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IOP – Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re wondering whether IOP may be right for you, below are answers to the most common questions we receive. Don’t see your question? Just call our office at 314-388-2225, and we’re happy to give you the information you need.

What is an intensive outpatient program (IOP)?

IOP is an escalated level of treatment for when one-on-one visits with a counselor or psychiatrist don’t quite cut it for you. Often, a mental health provider will determine if this level of care is required and evaluate you for a referral. This is what’s called “acute treatment”, usually lasting a period of several weeks… a couple months at the most. There’s an admit date and discharge date.

The focal point of treatment is group therapy. These sessions are led by a licensed therapist. And they’re designed to provide foundational skills and help you work through the specific challenges you’re facing right now in your life. Being a part of a supportive group can provide you strength, courage, and insight no matter what challenges you’re going through.

How does IOP compare to traditional therapy?

Intensive outpatient treatment is not like traditional psychotherapy or regular med management with a psychiatrist, which can go on for years. That kind of treatment is more about “maintenance” – keeping someone on the move forward instead of backward. Instead, IOP is a clear-cut intervention. The goal is marked improvement in as short a time as possible.

How short? The exact amount of time varies person to person depending on their needs/progress. But typically, people can expect to be in the program (and see results) over 5-12 weeks.

How does the IOP process work?

Once you’ve determined that this type of treatment would be right for you, we start by having you establish goals that you want to meet. We take those “stated goals” to the treatment team. This team is comprised of a therapist, psychiatrist, care coordinator, and any other relevant staff. The team takes your goals and develops a specific treatment plan with organized steps and interventions. Your progress is monitored by the team on a bi-weekly basis.

Most of your treatment will take place in a group setting. This includes 3 sessions per week; each 3 hours in length. You’ll also meet one-one-one with a psychiatrist for bi-weekly or monthly evaluation and possibly the therapist, as needed. These sessions will continue until discharge.

Do I need to take medications with IOP?

It depends on your situation. Taking medications is not required. But they may be helpful in some cases. With intensive outpatient treatment, medication alone may not be enough you to a better place. IOP alone might not either, in some cases. And it sometimes requires a dual approach, combined with your own efforts.

That’s why when you’re admitted into IOP, one of the first things we do is give you a full evaluation with a board-certified psychiatrist. If appropriate, they will prescribe any needed medications.

What areas are addressed in an IOP?

If you are struggling with:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Past Trauma
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Traumatic grief and loss
  • Mood Disorder
  • Personality Disorder
  • Substance Use Disorder

Then you may want to consider this treatment option.

How soon can I get started?

As soon as possible! When you call our office, we’ll ask a few questions to see if IOP might be a good fit for your situation. Then we’ll try to get your psychiatric evaluation scheduled within a week. This evaluation is used to to help create your custom treatment plan. And it allows us to get authorization from your insurance for IOP – so you can get into the group sessions right away.

What are the days and times of IOP sessions?

IOP Sessions are on the following days/times:

  • Mondays — 4:30pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesdays — 4:30pm-7:30pm
  • Thursdays — 4:30pm-7:30pm

Do I need to take off work to do IOP?

Not necessarily. Some people do find it helpful to take time off work to attend IOP. And you may need the full break from the stresses and challenges of your job (or school). However, IOP is different than being in a hospital or residential program. You’re able to still live at home and continue your day-to-day routines while getting treatment. Since most of the group sessions take place in the evening, you may choose to keep working while going through IOP.

What does the service cost?

IOP is covered by most major private insurance plans. We can take both in-network and out-of-network plans. We also have self-payment options for those without insurance. Some of the insurances we accept are:

  • In-Network Insurance Providers
    • Aetna
    • Beacon
  • Out-of-Network Insurance Providers
    • Anthem Blue Cross
    • United Healthcare
    • Cigna
    • Healthlink
    • Coventry
    • Magellan
    • ComPsych

*Unfortunately, our facility is not able to accept Medicare or Medicaid plans (including supplement plans).

How do I get started?

You may call our team at 314-388-2225 or contact us here.