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Intensive Outpatient Program

two teen girls talk about entering an intensive outpatient program with a therapist

When a teen exhibits symptoms of a serious mental health condition, it’s a parent’s job to find the treatment program they need to stabilize and heal. Understanding the different treatment options for adolescent mental health treatment can be stressful and overwhelming for a parent, especially when you don’t know much about how programs differ. Failure to get a teen the mental health services they need can have serious consequences, but locating the right program for them can profoundly affect their long-term well-being. Contact Imagine Spokane at 888.384.3143 for more information on our adolescent intensive outpatient program. 

What Is an Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program?

To understand intensive outpatient rehab, you should know where it falls on the spectrum of mental health care programs. Programs that aid in mental health stabilization and support may range in levels of care. The usual progression is as follows: 

  • Inpatient and residential program
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Traditional outpatient program

Only the first of these requires a patient to live in a facility for the duration of a program. The last three are all outpatient options, meaning your teen is free to return home and resume other normal activities outside of session times. 

Most experts recommend starting with a partial hospitalization program if you’re choosing an outpatient program for your teen. These programs typically run for the full day, Monday through Friday. Treatment centers often require treatment to begin at this stage before allowing patients to transition to an intensive outpatient program. 

An IOP typically schedules two-to-three-hour sessions three to five times a week. For teens, they’re usually held after school hours. Some facilities create individualized care plans, which will guide how often your teen should attend sessions. 

What Happens During an Adolescent IOP?

An adolescent IOP is a form of group therapy. Teens are encouraged to work on communication skills by openly sharing about their mental health in a non-judgmental setting. 

A typical IOP session for adolescent mental health will involve talk therapy in a group setting for the development of coping skills, conflict resolution skills, and behavioral and life skills. Most adolescent intensive outpatient programs use a combination of therapy models, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

Psychotherapy is supplemented with medication management, trauma-informed care, experiential therapies, and educational advocacy. 

How Can Outpatient Rehab Help My Teen?

IOPs allow teens to express themselves and offer support to their peers. As teens in the program learn to share about their challenges and successes, they learn healthy communication and coping skills. The validation and understanding an IOP offers can help a teen feel welcomed and motivated to work toward stable mental health.  

An IOP program aims to give teens a place to check in, give feedback, show accountability, and learn the skills to manage their mental health. An IOP environment can foster connection and support. 

In an IOP session, a teen gives feedback about thoughts, feelings, and reactions they’ve experienced since the last session. When teens share mental health challenges, they are shown compassion and understanding. When they share victories or moments of success, they are celebrated and encouraged by their peers and counselors.  

Seek Support at Imagine Spokane

Imagine Spokane is an adolescent mental health treatment facility located in Spokane, WA. We treat adolescent patients between the ages of 12 and 17. Imagine Spokane offers a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program. 

Our primary focus is adolescent mental health patients, although we accept substance use disorder patients on a case-by-case basis. We use a combination of therapies and medication management to help teens work to overcome mental health challenges. For more information on our adolescent intensive outpatient program in Spokane, WA, contact Imagine Spokane at 888.384.3143.