IOPs are a more rigorous form of outpatient therapy in which participants attend longer group sessions than in traditional outpatient treatment. This allows for a more intensive treatment program similar to those found in an inpatient setting.
IOPs may help people who are in need of a structured setting in which to work towards overcoming symptoms of substance abuse, mental health issues, or behavioral health issues. This is a type of treatment that addresses their needs in an environment which is less restrictive than inpatient treatment, but still more structured than what is typically offered in a traditional outpatient setting.
Sometimes, psychotropic medications will be implemented that can benefit certain people as a complement to therapeutic interventions, as they can work to alleviate the physical and psychological distress that certain symptoms can elicit.
The main treatment component used in IOPs are group therapy sessions and the number and types of groups that meet will differ from program to program, according to the participants’ needs. The sessions are led by professionals who facilitate topics of discussion relevant to the participants’ needs. They not only receive education on the specific problems that they are learning to manage, but they also learn to give and receive support to and from their peers. Interacting with their peers can help people realize that they are not alone in their struggles and that can promote acceptance and healing.
Besides group therapy, individual therapy is also used. This provides people with a more confidential setting where they can process through their experiences in treatment, address any concerns and questions that they may have, and receive ongoing support. In intensive outpatient programs, these sessions are usually held on an as-needed basis.
In a lot of cases, also including a person’s family into their treatment can be very beneficial. Family therapy allows any damage that may have been inflicted on the family as a result of an individual’s dependency concerns can be confronted and processed through. Another important aspect is that it provides family members a chance to become educated on what their loved one is going through and learn to be supportive. As with individual therapy, family therapy is usually held on an as-needed basis.
IOPs are an important part of the continued care for substance abusers and a lot of times they can be as effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals.