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Is IOP Right For Me?

As soon as you acknowledge that you cannot overcome addiction on your own and reach out for help, you are well on your way to beginning a life of recovery. While reaching out for help is a crucial first step, it should be closely followed by admittance to a treatment program. In order to commit to addiction treatment, you will need to determine which level of care is right for you. In most cases, a multi-staged treatment program is recommended. This typically looks like a short stay in a medical detox center followed by an immediate transition into a higher level of care — residential rehab, partial hospitalization, or an intensive outpatient program.

The best treatment option for you depends on your unique clinical needs. If you have been suffering from a mild substance use disorder and no underlying issues, medical detox followed by IOP might be a viable option. If you have been suffering from a moderate substance use disorder and an underlying mental illness or unresolved trauma, residential rehab will likely come recommended. IOP is also an ideal option for those who have recently completed detox and rehab and are looking to take the next step on their personal journeys of recovery.

How do you know if IOP is right for you? Continue reading to find out, and feel free to contact Guardian IOP directly with any additional questions you might have.

What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

IOP recovery programs offer comprehensive addiction treatment, providing the evidence-based therapies you would receive in residential rehab, but in an outpatient setting. IOP sessions are scheduled to fit in with daily living, giving you both structure, support and freedom as you begin to navigate your newfound life in recovery. In most cases, IOP sessions meet between three and four days a week for several hours each day. You can typically choose between a daytime program and a nighttime program, working around a preexisting schedule if need be.

There are many benefits to attending an IOP program, whether you are utilizing IOP as a standalone treatment option or transitioning out of residential rehab. The advantages of intensive outpatient treatment include:

  • Ability to continue living at home, which saves on the cost of living.
  • Therapy sessions integrated with work and other personal responsibilities.
  • Continued interaction with and encouragement from like-minded peers.
  • Therapy for family members to improve home relationships and healthy family functioning.
  • Connection to a network of local doctors, therapists and peer support groups, which continues after IOP treatment.

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Is IOP Right For Me?

IOP is a good option for most, but it is not an ideal option for everyone. Your personal experiences with active addiction dictate which level of care is right for you. IOP might be an ideal treatment option if:

  • You have recently completed a higher level of care, and you are looking to take the next step on your personal journey of addiction recovery.
  • You care for one or more dependents and cannot step away from your caretaking responsibility for more than several hours at a time.
  • You are committed to continuing with your career or continuing with your educational pursuits, and you are looking for a level of care that offers flexibility.
  • You have been struggling with a mild substance use disorder and no underlying, co-occurring issues.
  • You are uninsured and cannot afford to cover the cost of residential rehab out-of-pocket.

Our Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Include

The good news is, you never have to make an important decision like this on your own. At Guardian IOP we are more than happy to answer any questions you have and help you determine which level of care is right for you or your loved one.

Is intensive outpatient treatment right for me

Therapies Available in IOP Treatment Programs

Like residential rehab, IOP programs begin with an assessment of your individual therapy needs. For those with medical conditions or dual diagnosis, individual therapy with a local clinician may be a part of the IOP schedule. Other therapies, modalities and educational classes are usually in group settings and may include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been characterized as a short-term, goal-oriented, focused form of psychotherapeutic counseling that is focused on identifying harmful patterns of thought, belief, or behavior that underlie individuals’ problems and issues. By identifying the source of individuals’ problems, the patient and therapist can work together to develop strategies for learning and implementing healthier and more productive modes of thought and behavior.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy can be best understood as an enhancement and a natural progression of CBT. In contrast, DBT has a strong psychosocial component, which makes it especially useful in group settings, which is why DBT therapy tends to be commonly employed as a form of treatment in intensive outpatient programs for addiction.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an individual, client-centered therapy that involves rhythmic bilateral stimulation and the use of eye movements to help clients process trauma in a non-verbal manner. Clients focus on traumatic memories very briefly and simultaneously undergo non-invasive eye movement stimulation, which effectively reduces the emotional discomfort associated with the painful memory.

Lifeskills Training

Lifeskills training consists of educational sessions geared towards helping you relearn basic life skills — the skills that are fundamental to continued success in sobriety. You will learn how to obtain and maintain a job or career, learn how to care for yourself, and learn how to recover from any financial devastation you might have suffered while active in your addiction. By the time IOP concludes you will feel confident as you transition back into fully independent living.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention training is a critical part of the addiction treatment process. The main point of addiction treatment is to equip clients with the tools they need to maintain sobriety long-term, which includes identifying and working through personal relapse triggers.

12-Step Programs

For many, 12-Step program involvement is an important part of the overall recovery process. Most IOP programs encourage participants to attend at least one outside meeting every day, which leads to increased accountability and the development of a stronger support network. We also offer educational workshops to our clients, breaking down the 12 Steps individually and explaining how and why peer support programs work.

Family Therapy

We believe in the importance of family involvement throughout the treatment process. Addiction affects the entire family system. There are numerous benefits that go hand-in-hand with ongoing support from family members, including the likelihood that treatment is successful long-term and that relapse is effectively avoided. We strive to make sure that the loved ones of each of our clients have continuous access to the support, educational resources and therapeutic care they need in order to heal simultaneously.

Yoga Therapy

Clients have access to regular yoga therapy sessions, which are all facilitated by a licensed professional instructor. The instructor walks throughout the class as he or she instructs, adjusting clients as necessary and offering them insight on how to manipulate each pose to better serve their unique needs and physical ability level. In most cases, clients end class with a guided meditation, as they learn to quiet their minds and stay rooted in the present moment.

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Mindfulness & Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are closely interlinked. Meditation refers to learning how to quiet the mind and sit with the self. Mindfulness helps with addiction recovery by helping quiet the racing thoughts that lead to emotional distress and erratic behavior patterns.

Gender-Specific Therapy

The distinctive experiences of each gender contribute significantly to the development and persistence of substance use and dependency. Men and women experience a unique set of challenges when it comes to addiction recovery, and it has been found that each gender has varying experiences while active in addiction. For this reason, gender-specific treatment groups are extremely important. At Guardian IOP we offer male and female treatment groups so that each of our clients gets the most possible out of his or her addiction recovery experience.

Age-Specific Therapy

Guardian IOP offers a comprehensive, personalized and extremely integrated program of age-specific recovery. We separate our clients into three main rehab programs: our young adults program, our adults program and our program designed specifically for older adults (over the age of 65). Not only does age-specific group therapy allow for a more thorough and focused treatment experience, but men and women of all ages are inclined to feel more comfortable openly discussing the age-unique challenges they are liable to face.

IOP programs allow for more personal freedom than residential treatment programs, making them an ideal choice for individuals who require more flexibility. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of IOP or if you would like help determining whether or not IOP is the best treatment option for you or your loved one, contact us today.

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Recovery is a lifelong journey that requires you to stay active and engaged in sobriety, and an intensive outpatient program can help you do just that. IOP combines the structure and support of a residential treatment program with the flexibility and freedom of living at home in your community. For more information about how our IOP services can help you transition into the next phase of your recovery, contact Guardian IOP today. You will be put in touch with a compassionate Treatment Advisor who will walk you through our simple, straightforward admissions process. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you begin — or continue — your personal journey of addiction recovery.


Reviewed for accuracy by:

Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.

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