Unfortunately, I had a pretty traumatic childhood. My parents were always fighting, and I was faced with trying to decide what to do about my own personal feelings. When I got older, I knew that I needed to do something to relieve the stress that I was feeling even many years later, so I started focusing on going to counseling. My first few appointments were a little nerve-racking, but the counselor worked hard to make me feel comfortable. I was really impressed with how gentle and kind she was, and I felt really great about the progress I was making. This blog is all about benefiting from counseling.
Has your doctor or therapist recommended that you enroll in an intensive outpatient program(IOP)? This recommendation can come as a bit of a shock at first since IOPs can be pretty demanding. However, most people find they are more comfortable with the idea once they come to a better understanding of what IOPs are and what they involve. In that regard, here are some FAQs people have about IOPs.
How much time do you spend in the treatment program?
Intensive outpatient therapy programs are basically all-day treatment programs. You'll treat the program like a job or like going to school. You'll go there in the morning, spend the day receiving care, and then go home at night. Some programs are Monday - Friday, and others are seven days a week. Basically, these programs give you a similar level of immersion as an inpatient treatment program, but you get to go home and sleep in your own bed at night. This can make treatment more approachable for busy parents and others with family obligations.
What type of treatment will you get in the program?
Every program is a bit different, and in many cases, the treatment will be tailored to your needs. Usually, however, you'll receive several types of treatment from practitioners with multiple specialties. For instance, if you are seeking treatment for an eating disorder, you may see a dietitian, a gastroenterologist, a psychiatrist, and a counselor. As you progress through the IOP, additional treatments may be added to your routine, and others may be taken away.
How long will the program last?
Again, this really depends on your needs and your unique treatment protocol. But usually, IOPs are only recommended for deep struggles that can't be solved in individual therapy. So, these programs often last a month or more — because that's how long it takes to make real progress. Your practitioners may periodically reassess your needs to see whether you're ready to leave, or whether you need to continue a bit longer. Eventually, you may be able to scale back to therapy a couple of times a week.
Hopefully the questions answered above have taught you a little more about intensive outpatient therapy programs and how they work. If you have any additional concerns, reach out to your doctor or therapist. This can be a good choice for anyone who struggles with deep mental health struggles, addiction, or an eating disorder.