Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHPs are a relatively intensive type of outpatient treatment in which patients can return home while continuing to have access to hospital services and undergoing structured group and individual therapy sessions similar to what would be provided in an inpatient setting.

PHPs are generally designed for:

  • People who have already completed inpatient or residential treatment and can benefit from a structured level of step-down support while they transition to a more independent lifestyle.
  • People who do not require as much help with their addiction to warrant an intensive treatment such as inpatient treatment.

People who wish to participate in PHP need to have achieved a degree of stability that will allow them to fully engage in all therapeutic interventions and they must not have physical of psychological needs that would require round-the-clock care. Since PHP doesn’t typically include a residential component, participants must also be capable of living independently, or to at least have some other housing arrangements. Depending on the program, transportation to and from PHP may or may not be provided.

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. A PHP participant who has been prescribed medication may meet with a psychiatrist or nursing staff members who will provide medication management services during their time in PHP.

The main treatment component used in PHPs 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. While some PHPs provide regularly scheduled individual sessions, at others they 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, the scheduling of family therapy may vary from location to location.