Intensive Outpatient Programs: A Guide For Parents

Child and pregnant mother sit together while a female psychiatrist takes notes.

When seeking behavioral health treatment for your child, there are many options for parents to consider. One such option is an intensive outpatient program. But what exactly is an intensive outpatien program? And what can you expect from one as a parent of a child struggling with their mental health?

At Branches Lewisville, formerly known as the Excel Center of Lewisville, we believe that knowledge is power. That’s why we equip you with all the information you need to understand outpatient programs, including how they differ from other types of outpatient treatment.

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Before diving into the specifics of an intensive outpatient program, we must understand what “outpatient treatment” refers to.

Outpatient treatment refers to any form of mental health treatment that does not require overnight hospitalization or a prolonged stay at a behavioral health center. It typically includes a combinaiton of counseling, evidence-based therapy, medication management (as needed) and other activities.

There are two types of outpatient treatment: partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).

What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a form of outpatient treatment that provides more structure and support than traditional outpatient counseling. It can be beneficial for children and adolescents in need of more intensive treatment while still not requiring the level of care provided in an inpatient program. 

IOPs typically involve different treatment approaches based on the individual person’s neds and goals. For example, Branches Lewisville’s IOP includes group therapy, individualized treatment as well as medication management and clinical case management as needed.

What to Expect from an Intensive Outpatient Program

When your child starts an intensive outpatient program, they can look forward to a highly structured program plan carefully catered to their needs based on the results of their assessment.

In an IOP, your child will work with a team of mental health professionals to address behavioral health and mental health concerns, struggles and goals. Outpatient treatment will work to equip them with the tools they need to better manage their emotional and feelings. It will also teach them healthy coping mechanisms for when those difficult emotions may arise. 

Furthermore, in an IOP your child can count on being surrounded by a supportive and compassionate environment that enables them to freely express their thoughts and feelings. 

PHPs vs IOPs

Partial hospitalization programs, also known as PHPs or simply as day programs, are another type of popular outpatient treatment.Compared to IOPs, PHPs provide a more intensive level of care and supervision. Furthermore, PHPs typically take place more frequently than IOPs do.

Overall, when choosing what kind of outpatient program is right for your child, you chould consider their mental health needs as well as the time commitment needed for both programs.

If your child is suffering from mild symptoms of behavioral health problems, then an intensive outpatient program may be the right fit for them.

If, however, their symptoms are more moderate and they are having a hard time pursuing their daily activities as a result, partial hosptialization may be a better fit. 

Can Children and Adolescents Benefit From An IOP?

The truth is, anyone could benefit from an intensive outpatient program. This is especially true for children and adolescents, who face many challenges as they learn how to navigate the world. 

Intensive outpatient programs enable your child to receive the care they need while still being able to retain a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives. 

Another benefit of an IOP for children or adolescents is the level of support and structure it provides. Your child attends therapy sessions several times a week, enabling them to work through their issues in a safe and supportive environment. This level of support can help them stay on track with their treatment and make progress towards their goals.

Overall, an IOP can help your child with the following common conditions: depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, PTSD, and poor anger/impulse control.

Building Happier Tomorrows

When considering outpatient programs for your child, understanding the ins-and-outs of intensive outpatient programs is important to find the right program for their needs.

Branches Lewisville, formerly known as the Excel Center of Lewisville, is an outpatient-only psychiatric facility for children and adolescents ages 5-18. Serving youths in the Lewisville, Texas area, our exceptional staff takes pride and care in your adolescent’s mental well-being.

If you’d like to learn more of what Branches Lewisville can do for your teenager’s mental health needs, do not hesitate to contact us at 972-906-5522 for a complimentary assessment.

If you think you or your child is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.