A Guide to Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient

outpatient treatment

Outpatient treatment is an essential aspect of addiction and mental health care. It is a flexible and less restrictive alternative to residential care. It provides individuals with comprehensive treatment while allowing them to maintain their daily responsibilities.

However, for someone who knows nothing about substance use or mental health treatment, the different levels of care- partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient- can be confusing.

This blog aims to provide insights into the three types of outpatient treatment, from the intensity of treatment to the flexibility of scheduling, and the different types of therapies involved.

outpatient treatment
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Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are structured treatment programs perfect for individuals who require comprehensive care but do not require 24-hour supervision. In a PHP, individuals attend treatment sessions for six hours a day, five days a week. They receive a range of services, including individual and group therapy, family therapy, medication management, and behavioral therapies.

They recommend PHP for individuals who have just completed detox or inpatient treatment, have co-occurring disorders, or require intensive treatment over a short period (e.g., trauma-focused therapy).

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide comprehensive treatment without requiring a residential stay. In an IOP, individuals attend treatment sessions for three hours a day, three to five days a week, and receive a range of services, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and family therapy.

IOPs offer more flexibility in scheduling compared to PHPs, which make them a suitable option for individuals who need to maintain their daily responsibilities (e.g., work, school) while receiving treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs offer the greatest amount of flexibility compared to PHPs and IOPs. They are good for individuals who are stable in their recovery and require ongoing support and treatment.

In this program, individuals attend treatment sessions for several hours per week. They receive a range of services, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and family therapy. Outpatient programs are recommended for individuals who have completed PHPs or IOPs and require ongoing support.

Types of Therapies Used in Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment typically utilizes evidence-based therapies that are proven to be effective in treating addiction and mental health issues. These therapies are tailored to the individual’s needs, preferences, and level of care.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to addiction and mental health issues.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another type of psychotherapy that helps individuals who have difficulty regulating emotions and thoughts.

Group therapy is also a vital aspect of treatment that provides individuals with peer support and a sense of community.

Other evidence-based therapies used in outpatient treatment include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), motivational interviewing, and trauma-focused therapies.


Outpatient treatment offers a flexible and comprehensive alternative to residential care. It provides individuals with a range of services and therapies tailored to their needs.

Understanding the different levels of care can help individuals choose the treatment option that best suits their needs. Remember, recovery is a process that requires patience, support, and comprehensive care. By seeking treatment, you are taking an essential step towards healing and well-being.

At Roots Through Recovery, we understand that every individual’s journey is unique. Outpatient treatment offers a flexible solution that fits into your life, providing personalized services and therapies. Contact us today and we can help you choose what’s best for you.

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