Deciding to seek treatment for an addiction or mental health issue takes courage. It can take many years and many attempts to take that first step toward recovery, but once the decision is made, a doctor or mental health professional can help answer the next question: how?
Experienced mental health professionals always recommend the least disruptive, least invasive treatment for addictions or behavioral health challenges. Therefore, while some may require a full-time, residential approach, many more will find that they have other options.
When appropriate, it may be possible for an individual to get firmly on the road to lasting, sustainable recovery using an outpatient treatment method. Less restrictive and more affordable than residential “rehab” programs, outpatient treatment plans can be effective for those who do not require the structure of a residential treatment program.
Provided they meet the clinical criteria, outpatient treatment can be beneficial because it allows people to:
Continue Other Responsibilities
Individuals who are dealing with addictions or other mental and behavioral health challenges are not doing so in a vacuum. Most people have work obligations and family responsibilities as well. Taking 28 days “off” to live in a residential treatment facility is difficult for almost everyone. Opting for outpatient treatment allows people to continue to care for their children or elderly parents, maintain their jobs, and continue with school responsibilities. Getting on the path to recovery without having to abdicate on their responsibilities is a priority for many.
Preserve Real-World Connections
Some people need to be completely separated from their former, pre-recovery lives. To truly work on the root causes of mental health issues— as well as their manifestations in the form of addictions and other behaviors—it can be necessary to be in a residential setting. However, other people find that inpatient treatment makes them feel removed from “real life” in a way that is not helpful. These people find their sobriety or newfound well-being to be in jeopardy once they leave the confines of residential treatment because they must devote so much energy to adjust—leaving them with fewer resources than they need to maintain a healthy recovery. Outpatient treatment allows individuals to develop and practice new coping skills within the context of their “real lives,” all the while staying accountable to counselors and other mental health professionals.
Maintain Existing Support System
Individuals who are contemplating treatment need to be able to focus on getting well. For those who would find being separated from their children, family members, and friends while receiving treatment stressful and distracting, outpatient treatment can be a good solution. Family and group therapy can be done effectively on an outpatient basis, allowing everyone to learn and practice how to offer healthy support to you as you learn tools of self-care and recovery.
When considering outpatient treatment, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all. Plans can be tailored by an experienced mental health professional to fit the needs of the individual. A treatment plan for those who are experiencing mild symptoms from their underlying mental or behavioral health issues may involve 2 to 3 visits per week. For those who need more intense care, an intensive outpatient treatment plan would involve more structure and accountability through more regular appointments and check-ins.
Finances are a real consideration for those seeking mental and behavioral health treatment. If you are self-pay, clearly it will be less expensive to not to have to pay for accommodations and meals. Even insurance companies are more willing to cover outpatient treatment given the much lower cost.
Sometimes, outpatient treatment is used as a “step-down” program after an individual completes a residential program. After they are discharged from inpatient treatment, an individual can transition into a type of outpatient program to continue practicing healthy behaviors and building a new support system. Often, these programs are held in the same location as the residential program, offering those who have recently been discharged the opportunity to check in with staff whom they know, and continue in group therapy with others who are familiar to them.
Halfway between residential treatment and outpatient programs is a form of treatment called partial hospitalization, or “day treatment.” A hybrid between residential and outpatient programs, day treatment/partial hospitalization requires the individual to spend approximately 8 hours per day at the treatment center. This option offers intense, focused treatment during the day followed by the ability to return home at night. Appropriate individuals have the advantages of remaining in their home environments while simultaneously receiving intense treatment at a lower price point than at a residential program.
Have you decided that you have an addiction or mental health issue that is making your life unmanageable? Congratulations— that’s the first step to getting on the road to a richer, more stable life. Now you need to decide “how” you can get there. We can help you consider your options and determine the right program for you. Please call us at (443-708-5699) or submit this form for more information about our programs.