Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient Treatment: What's the Difference?

Learn more about a partial hospitalization program vs. intensive outpatient treatment and discern which option is best for you.

Understanding a Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are two types of mental health treatment programs. Both options provide care for individuals with mental health or substance use issues. You may find yourself researching “partial hospitalization program vs. intensive outpatient” options. Read on to compare the two services and decide which option would be best for you.
Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient

Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient: What to Expect

IOPs and PHPs provide similar treatment modalities. Services include individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Treatment goals are designed to meet the individual’s needs. Treatment regimens may include symptom reduction, relapse prevention, skill building, and engagement in community resources.

Evidence-based treatments are the primary rehab components. These treatments have been proven effective for specific mental health issues. Some common evidence-based treatments are detailed below.1

Outpatient Hospitalization

Outpatient hospitalization is an ambulatory program that does not require overnight stays. It enables patients to commit to treatment while still maintaining their daily routines. This is a great option for people with busy work and family schedules. It causes little disruption to their everyday life.

Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization is the bridge between an intensive outpatient program and residential care. This program is ideal for individuals who need short-term or transitional support. It’s also for those who are not ready for discharge from an inpatient program.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of psychotherapy. It helps individuals identify negative thoughts and feelings. Patients learn to recognize patterns in their thinking. They then develop strategies to cope with difficult situations.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT helps individuals develop coping skills. These are needed to deal with intense emotions, impulse control, and interpersonal relationships. This therapy combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices. These practices include self-awareness and acceptance.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing encourages individuals to explore their goals. It helps people develop plans for achieving those goals. The goal of MI is to empower individuals by helping them find their own motivation. It also focuses on building confidence in their ability to make positive changes.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

MET focuses on helping individuals take action to reach their goals. This treatment involves developing self-management skills. These skills can help individuals stay the course even when it gets difficult.2

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is based on the belief that emotions and behaviors are linked. This type of therapy engages individuals in activities such as art, music, or movement. These activities aim to help them process and express their feelings.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR helps individuals process past traumatic experiences. This therapy uses guided eye movements and other techniques to help individuals heal from trauma. It can help them move forward in their recovery journey.

Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy (TIR)

TIR is a form of cognitive therapy that helps individuals process post-traumatic stress. This treatment utilizes guided imagery, relaxation techniques, and other methods to help individuals gain control over their emotions. The goal is to reduce symptoms of trauma.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT combines medication with counseling to help individuals manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is often used for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. MAT helps them stay sober and reduces the risk of relapse.

Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient: Other Services

Besides therapy, IOPs and PHPs may also offer other services. These include case management, nutrition counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and discharge planning. These services help individuals identify their strengths and develop a plan for long-term success.

Support Groups

12-Step support groups are often recommended to provide extra support. Groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups are peer-led. They provide individuals with a safe space to share their struggles, successes, and challenges.3

Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient: Notable Differences

IOPs and PHPs share a common goal: to provide quality care while empowering individuals to make lasting changes in their lives. Both programs offer a safe and supportive environment where individuals can work on managing their mental health issues. However, both programs have some notable differences.

Program Intensity

The main difference between the two is the level of intensity. IOPs provide fewer hours of treatment each week compared to PHPs. Individuals enrolled in an IOP will typically attend 3-5 days a week for 3-4 hours per day.

PHPs offer more intensive care and services. Patients attend treatment 5-7 days a week for 6-8 hours a day.PHPs also offer more comprehensive treatment services. These include psychiatric evaluation and medication management. Due to the supportive and therapeutic environment of PHPs, individuals can make significant progress in their recovery journey. The goal is to help individuals gain independence and transition back to normal life.

Program Length

Intensive outpatient programs generally last from 8-12 weeks. Partial hospitalization programs typically last from 2-3 weeks. Depending on the individual’s needs, both treatments may be extended.

Program Atmosphere

The atmosphere in each program type may also differ. IOPs have a relaxed, community-based approach with fewer rules and more freedom. PHPs have a more structured setting. They have higher expectations for patient engagement in treatment.

partial hospitalization program vs intensive outpatient

Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient: Who Benefits?

Researching “partial hospitalization program vs. intensive outpatient” is stressful. You may not know which program to choose. Each person’s needs are different. Your specific needs will depend on which program will work best for you.

Benefits of IOPs

IOPs are ideal for individuals who need treatment but can’t commit to a full-time program. It is also suitable for individuals with an established support system. They just need extra help managing their mental health issues.4

Some signs that you may benefit from intensive outpatient treatment include:

  • Mild to moderate symptoms of mental health issues
  • Difficulty managing cravings or symptoms of withdrawal
  • Needing assistance with managing stressful situations or relationships

Benefits of a Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient

PHPs are best suited for individuals who failed to progress in an IOP. They are also good for those  who have more severe symptoms. These programs work well for patients who need help managing more complex mental health issues.

Anyone experiencing any of the following signs should consider partial hospitalization:

  • Severe symptoms of mental health issues
  • History of frequent relapses or high levels of cravings for substances
  • Needing help with medication management
  • Struggling with major life transitions
  • Having difficulty staying sober

Ask A Professional About Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient

You may still struggle to choose the right program. It’s best to reach out to a mental health professional for a consultation. They can help you understand the differences between programs. They can also decide which type of treatment will most benefit your needs.

Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient: Essence Healthcare

Essence Healthcare can help you decide between a partial hospitalization program vs. intensive outpatient treatment. At Essence Healthcare, we believe that everyone has the potential to heal. Our goal is to empower individuals struggling with mental health issues through quality care and treatment.

Our Services

We offer both IOP and PHP programs at our facility. Our mental health professionals will help to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment. We will collaborate with you to help you reach your recovery goals.

Contact Essence Healthcare Today

If you are considering taking the first step toward recovery, we would love to support you. You can end your search for “partial hospitalization program vs. intensive outpatient” today. Reach out to us today for more information or to book an appointment. We look forward to meeting you soon!

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.