What is IOP in Mental Health?

Mental health struggles often go unnoticed for a variety of reasons. A person may come from a culture where there’s a stigma around mental health and thus never seek any kind of treatment plan.

Sometimes, a person may not even realize that they’re suffering from one and are never aware that they need to seek help. Some may attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

Most people are aware of inpatient programs from rehab centers and mental health treatment facilities. They’re also aware of individual therapy sessions, group therapy and medication. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a middle ground between the two types of treatment.

IOPs are designed to help those who need a level of care higher than regular outpatient treatment, and an IOP can help someone suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Benefits of IOP for Mental Health Treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment programs are not for everyone. As such, it is vital that an individual be assessed in order to determine the level of care that they need in order to get better.

That said, many people who suffer from mental health problems may not do well with the lifestyle changes that come with residential treatment. A person with anxiety, for example, may have their anxiety triggered by being in unfamiliar surroundings.

Another benefit to IOPs is that they’re flexible. Working professionals, students, and those with families can continue to receive the treatment that they need while also being able to live at home, go to school, and/or work. This way, they can meet their obligations.

Financial stress can be a trigger for anxiety and depression. However, IOPs offer patients a high standard of care while still being more affordable than inpatient treatment. Patients can receive the care they need without incurring the cost of checking into a treatment center.

IOPs at Luxe Recovery LA include group therapy sessions. This allows people in recovery to see firsthand that they’re not suffering alone and allows them to form support groups to foster camaraderie and mutual understanding, which can help strengthen their resolve. 

Mental health issues and addictions can negatively impact family life. Luxe Recovery LA employs family therapy sessions to help repair the damage done as well as help family members be better equipped to help someone in their recovery.

IOPs are also designed to help people develop the skills they need to cope with their mental health issues.

Some people complete inpatient treatment services and will continue to require care. An IOP provides them with that care while allowing them to make the transition back to their normal lives.

It offers people who require a higher level of care than one therapy session a week structured mental health treatment without them needing inpatient care.

Types of Mental Health Conditions Treated in IOP

Substance abuse and mental health often go hand-in-hand and many people who suffer from mental health problems often turn to substances such as drugs and alcohol to cope.

Conversely, many addicts often develop mental health disorders as a result of their addictions. Mental health and addiction often overlap, and IOPs can be designed with addiction treatment in mind to help a person along in their recovery.

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and low self-esteem. People who suffer from depression may experience a loss of interest in life and may withdraw from family and friends.

Most troublingly, depression can often lead to suicidal thoughts as a person may no longer feel that there’s any point to living or that things would be better off if they were dead.

People who suffer from depression often feel empty inside. Research suggests that outpatient treatment is effective at treating depression.

Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by worry. People who have anxiety are always worried that something is going to go wrong and that the worst possible outcome in any given situation will come to pass.

Anxious people can often have trouble concentrating and can be irritable. IOPs can also be individualized to treat people with anxiety disorders.

What Does an IOP entail?

IOPs use several evidence-based modalities in order to treat patients. These can include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It aims to help patients identify and modify harmful thought patterns to improve their emotional well-being.

Many patients are also given homework assignments in order to strengthen the coping skills that they learn in therapy sessions. It is a goal-oriented form of therapy and is more focused on shaping the future rather than reliving the past.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

IOP treatment can also involve DBT. This is a type of therapy that focuses on the concepts of acceptance and change. This type of program is primarily focused on helping patients develop their skills in four key areas:

  • Mindfulness: Patients are taught to be more present in the moment. The key is to help them become more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
  • Distress tolerance: This skill set involves helping a patient better cope with situations that may trigger them. This can include self-soothing, distraction, and other ways to cope without turning to harmful behaviors or making rash decisions.
  • Emotional regulation: This seeks to help people better understand and control their emotions.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: This skill set is about helping patients be better at forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships. This includes being more assertive, being able to set boundaries, and prioritizing the right things in a relationship.

Get help now

All too often, people with mental health disorders are told that it’s all in their heads. They’re told that they’re not suffering from anything and that all their pain is imaginary, and all they have to do to cure it is to simply change the way that they think. That’s the kind of thinking that gets people to relapse or potentially leads them to substance use.

No one tells a person with cirrhosis that it’s all in their liver or a person with diabetes that it’s all in their pancreas. No one tells someone with a broken bone to simply change their thought patterns. The brain is an organ, and like any other organ, it can get sick.

Mental health services exist to treat the myriad of sicknesses that affect the brain. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Luxe Recovery LA.  We accept most forms of insurance, and we want to help you get on the path to recovery.

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