Outpatient Programs: Are They Effective?

Sad young girl sits cross-legged on sofa while psychiatrist takes notes

Outpatient programs are a type of mental health treatment where individuals attend therapy sessions, support groups and other therapeutic treatment activities on a weekly basis while still living at home. They have become an increasingly popular option for those looking for flexible treatment that still enables them to pursue their daily responsibilities. Yet, some may wonder if they are actually as effective as other types of mental health programs. 

Branches Excel Fort Worth, formerly the Excel Center of Fort Worth, is here to put your concerns to rest. Not only are there many benefits to outpatient programs, studies have also shown that they can be an effective method of managing your mental health.

The Benefits of Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs offer several benefits that make them an attractive option for those seeking treatment. They’re typically an appealing choice due to their flexibility and ability to blend in with one’s day-to-day life. Patients can participant in an outpatient program without living in a treatment center, which can help maintain a sense of normalcy while still receiving care. 

Furthermore, outpatient programs also equip patients with vital tools and coping mechanisms to help manage and cope with mental health symptoms. Patients practice these skills both during treatment and independently, which sets them up for success even after completing the program.

Outpatient programs are also highly customizable. No two patients receive the same treatment, as each person’s mental health is unique. This means that treatment reflects their individual goals and needs. 

Are Outpatient Programs Effective?

Many studies have looked into the effectiveness of outpatient programs. Today, we explore the findings of recent studies showcasing the long-term benefits and support these type of programs provide patients. 

Effective Mental Health Treatment

Outpatient programs have been found to be effective in treating a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, outpatient treatment was just as effective as inpatient treatment for individuals with depression and anxiety disorders.

Effective Substance Abuse Treatment

Outpatient programs can also be effective in treating substance use disorder and in addressing addiction. According to a study published in the Psychiatry Services Online, outpatient treatment was just as effective as inpatient treatment for individuals with alcohol use disorder.

What Makes Outpatient Treatment Effective?

There are certain factors contributing to the effectiveness of outpatient programs. These include: 

  • Support system: A strong support system can make all the difference in outpatient program outcomes. This can be friends, family or even a support group.
  • Individualized treatment: Another reason outpatient programs are effective is due to the individualized treatment they provide. 
  • Continuity of care: Outpatient programs offer a continuum of care, meaning they provide support and resources after treatment ends. Branches Excel Fort Worth, for example, provides two levels of outpatient programs (partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs).

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

Partial hospitalization programs, also known as PHPs or day programs, are usually considered the first (and most intensive) level of care. 

PHPs offer structured treatment during the day, typically for 4-6 hours at a time, with patients returning home in the evening after each session. These programs are designed for those requiring more intensive treatment and support, or may be recommended as a step down after completion of an inpatient program. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Intensive outpatient programs, otherwise known as IOPs, represent the next step down in the continuum of care. 

IOPs offer structured treatment during the day, typically for 2-3 hours at a time. Patients return home after each session, as with PHPs. These programs are typically recommended to those who have already completed partial hospitalization or who simply need additional assistance managing their mental health.

Branches Excel Fort Worth Cares

At Branches Excel Fort Worth, we care about your child’s wellbeing. Located in Forth Worth, Texas, we provide outpatient treatment to children ages 5-18 in a compassionate and understanding environment.

We are here to help. Reach out at (817) 335-6429 to get in touch with us today.

If you think you or your child is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.