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Choosing a Treatment Program: What Program Is Right for You?

Choosing a Treatment Program: What Program Is Right for You?

For those looking to get into a treatment program, you may be surprised to see that there is more than one to choose from. Every person is different, so different treatment programs are needed to treat different disorders. Treatment programs vary widely, and sometimes you may not know which one to choose. Usually, your therapist will recommend one or more treatment programs that they feel will help you the best, but the decision is always up to you.

But what are the most common treatment programs, and how can they help you? This guide will break down each treatment program type so you can make an informed decision about your options.

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Outpatient treatment is considered the least intense of all the other treatment programs. This program allows you to continue to live at home, go to work, and participate in your usual daily activities. However, you are scheduled to meet with your treatment provider in an office or over telehealth. These sessions are usually once or twice a week, but sometimes you can get more or fewer sessions depending on the severity of your mental disorder. 

You have a lot more freedom but your success depends entirely on you. You are responsible for taking your medication and making it to your appointments. This program is best for people with mental disorders that can be managed and treated through mild medications and less frequent therapy sessions. Anxiety and depression are common disorders recommended for an outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Program

An Intensive outpatient program (IOP) is similar to an outpatient program. You can stay at home and live your life like you normally do. However, treatment sessions are more frequent and last longer. It is not unheard of for patients to have treatments that can last several hours daily (during business hours). This type of program is for people who are more at risk of causing harm to themselves or are impacted severely by their mental illness. Many people will start in an IOP before moving into a regular outpatient program once symptoms have improved. 

Intensive outpatient treatment is best for those that feel that they need more help in managing their medications and treatments. Those that struggle with thoughts of self-harm or are having trouble living their daily lives such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to go into this program, as it is frequent enough that one is usually in contact with professionals several times a week.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization is another outpatient treatment program but is usually used for those that have just completed residential treatment. This is so that the patient can transition back to daily life. This doesn’t only just mean they can be with their loved ones but also helps prevent relapse. Treatment sessions can take up an entire day or several hours, and scheduling is done based on the patient’s specific needs. Think of it as a transitional program. Once someone learns the skills they need, they can practice these skills in a safe environment, where professionals can still help when needed. 

Partial hospitalization is best for those that have gotten out of a residential treatment program and need time to adjust to living out in society again. This is a time for patients to put newly learned skills to use while having professionals to fall back on should they struggle again.

Residential Treatment Program

Residential treatment is the most ‘intensive’ type of treatment you can receive. For those undergoing this program, you stay in a special treatment center where you have therapists and doctors on standby. This type of treatment is best for those who struggle with a substance abuse disorder (SUD), a dual diagnosis, or intense disorders that require medication and supervision, such as severe schizophrenia and mood disorders. This is very beneficial to the patient as help is always available. Patients eat meals, go to therapy sessions, see doctors, and sleep in these centers. Some centers have programs such as sports and nature walks to help promote healing and peace. 

Residential treatment programs are best for those that cannot manage medications and require round-the-clock care. Those that struggle with addiction, which requires doctors as well as therapists, need a safe place where they can be helped in any emergency. Those that don’t know how to manage their disorders or medications can be taught how in a safe environment where they can focus on healing. 

Other Programs

Sometimes other more specialized programs may exist. For example, first responders often deal with trauma that most people cannot imagine. As a result, they may need specialized care that is tailored to their needs. Code Green is an example of this, a treatment program that is designed to treat first responders. There may be other types of programs out there for specific people, such as for US Veterans, natural disaster survivors, and specific grief counseling. Every treatment center will have different specialized programs that your therapist can tell you about.

Those are the basics of treatment programs. Some treatment centers may vary, but these are the most likely types of programs you will be recommended. Remember, you can ask any questions you want about these programs. You will never be judged for doing so, and the only thing your therapist wants is to see you feel better. 

For those that know they need a treatment program, it can be hard to decide what program will be best for them. You may be struggling with feelings that might make you feel afraid of judgment or fear that you might not be understood. You might not even know where to begin to ask for help. At Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, we offer many kinds of treatment programs designed to help many different kinds of people. Our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have and our highly trained therapists can help you decide on the right program for you. We want you to succeed, and the best way to do so is to provide all the tools you need to do so. If you or someone you love is interested in participating or learning about the treatment programs we offer, call (949) 866-3461 today.


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