Intensive Outpatient Program

CenterPointe provides intensive outpatient programs for adolescents, adults and senior adults who are affected by mental health and/or addiction challenges. Individuals who also have a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis (both a mental health and a substance use disorder) might benefit from an intensive outpatient program to help them better manage the effects of living with multiple disorders.

Intensive outpatient program, also known as IOP, provides individuals with the life-changing care that guides them in their path to healing and helps individuals transition back to their daily lives with the confidence they need to be successful in their recovery.

CenterPointe’s intensive outpatient program (IOP) provides individuals with a high level of care that is less intensive than inpatient treatment, residential care or partial hospitalization programming (PHP), but is a more structured than a traditional outpatient setting. IOP may be needed as a “step down” from inpatient treatment or residential treatment, or as a “step up” from traditional outpatient setting (usually 1 hour sessions). Intensive outpatient program offers participants the ability to receive treatment while still living at home and engaging in their personal lives.

The structure of IOP is typically three hours of treatment services, three to four days a week. Individuals are provided with the specific times that the program meets so they can work their treatment program around their other daily responsibilities. Group therapy is typically the main treatment format, but other forms of care might be offered, such as individual, family or experiential therapies.

There are many benefits to participating in an intensive outpatient program. IOPs allow individuals to access treatment services while still maintaining a presence at school or work. You or your loved one can build a support community of peers who are on the same healing journey while still having the support of friends and family when you or your loved one leave treatment.

Intensive outpatient programming also allows individuals to practice their newfound symptom-management skills in real-world settings and then take any questions or concerns they might have back to the therapy setting for processing. This creates a safe space to learn how to manage your symptoms in a supportive, judgment-free environment. IOPs give individuals the privacy, support, and flexibility to learn how to manage their mental health or addiction challenges.

Before treatment begins, an assessment is conducted which includes a physical and psychological background evaluation that assesses how the individual’s symptoms have impacted their ability to function on a daily basis. The assessment is reviewed by clinical staff who determine what the most appropriate level of care should be in order to best meet the individual’s needs. If it is determined that the individual might benefit from an IOP, the admissions process will begin.

An individualized treatment plan is tailored to meet the unique needs of the individual and to meet the treatment goals. These individualized treatment plans include a variety of therapeutic interventions, which might include the following types of treatment services:

Group therapy sessions are frequently the main type of treatment used in intensive outpatient programs. The number and types of groups vary from based on the needs of the participants. Group therapy sessions are led by professionals who facilitate discussion topics that are relevant to the needs of the individuals. Sessions provide individuals with education on the specific mental health issue they are learning to manage and are a time for them to exchange support with peers who are also participating in the group. This peer interaction can help individuals understand they are not alone in the struggles that they are facing, which can often promote acceptance and healing.

The goals of IOP groups may include some of the following treatment goals:

  • Teaching participants coping skills
  • Improving problem-solving skills
  • Developing enhanced self-awareness
  • Recognizing unhealthy behaviors
  • Practicing asking for and receiving support

Medication management: For some individuals, medications such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers might complement therapeutic interventions because they can alleviate the physical and psychological distress that certain symptoms elicit. All medications are prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist, and follow-up meetings with the psychiatrist are held depending on each person’s individual needs.

Continuing care: Individuals will be provided with aftercare options in order to fully transition back into their everyday lives. For this reason, the staff members at our treatment facilities begin working on discharge plans from the moment that an individual enters treatment. We ensure each individual has a plan in place so that they can receive the ongoing support they need once they have completed IOP.


The Dual Diagnosis outpatient program helped me to understand some of the underlying emotional issues that led to my addiction. Now, I can express my feelings in a healthier way instead of numbing myself with drugs. I feel like I’m a participant in life now, instead of hiding out and running away from things. I’m so much happier!
– Alumni