCD
NOCD is a online treatment approach for OCD that combines ERP therapy sessions with a supportive community and tools. This platform is ideal for anyone experiencing symptoms of OCD who would like online treatment. In 2020, a clinical trial was conducted and found that NOCD helped to reduce OCD symptoms in its participants. Despite NOCD earning 3.5 stars overall during our independent review, if you are dealing with OCD this seems to be an affordable and quality option for treatment.
Summary Table of What NOCD Offers
|Cost of Online Therapy||$90-$170|
|Geographic Coverage||United States and International|
|Age Limitations||5 years and older|
|Can You Change Therapists?||Yes|
|Speed to First Appointment||As little as 24 hours|
|Frequency of Appointments||Varies|
|Messaging with Therapist Between Appointments||Yes|
|Online Psychiatry Offered||No|