The key to successful treatment for eating disorders and mental health issues is multiple levels of care. This way, women undergoing treatment can step down from extensive residential programs into more flexible outpatient options. As their conditions improve, clients gain access to more freedom. With all that said, what exactly is an intensive outpatient program?

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

A counselor talks to a woman about an intensive outpatient program at the beginning of her eating disorder intensive outpatient treatmentAn intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is a level of treatment that offers a considerable amount of freedom. It’s considered a step down from a partial hospitalization program (PHP). In both types of programs, clients live at home while attending therapies and activities during the day. However, the time commitment to treatment lessens with an IOP. Rather than spending all day every day at the treatment facility, clients stop in a few times a week for various therapies and programs.

An eating disorder intensive outpatient treatment program allows clients to start participating in their lives again. Whether that means school, work, hobbies, childcare, or some combination, they now have the free time to get back into the swing of things. Of course, they still have the guidance of regular therapy sessions to help with any issues that may arise from the transition.

There’s no set amount of time that clients need to stay in a residential program or PHP before moving on to an outpatient program. It all depends on their progress, as well as their readiness to handle the responsibilities and stresses of life at home. Each treatment plan is unique because each client is unique.

Benefits of Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Treatment

A significant benefit of intensive outpatient programs is their level of freedom. Since clients are no longer spending the bulk of their time at the treatment facility, they can start to experience a regular routine again. However, this new freedom can be a double-edged sword. If transitioned into eating disorder intensive outpatient treatment too soon, clients often regress in their progress. This is why individualized treatment plans are so vital to lasting recovery.

Clients also receive a deeper level of support in an IOP than they would by just attending an individual therapy session once a week. They still have access to all of the resources they grew accustomed to in their residential and partial hospitalization programs. This support system helps make the transition back into normal life smoother.

Of course, the biggest benefit of an intensive outpatient program is its flexibility. Clients no longer have to adjust their lives to meet their treatment needs; they can now adapt their treatment schedules to their lives. The staff at Magnolia Creek makes sure to work with all of our clients to create a therapy schedule that works for them.

Can I Start Treatment with an IOP?

While beginning treatment with an IOP may work for some women with milder mental health issues, treatment professionals don’t recommend it in most cases. When it comes to eating disorders especially, clients often need a considerable amount of supervision and guidance when they first enter treatment.

This supervision is to prevent damaging behaviors such as purging or skipping meals that can set back the recovery process. Until clients develop the coping mechanisms to deal with stress without engaging in these harmful behaviors, they need to be monitored closely. This is easiest during a residential treatment program.

About Magnolia Creek’s Treatment Options

Magnolia Creek offers a variety of treatment levels to meet the needs of all of our clients. Within all of our programs, we offer the following:

Magnolia Creek’s intensive outpatient program is a work in progress. However, the levels of care that we do offer provide comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and mental illnesses. Our caring and compassionate staff will guide you through every step of treatment, from a residential program to our partial hospitalization options and beyond. If you’d like to take back your life from an eating disorder, then give us a call at 866-318-2329 today.