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Intensive Outpatient Therapy

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An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a program that allows the client to live at home and attend work or school during the treatment process. This is a great option for clients voluntarily seeking help with emotional or behavioral issues. Clients who benefit from an IOP are typically those whose behaviors do not interfere with their ability to function at home, work or school. They are also engaged in the treatment process and fully comply with the expectations of the program.

IOPs offer several benefits:

  • Lower costs. Because outpatient programs use fewer resources, treatment costs are significantly lower than for inpatient programs.
  • The ability to continue living at home. For people whose emotional or behavioral issues are not significantly interfering with their daily responsibilities, the stability and comfort of living at home during treatment can be highly motivating.
  • The opportunity to continue work and school. An IOP allows clients to continue attending work or school, so there’s no need to lose income or get behind on schoolwork. Also, the stability of these responsibilities can help individuals as they go through the treatment process.
  • Education and support network. IOPs typically offer individual and group therapy, as well as workshops and activities. By taking advantage of these resources, clients can learn new ways of thinking and coping. They also have opportunities to connect with others and build a support network that can help them during treatment.

Common Questions

Q: What is the average cost of an intensive outpatient program?

A: While costs for an IOP usually start at $135/day, there is very little published data about the cost of this type of treatment. Some programs, especially in the addiction arena, may offer financial assistance or a variety of payment options. (http://addictionblog.org/FAQ/costs/cost-of-intensive-outpatient-treatment)

Q: How often does the client attend sessions?

A: IOP facilities often offer day or evening programs. Session attendance will depend on the client’s needs. Some begin by attending four or five sessions per week and then reduce participation in phases.

Q: How long does treatment last?

A: Again, this will depend on the specific program and the client’s needs. But usually treatment duration lasts at least a month or two.

Q: Can families be involved in the treatment process?

A: Family involvement can make a big difference in a person’s recovery. Many IOPs allow family members to visit and participate in therapy sessions. Family members who offer support and encouragement to the client can be a source of strength and hope for him/her.

Q: What happens at the end of treatment?

A: Throughout the treatment process, clients are monitored closely by professionals and staff. They will assess the client and help determine when and how treatment should end. They will also be able to provide resources for aftercare.