Intensive outpatient programs can offer an array of benefits for individuals who are recovering from an addiction or working to manage the symptoms of a mental health disorder. In today’s post, we address a few common questions about IOPs, including what types of disorders do they treat, who are they designed to help, what types of services do they offer, and how long is an intensive outpatient program?
What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a structured level of care that typically includes a few hours of treatment three to five days per week.
Here’s where IOPs fall on the continuum of care (from most to least restrictive):
- Residential care
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient Rehab
Many people step down to the IOP level after they’ve completed one or more higher levels of care. As patients learn to manage their symptoms and prepare to fully reintegrate into their families and communities, an IOP can provide an optimal balance of clinical care and personal freedom.
It’s also possible to step up to an IOP from traditional outpatient therapy, or to enter treatment directly at the IOP level. There is no single course of treatment that is ideal for every person whose life has been disrupted by an addiction or a mental illness. What’s most important is connecting the patient with the programming that most closely aligns with their needs, goals, and preferences.
How Long Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
Asking how long is an intensive outpatient program can mean how many hours per day or week does a person receive care, or how many weeks does someone typically remain in the program?
In both cases, the answer can depend on a variety of individual factors.
Personalization is a key component of effective mental health treatment. This includes the types of services a person receives, which program or level of care they are enrolled in, and how long they remain in treatment.
In terms of a typical day or week, the answer to the question, How long is an intensive outpatient program? is that it usually consists of three hours of care per day, three to five days per week. This means that a person may participate in nine to 15 weekly hours of treatment while they are in an intensive outpatient program.
If a person who asks this question is referring to the full duration of their time in the program, the answer may range from a few weeks to a few months. Decisive factors in determining the optimal amount of time a person should remain in an IOP include their treatment goals, how much progress they have made thus far, and the extent of their continued needs.
At Peachtree Recovery Solutions, the minimum length of stay in our IOP is 30 days, though most patients remain in the program for 60-90 days.
What Disorders Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Treat?
The types of disorders that can be treated in an intensive outpatient program can vary from facility to facility depending on each provider’s area of focus. At Peachtree Recovery Solutions, patients may receive care for the following concerns in our IOP:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol Addiction
- Drug Addiction
- Dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental illness and addiction)
What Happens In an Intensive Outpatient Program?
As is the case with the other IOP characteristics we’ve discussed in this post, the content and structure of an intensive outpatient program can differ from one facility to the next.
With that in mind, the following are examples of therapies and services that are can be included in IOP treatment for addictions and mental health concerns:
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Trauma therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Adventure therapy
- Red light therapy
Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Right for Me?
The best way to determine if an intensive outpatient program is the best treatment environment for you is to consult with the representatives of any facilities that you have been considering. If you are already receiving care at a different level, you should discuss the benefits of an IOP with the members of your current treatment team.
In general, an IOP might be right for you if you meet the following criteria:
- You need more advanced services than you can receive via traditional outpatient counseling or therapy.
- Your needs aren’t severe enough to warrant full days of treatment or round-the-clock supervision.
- You are willing and able to fully engage in all aspects of your treatment plan.
- You have reliable transportation to and from the treatment center.
- You have support at home, or you can live in a sober living home or other type of structured residence while you’re receiving care.
Please note that the criteria listed above are included here for general informational purposes only. At Peachtree Wellness Solutions, we make all admissions decisions on an individual basis following a thorough review of each prospective patient’s history, needs, and goals.
For help determining if our IOP is the ideal place for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.
Begin Treatment in an Intensive Outpatient Program in Atlanta
If you believe that you can benefit from mental health or addiction treatment at the IOP level, Peachtree Recovery Solutions may be the perfect place for you.
Our intensive outpatient program in Atlanta, Georgia, offers a customizable variety of therapies and support services, all provided by skilled caregivers within a safe and welcoming environment. Whether you are transitioning from another level of care or entering treatment for the first time, we are confident that our IOP can be a valuable part of your journey toward improved health.
To learn more about how we can help, or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Admissions page or call us today.