June 21, 2023
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If you have a mental health disorder, it’s not identical to someone else’s. Even if two people have the same disorder, the severity of their symptoms may not be. And that’s why some people may need a bit more treatment that goes beyond a weekly therapy session.
An intensive outpatient program is an effective treatment option for people who are struggling with their mental health or a psychiatric disorder. What are the benefits? That’s what we’re here to answer.
Read on to learn about the ins and outs of an intensive outpatient program, how it differs from other treatments, and the top benefits it can offer you.
The basics of an intensive outpatient program
An intensive outpatient program, often referred to as an IOP, is a nonresidential treatment program for mental health and psychological disorders. It provides a structured program often consisting of group psychotherapy, workshops and therapy sessions.
IOP works as a partial day care program for up to 20 hours a week. It allows people struggling with their mental health to get the intensive treatment they need while still being able to focus on their other responsibilities at work, school or home.
How intensive outpatient programs are different from other programs
There are several different types of mental health programs to choose from, and it’s important to know how they compare to each other. The biggest difference between each program is who they can benefit in terms of how severe their mental health issues are.
Intensive outpatient programs are considered a high level of care. They are usually placed one step above traditional outpatient therapy. Instead of visiting a therapist once or twice a week, an intensive outpatient program allows you to have several group sessions a week in addition to individual therapy sessions.
The opposite of outpatient care is an inpatient program. While outpatient programs allow people to go home after their sessions, an inpatient program is for people who require overnight stays to receive full-time treatment and support. They involve a stay in a psychiatric hospital or unit, often following an immediate mental health crisis.
There’s also the option of residential treatment. It’s similar to inpatient programs, as they both involve overnight stays. But people in residential treatment stay in health care facilities as opposed to a hospital. Residential treatment programs provide a structured environment for therapy, clinical care and activities. A residential stay often lasts 30 days.
4 benefits of an intensive outpatient program
Why should you consider an intensive outpatient program?
There are quite a few benefits that you can take advantage of by admitting yourself into an IOP, including:
- Enjoying comfort at home — Sometimes there’s nothing better than relaxing in your own bed after a long day. An IOP allows you to get the in-depth mental health treatment you need while still being able to enjoy the comfort of your own home and surround yourself with family every night.
- Continuing work or school — Many people can’t afford to take time off work or miss classes to get the level of mental health treatment that they need. One of the best benefits of an IOP is the flexibility that it provides. You can balance your treatment with your daily responsibilities by continuing to attend school or work.
- Immediately practicing new skills — An intensive outpatient program allows you to spend a portion of your day learning tools and skills that will help decrease your mental health disorder symptoms. By going home each day, you can immediately integrate the skills into your regular life and routines.
- Being economical — Finances are always an important factor to consider when you’re exploring mental health treatment programs. Not only do you save money at an IOP by sleeping at home each day, but you also won’t lose income because you can continue working while you receive treatment.
Lightfully Behavioral Health has many great benefits in our Intensive Outpatient Program
If you feel like your current mental health needs more than just one weekly therapy session, then our IOP has the benefits that you’re looking for.
At Lightfully, our Intensive Outpatient Program lasts approximately one to two months and involves three to five days of treatment each week. Each day can have a schedule ranging from three to four hours of programming. Our IOP includes one weekly visit with a primary therapist, ongoing family therapy and daily group sessions.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step toward entering an IOP, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.