Intensive outpatient treatment is a specific level of behavioral healthcare designed to meet the needs of individuals who may require more assistance than the occasional appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist, but who do not meet the criteria for an inpatient hospitalization. For someone already receiving outpatient care with a therapist and psychiatrist, an intensive outpatient program can provide additional help when needed during particularly stressful life events, such as the loss of a loved one or the transition from work life to retirement. For individuals recently hospitalized, intensive outpatient treatment can provide a sense of structure through daily group therapy sessions. This routine can assist individuals in making the often difficult transition from the 24-hour care in the hospital to the complete independence of everyday living.
The intensive outpatient program consists of a group curriculum that includes 16 daily sessions offered Monday through Thursday over the span of 4 consecutive weeks.
Clients are strongly encouraged to attend every day of their treatment for the duration of their time in the intensive outpatient program. Classes within the intensive outpatient curriculum build upon the knowledge discussed and learned within each group session, making it difficult to skip sessions and still receive the full benefit of the program. Clients who attend and actively participate in every session offered to them show a significantly larger decrease in symptoms and improvement in mood than those who are unable to attend the entire program.
Clients’ first step to enrolling in the intensive outpatient program is to complete an intake assessment. During this meeting, a counselor will talk with clients to make sure the intensive outpatient program will be appropriate for the individual. Once clients have completed this assessment and are referred to the program, clients can begin their daily group sessions. Clients are asked to arrive 30 minutes early on their first day of treatment to attend a brief orientation session to the program.
While the intensive outpatient program provides a set curriculum of group topics, staff encourage clients to think about and discuss how they can apply the course material specifically to their own lives. Clients are asked to reflect and share how they can use the specific coping skills and techniques learned to help improve their daily functioning. However, clients also are instructed to refrain from giving too much personal detail that may distract the group from its learning objectives.
Many clients continue to work while attending the This email is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, then disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is prohibited. program. We encourage clients to talk to their employers about adjusting their work hours to help make their treatment and resulting health and wellbeing their first priority. In the past, clients have discussed moving their work schedules to days when they do not attend the intensive outpatient program or reducing their work hours during their enrollment in the program.
The intensive outpatient program does not complete disability paperwork. This is a client need that should be provided by one’s psychiatrist or primary care physician.
The intensive outpatient program does not prescribe medication. Through the group curriculum offered, the intensive outpatient program is designed to supplement the benefits of medication by teaching individuals different actions they can take that are proven to increase both mood and overall functioning.
The group sessions within the intensive outpatient program are designed to teach clients specific, evidence-based coping skills and techniques to help them better cope with Anxiety, Trauma, Depression, and Substance Use. Clients are encouraged to refrain from sharing too much personal detail in group sessions that could distract other participants from learning and practicing these skills. However, it is highly important for clients to have a place where they can share difficult life experiences from the past and process the strong emotions that often result in the present. Clients are strongly encouraged to find an individual therapist to help them with this important process. If clients do not already have an individual therapist, the intensive outpatient program can provide options for referral.