Choosing the Right Outpatient Program for Your Needs

Discover key insights on choosing the right outpatient program for personalized support and comprehensive care.

Table of Contents

Exploring Programs for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

Choosing the right outpatient program is a crucial step on the journey toward mental health and addiction recovery. But, with many outpatient treatment options available, selecting the program that best suits your unique needs can feel overwhelming.

The Critical Role of Choosing the Right Outpatient Program

This decision is crucial, as research suggests that nearly 20% of U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year.1
Additionally, 48.7 million people were diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) in 2022.2

With such a significant portion of the population facing these challenges, seeking effective treatment is crucial. At AM Behavioral Health, we recognize that one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work in recovery.

Every individual has a unique story. Treatment should reflect that.

Navigating Outpatient Treatment Options at AM Behavioral Health

This guide aims to help you navigate the decision-making process with clarity and confidence. We’ll walk you through the different types of outpatient programs offered at AM Behavioral Health and explore the key factors to consider when making your choice.
It is our goal to help you in choosing the right outpatient program that best supports your unique journey toward healing and well-being.

What are Outpatient Treatment Programs?

Outpatient programs offer a flexible and accessible level of care for people seeking treatment for mental health or addiction concerns. These programs allow people to maintain their daily routines, such as work, school, or childcare responsibilities while receiving essential support and therapy.
But, with a variety of outpatient programs available, it’s important to understand the different options to determine the best fit for your individual needs.
Here’s a breakdown of two common types of outpatient programs:

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

These programs are designed for those who need more support than traditional outpatient care but do not need full-time hospitalization. These programs often require people to attend sessions several times a week, often for multiple hours each day.
The focus is on integrating treatment into the person’s daily life without the need for overnight stays. This makes it suitable for people who have stable living conditions and a strong support network.
An IOP commonly includes:
  • Group therapy sessions that facilitate peer support and shared learning.
  • Individual therapy to address personal mental health or addiction issues in depth.
  • Skill-building workshops that enhance coping mechanisms and daily functioning.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

A PHP is the most intensive form of outpatient care. It provides a level of attention and structure similar to inpatient treatment but allows patients to return home at the end of the day.
These programs are ideal for people who need daily medical monitoring or intensive therapeutic intervention but are stable enough to not need 24-hour supervision.
Components of a PHP often include:
  • A strong focus on stabilizing symptoms quickly, preparing clients for less intensive treatment
  • Daily therapeutic sessions, multiple days a week, lasting several hours
  • Medication management, individual therapy, group sessions, and other therapeutic activities

Choosing the Right Outpatient Program: Examining Outpatient Drug Programs

These programs specialize in treating substance use disorders. They offer a combination of:
  • Individual and group therapy sessions
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Support groups
The specific treatment approach will vary depending on the person’s needs and the type of substance use disorder they are struggling with.

Benefits of Choosing the Right Outpatient Program

Compared to inpatient treatment programs, outpatient care provides a unique set of benefits that can significantly impact the recovery process.
Some of the most common benefits of choosing the right outpatient program include:


Outpatient programs allow people to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives. Therapy sessions can be scheduled around work, school, or family commitments. This enables people to continue fulfilling their responsibilities while receiving essential support.
This flexibility is crucial for those who might not be able to take an extended leave of absence for inpatient treatment.


36.8 million people with substance use disorders did not get treatment for their conditions in 2022. Outpatient programs are often easier to access and affordable compared to inpatient care. This can make treatment readily available to more people seeking help.3

Comprehensive Support

Despite being less intensive than inpatient programs, outpatient care still provides a comprehensive range of therapeutic services. Studies indicate that substance use disorders can be treated most cost-effectively in outpatient settings.4
The holistic approach to treatment empowers clients to manage their symptoms effectively and build a strong support network for ongoing recovery.

Focus on Life Skills

Many outpatient programs incorporate skill-building exercises into their sessions. Participants learn valuable tools and strategies for managing stress and coping with triggers. These skills help them gain confidence and independence in their recovery journey.

Gradual Transition

Outpatient programs can serve as a bridge between inpatient treatment and independent living. They provide a supportive environment where people can continue receiving professional help while transitioning back into their daily lives.
This gradual reintegration can be crucial for long-term success in recovery.

Choosing the Right Outpatient Program: Assessing Individual Needs and Goals

Before embarking on the path of recovery, a thorough assessment is vital. This initial step helps determine the most appropriate outpatient program for each client.
This comprehensive assessment typically involves several components:

In-Depth Interviews

A qualified mental health professional will meet with the client to discuss:
  • Their mental health or addiction history
  • Current symptoms
  • Any past treatment experiences
The discussion might explore areas like triggers, coping mechanisms, and strengths.

Mental Health and Substance Use Evaluations

Standardized tests might be used to evaluate the severity of the person’s condition. These tools can provide valuable insights into areas like depression, anxiety, or substance use patterns.

Review of Medical Records

If available, the assessment team will review the client’s medical records to gain a complete picture of their health. This can help identify any co-occurring medical conditions that might need to be addressed alongside the mental health or addiction challenges.

Focusing on Individual Goals

Throughout this process, the client’s personal goals for recovery are a central focus. The assessment team will explore what they hope to achieve through treatment.
Some important points to consider include:
  • Do they want to improve their relationships? 
  • Manage stress more effectively? 
  • Return to work or school? 
Understanding these goals helps tailor the treatment plan to address the unique needs and aspirations of each client.

Choosing the Right Outpatient Program: The Role of External Factors

The assessment process doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The recovery journey of a client must consider not just their internal needs and goals, but also external factors that can impact it.
These factors include:

Logistical Considerations

Life doesn’t stop when seeking help. The assessment team will consider the client’s:
  • Work schedule
  • Family commitments
  • Transportation options
For someone with a demanding job, an evening IOP might be more feasible than a daytime session. For someone without reliable transportation, telehealth options might be explored.

Financial Resources

Treatment costs can be a concern. The assessment team will ask about the client’s insurance coverage. They will also explore any available payment options offered by the program.

Support Systems

Recovery is rarely a solo act. The assessment might explore the client’s existing support system – family, friends, or support groups. A strong support network can play a crucial role in motivation and accountability during recovery.
By taking these external factors into account, the treatment team can create a realistic and sustainable plan.

Choosing the Right Outpatient Program: AM Behavioral Health

At AM Behavioral Health, we recognize that one of the key components to successful recovery is maintaining daily life while receiving treatment.

Flexible Scheduling

To support this, we offer flexible scheduling options designed to integrate seamlessly with the personal and professional responsibilities of our clients.
We adapt to their schedule, whether they need to attend sessions:
  • In the evenings after work
  • On weekends to avoid conflicts with their job or educational commitments
  • During specific hours that align with childcare arrangements

This flexibility helps ensure that our clients can commit to their treatment programs without sacrificing other important aspects of their lives.

Evidence-Based Practices at AM Behavioral Health

At AM Behavioral Health, treatments are grounded in the latest scientific research and the best practices established in the field of mental health and addiction recovery.
By applying proven interventions, our team ensures the quality of our care. Some of the most common modalities used during outpatient programs are:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • PTSD therapy
  • Recreational therapy

Engaging with the Treatment Team at AM Behavioral Health

At AM Behavioral Health, we understand that choosing the right outpatient program is a significant decision. That’s why we encourage you to actively engage with our dedicated treatment team throughout the process.

Collaborating with Professionals

Our team comprises experienced clinicians, therapists, and treatment coordinators who are passionate about supporting your recovery journey. We believe in open communication and collaboration, ensuring you have all the information necessary to make informed decisions.
Contact us for a consultation to leverage our team’s expertise. Our team will discuss your needs and problems in detail.

Choosing the Right Outpatient Program at AM Behavioral Health

After the initial team meeting, our coordinators will discuss the various outpatient program options available at AM Behavioral Health. They’ll explain the structure, intensity level, and treatment approaches associated with each program.
This helps you identify the one that best aligns with your unique circumstances and recovery goals.

Seeking Guidance and Support

We recognize that choosing a treatment program can be daunting. That’s why we encourage you to actively take part in the decision-making process by:
  • Asking questions
  • Expressing your concerns
  • Voicing your preferences
By collaborating with our supportive treatment team at AM Behavioral Health, you play an active role in the decision-making process. This involvement empowers you to select the outpatient program that best suits your needs.

How to Get the Most Out of Outpatient Treatment

Choosing the right outpatient program is a crucial first step, but it’s just the beginning of the treatment journey.
To maximize the benefits of outpatient treatment and achieve lasting recovery, here are some key strategies to keep in mind:
  • Take an active part in the therapy sessions by arriving on time and engaging in the discussions 
  • Be honest and open to your therapist about your thoughts, feelings, and struggles
  • Schedule therapy sessions as a priority and avoid missing appointments whenever possible
  • Actively practice coping skills outside of sessions
  • Connect with support groups to share experiences and offer encouragement
  • Educate your loved ones about your treatment program and how they can best support you
  • Take care of yourself physically and mentally
  • Develop healthy habits that promote relaxation and stress management
  • Monitor your progress throughout the treatment

Maintaining Progress After Outpatient Treatment

Recovery is a continuous journey. Once you complete your outpatient program, develop a plan to maintain the progress you’ve made. Consider ongoing therapy sessions and self-care routines to solidify the positive changes you’ve achieved.
Choosing the Right Outpatient Program

What to Do if Outpatient Isn’t Enough

Outpatient programs offer a valuable resource for mental health and addiction recovery. But, there may be situations where outpatient care isn’t sufficient to address the severity of a person’s needs.
If you’re struggling in an outpatient program or feel you need a more intensive level of support, it’s important to explore alternative options.

Recognizing the Signs

Here are some indicators that outpatient care might not be meeting your current needs:
  • Persisting or worsening symptoms
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Facing relapse or setbacks
  • Inability to maintain daily routines, work, or relationships

What Comes Next?

If you suspect outpatient care isn’t enough, here are some steps you can take:
  • Talk to your therapist or psychiatrist about your concerns and struggles
  • Explore inpatient treatment programs
  • Join support groups

Moving Forward

Remember, there’s no shame in needing a higher level of care. In fact, seeking additional support demonstrates your commitment to your recovery journey. AM Behavioral Health offers a range of treatment options, including inpatient and sub-acute detox.
We can help you determine the most appropriate treatment modality for your needs and create a personalized treatment plan designed to support your long-term success.

Take the Next Step in Your Recovery Journey

Contact AM Behavioral Health today for a free consultation. Our dedicated team will work with you to assess your needs and recommend the most suitable treatment program to guide you toward a healthier, happier you.

Whether you are adjusting your current outpatient treatment or exploring other options within our continuum of care, we are here to support you in choosing the right outpatient program. Call us now at 937-236-1800 or reach out online to get started.