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INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM

IOPs are a scheduled, weekly series of therapy sessions, which generally meet 3 days per week.

IOPs can function as a step-down program from inpatient, residential, or partial hospitalization treatment and are used to prevent or minimize the need for a more intensive level of treatment. They offer individual, group, and family therapy, as well as evaluation and treatment by a psychiatrist and/or advanced practice nurse for medication management (Houvenagle, 2015).

The following are some general guidelines for IOPs:

  • IOPs typically meet three days per week for about three hours 

  • Some IOPs offer transportation, but this can vary by program

  • IOPs can last from one to six months, or as little as one week

  • Before you finish the program, your treatment team will help you make a plan for the next level of care. This could include individual psychotherapy or medication management with a psychiatrist or an advanced practice nurse.

 

The following are the objectives for IOP:

 

  • Recognize personal strengths and areas for growth

  • Develop healthy coping skills

  • Identify, challenge and modify unhealthy thoughts and beliefs

  • Change unhealthy behavior patterns

  • Problem solve and cope with emotional crises

  • Improve communication skills and interpersonal boundaries

  • Set immediate and long-term goals

 

Many IOPs offer a family component. Research has shown the individuals whose families are involved in treatment have a much better prognosis and a higher success rate. The goal of the family education program is to provide family members with information and support that will assist the client in their recovery (Dowell & Ogles, 2010).

Dr. David Houvenagle Interview

Dr. David Houvenagle received his Ph.D. from the University of Louisville, a Master of Divinity from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a Master of Social Work from Southern Seminary. Dr. Houvenagle is the author of Clinician’s Guide to Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Practice.

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