IOP right for you
Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Right For You?

Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Right For You?

If you struggle with addiction, depression, anxiety, or other co-occurring mental disorders and don’t require residential treatment, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) could be right for you. Unlike residential treatment, IOPs allow you to work on your mental health struggles while living at home and going about your everyday activities. 

IOP facts

Intensive outpatient programs combine group and individual therapy and, if needed, medication to treat:

What is an IOP?

IOPs are unique in that they allow for more flexibility in your treatment compared to residential or inpatient programs. Yet, intensive outpatient programs meet more frequently than individual outpatient therapy, so provide more support than traditional outpatient care. An Intensive Outpatient Program involves group and individual therapy, as well as medication management when appropriate.

If you and your therapist decide an IOP would benefit you as part of your individualized treatment plan, you’ll undergo an evaluation process followed by several weeks of intensive treatment. Depending on the mental health facility you go to, your IOP program could last anywhere from four to sixteen weeks. 

As an example, here’s what you can expect from our IOP program here at BOLD Health in San Diego, whether you need depression therapy, anxiety therapy, addiction treatment, or intensive help with other mental health struggles:

Before Treatment Begins

  • Intake evaluation: Our team of mental health experts will work with you to develop your treatment plan. This could include a combination of individual therapy, medication, and our intensive outpatient program. 
  • Psychiatric history and physical: Our psychiatric services team will examine your physical and psychiatric needs to ensure we tailor your treatment program to best fit your mental health needs. 
  • Introductory therapy session: While IOPs involve a group of individuals struggling with similar mental health concerns, we want you to get comfortable with your primary therapist. Our orientation and introductory therapy session helps ease you into the program.
addiction treatment

During IOP Treatment

  • Length of treatment: Your IOP treatment plan at BOLD Health lasts ten weeks and includes group therapy sessions three days per week. You will spend nine hours in structured group psychotherapy sessions and one hour in individual therapy each week, as well as sessions with a medication provider as often as is indicated. 
  • Treatment structure: Your intensive outpatient program experience will be unique to your mental health needs. Our team of expert clinicians will develop a treatment plan that will help you successfully combat your addictions or mental health struggles. Every time you come to our outpatient facility, you’ll meet with your assigned group of peers and therapist. 

During each group session, you, your group, and your therapists work together to develop the tools and strategies you need to overcome your mental health challenges. Because IOPs allow you the flexibility to undergo treatment while living at home, you’ll take what you learn and use it at home, work, and in the community.

is IOP right for you?

After Treatment 

  • Step-down process: Because addiction and mental health disorders are often a lifelong battle, your treatment doesn’t need to be over once you complete the ten-week program. Depending on your progress, you’ll work with your primary therapist to develop an appropriate step-down process so you can take what you’ve learned and use it in your everyday life.

Many times, we recommend post-IOP treatment by continuing to see your primary therapist regularly. It may also be a good idea for you to attend our BOLD Meetings and BOLD Aftercare Groups. 

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs

When traditional therapy sessions aren’t enough, you should consider staying in an inpatient facility or enrolling in an IOP. Both options offer addiction treatment, anxiety therapy, depression treatment, and treatment to combat severe mental health struggles. 

But if the idea of staying away from home for an extended period is too much for you, then an IOP may be the right choice. The benefits of intensive outpatient programs include:

  • Convenience: While it’s true you must attend several hours of group, individual, and perhaps family sessions every week for several weeks, IOPs are less disruptive to your everyday life than staying in an inpatient facility. If you work, are in school, or just have a hectic schedule that doesn’t allow you to step away for a month or more, an IOP treatment plan may be your best option. (BOLD Health now offers evening IOP groups that can allow you to continue working, taking classes or caring for family while getting the treatment you deserve.)
  • Privacy: If you’re away from your job or home life for several weeks in an inpatient facility, your friends and coworkers are going to notice. Another benefit of IOPs is that they allow for more privacy. Because you attend sessions at an outpatient facility while living your life at home, school, and work, others don’t have to know about your addiction treatment, OCD therapy, or other mental health treatment unless you tell them.
  • Comfort: While residential or inpatient facilities do their best to ensure your comfort during treatment, there’s no place like home. If you need addiction treatment or a more rigorous approach to battling your mental illness, but you feel more comfortable at your own home, an IOP is an excellent compromise.
  • Lower cost: Compared to inpatient treatment, IOPs are far less expensive. You don’t need round-the-clock care for weeks at a time, so you won’t have the cost associated with it. 
  • Flexibility: IOP treatment allows for a more customizable treatment plan to fit your individual needs. As you progress through your intensive outpatient program, your treatment can be adjusted, too.

Take Control of Your Future Through Our IOP in San Diego

At BOLD Health, we believe you are the author of your life. By choosing to take control of your mental health, you are taking the first step toward controlling your future. Our intensive outpatient program includes evidence-based treatments in a tailored treatment plan to meet your needs. 

Our holistic approach focuses on strengthening both your biological and psychological foundations. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment and mental health treatment in San Diego and the surrounding areas.

Recovery is possible. Be BOLD. Take the first step to getting the help you need. Contact our mental health experts, and we’ll walk with you on your road to living your best life



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