Outpatient mental health services represent a step down in level of care following completion of the residential program, allowing for ongoing mental health intervention but on an outpatient basis. This means that the client may elect to return to their home environment and attend the outpatient therapy sessions as prescribed in their continuing care plan, or to continue to reside on the premises while engaging in the outpatient program. Elevation Behavioral Health has made provisions for both of these scenarios.
In the initial phase of enrolling in a residential mental health program it is imperative for aftercare measures to be included in the overall treatment plan. It is not recommended for patients to discontinue therapy following an intensive inpatient program without loss of forward momentum in recovery. Ongoing outpatient programming is an essential treatment element in achieving a successful treatment outcome.
Participating in outpatient treatment allows the client to practice their new coping skills, interpersonal skills, stress-reduction techniques, new thought-behavior patterns, and other wellness tools while still having the needed support. It takes time for new behaviors to become habit, so outpatient care offers the opportunity to continue to receive guidance and support as road bumps are encountered along the way.
What Is Outpatient Treatment?
Once a client has completed their residential mental health treatment program they will “step down” to outpatient treatment. This arrangement allows the client to return to a partial work schedule or to return back home to fulfill family obligations while still receiving regular therapy. Outpatient care involves a variety of therapeutic activities provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, and holistic professionals, such as:
Individual psychotherapy sessions
Group therapy sessions
Life skills training
Interpersonal skills training
Dual diagnosis care
Holistic activities, such as yoga class or mindfulness training
Outpatient treatment is tailored for the specific recovery needs of the client, so varying levels of participation are available in the different programs.
Outpatient Treatment Levels of Care
Outpatient treatment is available as either a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). The basic difference between the two is the number of days per week or hours per day the client will be engaged in treatment, with the PHP being the most intensive. A PHP program is likely to involve therapeutic programming five days a week for up to seven hours a day, or 30-35 hours per week. The programming in an IOP will typically be three days a week for three hours each day, or 9 hours per week. The PHP will provide a wider range of treatment activities and classes than an IOP, and on-campus housing makes this level of participation more convenient.
Outpatient Treatment With or Without Housing
When making arrangements for outpatient care, it is helpful to know that Elevation Behavioral Health offers housing upon request. A client may not yet be ready to return to their home environment after completing the inpatient program, so on-campus housing is an excellent option while participating in outpatient treatment. For clients who are ready to return home after their residential program is completed, they may simply commute to the outpatient sessions from home.