Outpatient rehabilitation can be a great option for many people considering recovery, as its flexibility, freedoms, and unique forms of care allow you to heal how you need. Recovery is a different journey for everyone who embarks upon it. For that reason, every person looking to begin recovery deserves personalized care that can address their unique needs.
What Is Outpatient Rehabilitation?
Outpatient care comes with a multitude of benefits for those looking to recover.
Here are the most significant.
Created For Your Unique Needs
Every outpatient program is created specifically for each patient and their unique needs. While inpatient programs can certainly be helpful, they must accommodate the 24/7 needs of a host of other people, which makes group programming a frequent tool. Meanwhile, an outpatient program allows caretakers to focus more closely on each individual’s needs and create a treatment program that can best help them.
An outpatient program also takes into consideration the various aspects of your outside life and even your schedule to develop a treatment program that works within both. In this way, outpatient programs can provide patients more variable treatment. For example, many inpatient programs must, by design, follow similar steps for each patient and provide them with limited options for care. An outpatient program may assess a patient and then determine the ideal mix of group therapy and one-on-one therapy for them.
Easier Transition to Recovery
Outpatient rehabilitation helps to create a smooth transition from frequent substance use to living a life of recovery. Because patients receive treatment in a dedicated facility and then return home to participate in other aspects of their lives, when they finally finish their treatment, their transition can be much smoother. They have already been practicing what they have learned in treatment in their everyday lives.
Because inpatient care requires patients to stay in their treatment center for an extended period, it can be much more difficult for some to return to their “regular” lives after being in a program for so long. With outpatient care, you can slowly make the transition to a healthier you at home and learn how to deal with obstacles along the way.
Provides a Long-Term Solution
Outpatient rehabilitation provides a long-term solution for those who genuinely want to recover. Outpatient programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or even years, depending on the facility, the type of treatment, and the patient. These programs provide patients with the tools they need when they need them the most. This often means applying strategies while rehabilitation is still in progress, which can change as the patients grow and transition into everyday life. As people heal, they can use the tools and the addiction treatment resources they gained to continue their journey of recovery, even if they are no longer in treatment.
Allows You to Focus on Your Outside Life
Outpatient programs give people the opportunity to work on their healing while still being able to focus on their other commitments when they get home. School, work, and family life are all important aspects that can be a significant factor in your recovery. With outpatient care, you can still work, go to school, and fulfill your family responsibilities while receiving the care and treatment you need. Focusing on making a positive change in your life also helps you to take positive steps in your recovery.
Different Kinds of Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
There are a few distinct levels of outpatient rehabilitation services. The kind of outpatient care you use will depend on your unique situation, your substance use, and the recommendation of the professionals in charge of your care.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
A partial hospitalization program is one of the most intensive forms of outpatient rehabilitation. However, it is still more flexible than inpatient and residential programs. With a PHP program, you can continue living at home while still receiving the full-time care and treatment you need for most of your day. Your program may include therapy sessions, educational seminars, mindfulness exercises, physical checkups, medication assisted treatment, 12-step groups, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and more activities designed to help you recover.
PHP programs are the most demanding of your time but are a great option for those who may need the care a residential program provides without the requirement to live there. A PHP program will most likely require your time and commitment 5-7 days per week.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
An intensive outpatient program is a level below a PHP program. It provides the same tools and resources to patients as a PHP program but requires fewer hours of commitment per week. An IOP program is a great option for those who may have already started their journey of recovery or for those with work, school, and family commitments who still need a significant amount of care. An IOP program may require you to attend up to 5 days per week, depending on your needs.
Outpatient Program (OP)
An outpatient program is the least intensive of the levels of outpatient care. Also referred to as general outpatient services, an outpatient program grants the most freedoms while still assisting a patient with recovery. For that reason, there is a significant difference in the time commitments required for outpatient programs versus IOPs and PHPs. With a general outpatient program, you may only need to appear in person at your treatment facility a few days each week for short periods of time. General outpatient services are helpful for reinforcing the tools and coping skills patients have learned throughout their treatment as well as for providing them with stable support as they heal.
What Methods Are Used in Outpatient Recovery Care?
Outpatient rehabilitation combines a variety of different healthcare services, therapies, and other activities to help people begin healing from substance use disorders. Some of the most common aspects you’ll find in an outpatient recovery program include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, more commonly referred to as CBT, is one of the most common kinds of therapies used today. When considering an outpatient program, you can typically expect that CBT will play a part in your healing process. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on becoming more aware of your own thoughts and feelings so that you can learn how to deal with them and respond more effectively. This kind of therapy is often used for people who deal with mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, as well as for those struggling with substance use disorders.
Mindfulness plays a critical role in recovery. To be able to heal, you must learn to be self-aware. Throughout the process of recovery, you’ll find that as you become more self-aware, you’re better able to address the various aspects of yourself that need help. Mindfulness practices are often emphasized in outpatient programs because they help patients to learn how to slow down, calm down, and become aware of their thoughts and feelings. From there, patients can learn to deal with those feelings in healthy ways, including learning to acknowledge your thoughts and let them go, or calming your anxiety by being in the moment.
Mood Regulation Techniques
Like mindfulness practices, mood regulation techniques also emphasize slowing down so that you can process your feelings. Frustration, anger, and guilt are all intense feelings that many people struggle with as they recover. Learning to deal with those intense feelings is a long-term tool that can help make your journey of recovery and your life easier. Mood regulation techniques also play a significant role in helping people battle triggers that could lead to relapse.
Many outpatient rehabilitation programs use prescription medications in combination with their other services to help patients heal. A great deal of people that struggle with substance use also struggle with other mental illnesses, such as different forms of anxiety and depression. By combining the right medications, the right therapy, and healthy methods of healing, patients in recovery can begin to thrive. Medication assisted therapy is also a crucial component of battling the uncomfortable withdrawals and cravings that come with early recovery.
Most outpatient programs make use of group therapy and 12-step programs like AA or NA. By consulting with professionals and other individuals with similar experiences in a group setting, you can learn to empathize with others and begin identifying unique solutions to common substance use disorder issues. Programs like AA or NA can help you build a support network and provide a sense of community during your outpatient treatment.
Find PA Outpatient Care
The most common types of outpatient care require patients to arrive at the facility during the day to take part in the rehab program and allow them to go home at night. The program itself is often made up of a variety of therapies and treatments, from counseling and mental health services to medication assisted treatment. Outpatient rehabilitation provides patients with the ability to heal while keeping up with their lives at home.
Christine Todd is a Licensed Professional Counselor and an Advanced Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor who enjoys working directly with a population that struggles with addiction and mental health disorders. Christine brings many years of clinical experience to the team at Recovery Cove, where she is currently the Clinical Director. In her role, she oversees the clinical department as a leader, educator and mentor, designing programming and protocols for a diverse client population.