What is IOP for mental health treatment?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of mental health treatment program. It involves intensive group and individual therapy sessions each day for a given period of time. IOPs are for people with poor quality of life due to mental health conditions.

Are you or someone you know interested in an IOP for mental health treatment? Keep reading here to learn more. We’ll go over what IOPs entail and several benefits associated with this treatment.

Who might benefit from an IOP?

  • Anyone with a major depressive disorder who struggles to function daily
  • Anyone who is experiencing suicidal tendencies
  • Anyone with severe anxiety that interferes with their daily lives
  • Anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder who is unable to live the life they want. 
  • Anyone with a mental health disorder that is impacting their quality of life

What are the goals of IOPs?

  • Encouraging greater independence in clients — Intensive outpatient programs encourage independent functioning for clients. It’s for anyone who may have experienced frequent hospitalizations or needed inpatient care. IOPs aim to reduce the guidance a person needs from a mental health professional. It teaches them to function independently.
  • Minimizing the need for hospitalization or same-day psychiatrist appointments — Another goal of intensive outpatient programs is to minimize the need for emergency hospitalization or same-day appointments. These programs teach clients the coping skills they need to manage their emotions on their own. It also teaches them to de-escalate emotional crises before they occur. IOPs usually follow after a client has been through inpatient care. They’re a step in the recovery process.

How long do IOPs for mental health usually last?

The average duration of an intensive outpatient program is about 60 days. The length can depend on the type of program and the needs of the client. Clients receiving intensive outpatient care typically attend programming for three to four hours a day, three to five days a week. 

What do IOPs for mental health treatment usually involve?

  • Group therapy sessions — IOP treatment programs may involve group therapy sessions. Clients receive therapy together so that they can have the support of peers in the treatment process. 
  • Individual therapy sessions IOP treatment includes individual therapy sessions, which allow for individualized treatment focused specifically on the client’s goals. 
  • Skills training — Some IOPs encourage their clients to build skills in managing emotions, reducing avoidance and working through stuck points. 

What are the benefits of IOPs for people struggling with their mental health?

  • Easy access to mental health treatment and other services — Intensive outpatient programs provide quick access to mental health treatment. Clients typically receive mental health services for three to four hours a day with licensed therapists. 
  • Lower cost than residential treatment programs — IOPs can be less costly for a client needing mental health treatment than an inpatient or residential treatment program.
  • Comparable success rate to inpatient treatment programs — Some research has found that intensive outpatient programs have a comparable rate of effectiveness to inpatient treatment.
  • Access to a supportive community — Another benefit of an IOP is that most involve group sessions. These can provide clients with peers who can relate to and support each other.

Lightfully wants to help walk you through recovery and learn more about IOPs 

Our mission at Lightfully is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care. We service various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Lightfully offers various layers of service to both adults and teens: residential treatment, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We regularly see clients who actively manage mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and trauma disorders. If you are someone who may benefit from an intensive outpatient program, we’d like to help you. Our licensed experts have experience in dealing with clients who manage chronic mental health conditions. We aim to help them build greater independence.

Our licensed, clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human — not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. Our vision for the future is an authentic and loving community where everyone can be seen, heard, and valued as they are. We believe in the light within each individual. When that light is properly nurtured it can allow a person to shine brighter than ever before.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

Connect with Admissions