An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) has a lot in common with inpatient mental health programs. With both of these types of programs, you’ll receive the same level of treatment but an IOP is outpatient.

Therefore these programs serve as a great stepping-stone for anyone who’s been through detox but isn’t ready to fully integrate back into their home life. They’ll provide you with a great supportive option as you do so.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

With an Intensive Outpatient Program, you’ll receive a higher level of treatment each day while enjoying the freedom of living at home. Although it depends on the program you choose to attend, you’ll spend anywhere from a few hours to an entire day at the treatment facility. Each night you’ll return home so you can practice what you’ve learned.

Intensive outpatient programs take a holistic approach to treating your recovery. This is why you’ll have many people working together but sharing the same notes. These professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists help you find the right medication
  • Group therapy facilitators oversee groups in which you’ll engage with others who are in your program
  • Therapists offer you individual therapy sessions
  • Nutritionists help you create a healthy diet plan that will help you improve your overall health after being addicted to a substance that’s depleted your body of many necessary vitamins and minerals
  • Doctors address any physical symptoms you may be experiencing

These programs are frequently used to help patients transition from a residential treatment center back into their community of choice. For instance, you’ll detox in the treatment center before transitioning to an IOP with other patients. This is a great opportunity for those who can’t leave their home lives unattended (e.g., single parents, people who have to work, those who are uncomfortable with in-patient care).

Types of Intensive Outpatient Programs

There are various types of intensive outpatient programs. They’re designed to meet various needs including chemical dependency, unipolar depression, bipolar disorder (including mania; and for types I and II) and eating disorders. These programs are typically group-based and less structured, as you aren’t living at the facility where you’d receive more comprehensive treatment.

Even though you aren’t receiving treatment 24 hours a day, you’ll still receive in-depth treatment. You’ll receive between 6 – 30 hours of programming each week. This allows you to have time to take care of your other daily affairs either in the morning or at the end of the day. Throughout the remainder of the day, you’re expected to adhere to the IOP’s strict structure – even if the program is online.

This works well for transitional treatment when you’re released from an inpatient drug treatment facility. Most facilities do adhere to a 12-step program treatment modality since this is effective.

A Word About Online Intensive Outpatient Programs

Living with COVID today has changed many things. One such thing is that now many Intensive Outpatient Programs are meeting online. This is a great option for anyone who lives in a remote area or somewhere there aren’t a lot of treatment options available.

The way Intensive Outpatient Programs are run will depend on the facility that’s offering them. For instance, some offer interactive videos while others offer downloadable, self-paced workbooks and videos. There are usually remote group meetings and discussions that are held. These programs work best in combination with sober living programs.

What Does an IOP Treat?

Intensive Outpatient Programs are a great option for those who are overcoming addiction. These programs are also a great option for people in various other circumstances as well. These other circumstances include helping patients with:

  • Mental health issues that may place them in danger
  • Severe mental health symptoms which require daily treatment. These problems aren’t threatening enough to require residential care
  • Resistance to inpatient treatment
  • Eating disorders that threaten their physical safety. These eating orders may include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or a binge eating disorder.
  • Medication management issues. Some psychiatric medications have dangerous side effects but are necessary, nonetheless. Sometimes when patients are adjusting to these medications, they’ll attend an IOP until they’re on the right dosage. Not only does this ensure their safety but it also helps their psychiatrist quickly find the correct dosage.

Facilities design their Intensive Outpatient Programs to treat specific disorders. This allows you to attend group sessions with people who are struggling with similar issues as yours.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Residential vs IOP vs Outpatient Services

With all the different programs (e.g., residential, IOP, outpatient) that are available for you to choose from, it’s easy to get confused when you’re trying to determine what would work best for you. Not only is it important to know what these different treatment modalities are but it’s also important to know how they differ from each other.

IOP vs. Inpatient

Inpatient or residential programs require that you live at the treatment center so that you can receive treatment 24 hours a day. This means that you’ll only be able to see your friends and family during the facility’s designated visiting hours if they’re able to come to see you during this time. Some people need this type of structure throughout their recovery, but if this seems too much for you, an Intensive Outpatient Program may be better suited for your needs.

With an IOP you’ll live at home while attending programming at the treatment facility for a few hours each day (usually during regular working hours). In some programs, this means that you’ll only see your therapist once a week. Of course, the program’s specifics will vary depending on your needs and the program you’re considering.

IOP vs. Residential Treatment

When you’re in a residential treatment facility you’re receiving the highest level of care. The facility will ensure that you don’t have access to any drugs or alcohol so you won’t actively sabotage your recovery efforts or relapse. This is why they’re a great option for anyone who has a severe addiction or a co-occurring disorder since you’ll typically require 24-hour supervision.

These advantages aren’t necessarily available when you’re in an Intensive Outpatient Program. This doesn’t mean that these programs don’t play an important role in helping you overcome addiction. They’re a great option who find inpatient care to be too much of a challenge for them because they can’t leave their lives behind for an extended period. If this describes your situation, an Intensive Outpatient Program is a great choice.

To be an ideal candidate for IOP instead of residential treatment, you should have a safe home environment. This environment should consist of supportive family members and friends who are sober themselves. Otherwise, this treatment modality won’t work since you’ll become triggered and possibly relapse.

Features of an IOP

Although SAMHSA establishes guidelines for Intensive Outpatient Programs, the type of care you receive will vary depending on the facility and provider you work with. Most treatment modalities do encourage participation in a 12-step program that they offer. There are some other things you should expect to receive while participating in an Intensive Outpatient Program.

Group Therapy

At the heart of most Intensive Outpatient Programs is group therapy. Studies show that this plays a vital role in the program. It’s thought to be as effective as individual therapy. This is because the treatment modality offers you support in several different ways, including:

  • You’re given a safe space in which you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your communication skills.
  • You’ll have a great way to create a new social network for yourself. This is important because many of the people you’ve socialized with in the past may still be addicted to their substance of choice. With a new social network, you’ll have people who are similar to you who can offer you support, comfort, and honest feedback. You’ll also be able to learn new, healthy ways in which to interact with people.
  • There will be some group members who are further along in their recovery. They can offer you valuable empathy and assistance when you’re early in your journey.
  • Therapists and group leaders will work together, sharing important information. This enables them to have a better understanding of what skills and information you and the other members of your group need to learn.

Now that you understand the benefit of these group sessions, you may wonder what they consist of. First, you need to understand that there are a variety of different groups. The ones that are offered at one facility may not be offered at another. Some of the ones you may be offered include:

  • Skills development groups that help you practice the behaviors you’re learning in a safe environment.
  • Psychoeducational groups offer emotional support as you learn about addiction and its consequences. Usually, you’ll learn problem-solving skills so that you’re able to change your ineffective belief systems.
  • Refusal training provides you with an opportunity to engage in role-playing exercises wherein you can rehearse how to effectively handle being offered your substance of choice.
  • Relapse prevention groups help you identify your triggers. You’ll also be taught how to avoid and manage them.
  • Family groups teach you and your family members how you can work together to support each other. This is also an opportunity for you to learn about how addiction has affected these relationships and how you can deal with these effects.

Some facilities also offer specialized groups that focus on a specific type of client (e.g., men, women, LGBTQ, veterans, domestic violence survivors).

Individual Therapy

Besides attending group therapy you’ll also have the opportunity to attend individual therapy sessions. This isn’t the primary treatment modality but they’re usually offered so you can go deeper into the work that you accomplished in group therapy. Of course, you’ll also have the opportunity to discuss individual issues that you don’t feel comfortable discussing in group therapy sessions.

Typically you’ll attend individual therapy at least once a week. Some programs do offer individual therapy more frequently, especially when you’re early on in the treatment process. Regardless of the frequency of the therapy, you’ll be assigned a therapist who will work to create a close, honest relationship with you that’s based on mutual trust and a commitment to sobriety.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Complementary Therapies

You may also be offered alternative therapies that’ll complement what’s traditionally offered. These therapies may include art, music, adventure, or equine-assisted therapies. They enable you to tap into nonverbal ways of healing. Regardless of which of these treatment modalities is offered, this therapy will typically occur in a group setting.

Support Groups

Most Intensive Outpatient Programs will help you find a peer support group (e.g., AA, NA) to attend. Some will even host these meetings on their premises so it’s easy for you to join since you’re already there for your treatment anyways. This is because the IOP understands that these groups provide you with a recovery structure that serves as a great way in which to exit formal treatment. Since meetings are available at various times, sometimes even online, you should be able to find one that fits into your lifestyle.

What to Expect from Intensive Outpatient Programs

The entire Intensive Outpatient Program will consist of 10 – 12 hours of therapy each week. You’ll also be encouraged to participate in a 12-step program. These hours may vary depending on your specific needs since your treatment plan will be tailored to meet your specific needs. Regardless of this, the following core aspects will be incorporated into the program:

  • Attending a 12-step program
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational therapy
  • Participating in a therapeutic community that will reinforce what you’re learning and help you maintain your sobriety

Typical IOP Schedule and Duration

Intensive Outpatient Programs typically last around 9 hours per day and meet 3 – 5 days each week. Some programs do offer fewer hours per week, but you should expect to receive 6 – 30 hours of treatment each week for around 90 days. After this period, you may have your treatment extended based on your personal needs, mental health status, and the type of support system you have in place.

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive Outpatient Programs are a great option if you want to be closely monitored throughout your recovery. There are many benefits to choosing to go this route on your way towards recovery.

You Maintain Household Responsibilities

This is one of the main benefits of attending an Intensive Outpatient Program instead of attending inpatient treatment. You can maintain your daily responsibilities throughout your recovery process. Anyone with children or a demanding job will appreciate the flexibility and freedom of this option.

Intensive Outpatient Program

You Can Strengthen Family Networks

Since you’re living at home you can strengthen your relationship with your family and friends. By spending time with them throughout your treatment process you’ll create a safety net that you can take advantage of when treatment ends.

Helps You Keep Things Private

Although you may not have thought of this, it’s an important consideration. This will help you not feel embarrassed about telling people that you’re recovering from an addiction. Doing so will allow you to feel more confident and safe throughout your continued recovery journey.

A Cost-Effective Process

If you don’t have insurance, don’t rule out an Intensive Outpatient Program. These programs are typically more cost-effective which makes them more feasible too.

Intensive Outpatient Near Me

When you’re trying to determine what Intensive Outpatient Program is best for you, there are some things you should consider, including:

  • Location is one of the most important considerations. If you choose to stay at home while attending an Intensive Outpatient Program you’ll want the facility to be somewhere that’s convenient so you’re more likely to attend as scheduled.
  • The facility’s certifications indicate that the staff and team members have been properly trained.
  • Since each IOP offers unique programming you’ll want to choose a facility that offers numerous options so you can choose what you feel would work best for you. Sometimes a facility will even tailor a program to meet your specific needs.
  • Check out their scheduling to ensure that the treatment will work for you. This is especially important if you plan to work or attend school while in the Intensive Outpatient Program.

Traveling to Simi Valley for Treatment

If you’re ready to try an Intensive Outpatient Program, why not consider traveling to Simi Valley for treatment? There are a lot of great reasons why you should consider traveling for treatment, including:

  • A change of scenery often results in a change of mindset. Distancing yourself from your home environment is especially beneficial when that environment played a role in your issues.
  • Traveling ensures your privacy which is important if you are a professional or you live in a small town where gossip travels fast. The professionals at the IOP are bound by HIPAA to protect your privacy regardless of where you attend treatment.
  • When you’re in an unfamiliar area your impulsive behavior will be curbed. You’ll be less likely to run when therapy brings up uncomfortable emotions.
  • You won’t be around others who may enable you. While this enabling behavior is usually inadvertent if it’s allowed to continue you may not experience the full benefits of your program.
  • You’ll have plenty of time for self-reflection since you won’t have anyone or anything around to distract you. Taking this time for yourself also won’t feel selfish for this same reason.

Since we know that at Divine Detox we can provide you with all of these benefits and more, we invite you to consider traveling here for your IOP. Our warm and welcoming Admission team is standing by to take your call, any time of day or night, so please don’t hesitate to reach out now and begin your recovery journey with us!

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