Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive Outpatient Programs

GetWell Behavioral Health has IOP’s for Mental Health and Substance Abuse issues. Participating patients will receive a minimum of 9+ hours of psychiatric services, medication management, group therapy, individual therapy, psychoeducation, case management, and mentoring services per week. The primary goal is to promote and support long-term recovery by developing an ongoing plan for well-being and are designed to establish support mechanisms, help with relapse management, and provide coping strategies.

GetWell Behavioral Health provides many need-focused recovery groups, including those focused on DUI, addiction, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, and more.

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

GetWell Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP’s) provide a more intensive outpatient treatment level than traditional weekly visits. IOP’s are small-group mental health programs meeting three or more hours several times a week. Each patient meets with their own doctor to develop an individualized treatment plan. While participating in the IOP, patients meet with doctors, therapists, and other mental health professionals applying evidence-based treatment approaches.

GetWell Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the right level of treatment for patients that are not progressing in traditional weekly outpatient treatment: but do not need a higher level of care, like hospitalization.

GetWell Behavioral Health IOP provides patients access to psychiatrists, therapists, and other mental health professionals on a weekly & daily basis.

GetWell Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Programs are often alternatives to hospitalization. This program allows patients to remain at home and often maintain a regular work or school schedule while engaging in an intensive and comprehensive treatment program.


Intensive Outpatient Program Components

GetWell Behavioral Health Intensive outpatient programs provide various services, all that can be tailored to the individual’s program. An intensive outpatient program curriculum is structured on a treatment center’s offerings, expertise, and individual client’s needs. Our services include:

  • Medical services, including medication management and medication-assisted treatment
  • Treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Relapse prevention

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

The benefits of intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse have been well established by years and years of research and studies. The effectiveness of IOP has been validated in many research studies. Compared to acute care and outpatient care, IOP has quite a few advantages, such as:

Balanced Treatment: Right in-between the commitment of residential or inpatient treatments and the less time-consuming outpatient treatment, IOP is a great medium. Intensive outpatient programs usually cost less than acute care and can even offer higher levels of access to programming than general outpatient treatment.

Access to Medical Services: Physicians, advanced health professionals, and nursing staff provide continuous health needs assessments and medication management in intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse.

Access to Mental Health Services: IOPs offer ongoing access to mental health providers that make them well suited to addressing mental health conditions. It is even common for mental health conditions that had been previously unrecognized to be diagnosed during intensive outpatient treatment.

Substantial Therapeutic and Educational Opportunities: IOPs provide structured services that allow patients to make significant, long-term progress over a relatively short amount of time compared to intensive treatment programs.

What to Expect

The care received via an intensive outpatient program will vary, but it generally consists of 10-12 hours of group and individual therapy each week. These sessions usually occur on-site at GetWell Behavioral Health locations, but some options are being developed for individuals to participate in online TeleHealth programs. TeleHealth can be especially useful for people who live in remote areas or in towns where adequate treatment services simply aren’t available.

Clients in IOPs usually visit our offices three to four times per week, often for three hours at a time. Again, the specifics will vary, but according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), most programs require 9 to 20 hours of participation per week. An IOP provides a higher level of care than standard outpatient programs, which means more time spent in treatment each week.

Group Therapy

Group therapy tends to serve as the core of most IOPs. Some studies show group participation is as effective as individual therapy in treating addiction. Participation in a group offers support for clients in a variety of ways. It offers clients the chance to enhance their communication skills and provides a new resource for socialization. It gives participants access to an environment where people in similar situations offer support, comfort, and honest feedback.

It can reinforce healthful ways of interacting and provide a safe space that is vital to recovery efforts. Group members who are farther along in their recovery or mental health journey often offer valuable assistance and empathy to those early in the process. It provides a forum for therapists and group leaders to pass on important information, teach new skills, and guide clients.

Groups can be a place to witness more positive behaviors associated with recovery and mental health and to practice new modes of dealing with addiction or triggers.

The group sessions in which clients participate are of varying types to address a range of treatments and skills required to manage a mental health diagnosis or recover from addiction successfully.

The mental health portion of IOP is what we’ve been focusing on a lot here. Usually, someone will have a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, bipolar, or any other mental health problem. These problems have escalated and can be worked on in a mental health IOP setting. The goal would be to stabilize, and move forward onto an intergrated treatment plan.

Although an intensive outpatient program isn’t something most people are aware of, it’s something that most people could benefit from at some point in their lives. Many experience those breaking points and need to be stabilized before things go from bad to worse. We are here to get you back on track.

This type of program would be needed if someone is either in drug rehab, or has been discharged from an inpatient rehab facility. The program structure is generally the same, with group therapy and psychiatrist visits. But substance abuse IOP focuses on the recovery aspect with the individual. It’s a matter of treating them for their addiction with a similar modality as mental health IOP.

  • Skills-development groups are designed to help clients practice specific behaviors in a safe setting.
  • Psychoeducational groups provide emotional support and the opportunity to learn about addiction, dependence, and the consequences of abuse for those with substance abuse disorder. These groups often focus on developing problem-solving skills and techniques for altering ineffective belief systems.
  • Refusal training allows clients to participate in role-playing exercises to rehearse how to effectively handle invitations to use the substance they are trying to break free from.
  • Relapse prevention groups help clients identify triggers and high-risk situations and develop techniques to avoid and manage them.
  • Family groups focus on ways the client and their family can support each other. In these groups, participants will also learn about the effects of addiction on relationships and how to best deal with those challenges.
  • Sometimes groups will be specialized, focused on a single type of client, such as men or women, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, or sexual abuse survivors. Groups generally contain between 8 and 15 members, per SAMHSA, though private IOPs often feature smaller groups, allowing a more individual focus.

Individual Therapy

Attending a therapy session, those seeking treatment from IOPs will also usually have access to individual therapy. Individual therapy focuses on the pressing problems caused by a clients’ substance abuse and their efforts to remain abstinent. In individual therapy sessions, clients often dig deeper into the work done in group therapy, allowing them to spend more time on individual issues. Some individuals don’t feel comfortable talking in a group setting, so individual therapy gives them the space to talk about more personal matters.

Individual therapy sessions are part of most IOPs and will usually be scheduled weekly, if not more often, especially early in treatment. Each client is assigned a therapist to establish a close, honest relationship based on mutual trust and commitment to recovery.

Complementary Therapies

GetWell Behavioral Health IOPs offer alternative therapies to complement our traditional offerings. Treatments such as art therapy, music therapy, or adventure therapy may be provided to clients. These treatments allow clients to tap into nonverbal ways of healing. Therapists trained in the particular treatment lead these sessions, and they often occur in a group setting.

Support Groups

Finding a support group to help maintain sobriety. Most IOPs such as GetWell Behavioral Health recommend that clients participate in peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These 12-step groups provide a structure for recovery that serves individuals well as they exit formal IOP treatment. Meetings are held at various times, allowing people to fit them into their schedules easily.

Choosing the Best Option: What an IOP Offers

The National Institute on Drug Abuse outlines what individuals should look for in any treatment program. If you’re searching for an intensive outpatient program, take the time to ensure that the center you choose meets the following requirements:

You shouldn’t have to wait a long time to enter a program. While public treatment options are available, they often have long waiting lists. Often, private IOPs like GetWell Health System and GetWell Recovery can ensure a more prompt entry to treatment.

Be wary of programs that offer a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Each client should receive tailored treatment that fits their individual situation and progress.

If medical care is needed for the individual case, it should be readily available.

Evidence-based treatment is essential. While alternative treatments can be used to complement care, the basis of treatment should be medical detox and therapy.

People in recovery need a strong support system to avoid relapse. Treatment should involve peer support in group therapy and support group meetings and an aftercare plan that includes opportunities to build and strengthen one’s support network.

Duration of treatment is critical to its success. NIDA recommends that individuals participate in therapy for at least 90 days to ensure the best chances at sustained recovery. Individuals often begin in an IOP and then transition to less intensive outpatient treatment after 30­–60 days.

When is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program Appropriate?

A GetWell Behavioral Health Outpatient Treatment Program allows for a certain amount of hours of individual and group therapy throughout a week. This is calculated by medical and clinical necessity, which will be determined through evaluation and progress in treatment. A mental health diagnosis and substance abuse disorders can disrupt many areas of a person’s life and well-being. Substance use itself will change the brain and body’s chemistry, making it nearly impossible and potentially dangerous for someone abusing drugs or alcohol to quit without help. For this reason, many people who struggle with a substance abuse problem benefit from a period of detox and residential or inpatient treatment. Intensive outpatient programming follows these levels of care, so a person participating is not at risk to themselves or others but will still benefit from the structure and support of the treatment setting. 

Intensive outpatient programs are also an excellent method to use in the road to recovery for people with less severe forms of substance abuse disorder or mental health diagnosis with responsibilities at home/work. Many studies strongly back this gradual step-down method of care, showing that it’s possible to achieve a long-lasting recovery with the right support through a strong program, such as the GetWell Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

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