How Intensive Outpatient Therapy Helps with Depression

Mental health can be treated in many ways. This article helps explain how intensive outpatient therapy helps with depression. Symptoms of depression are often so persistent that seeing a therapist only once a week may not feel like enough to overcome the intensity of your depression symptoms. Depression can be an overwhelming experience that affects all aspects of your life.  An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be a great solution for you if you are seeking treatment for depression. IOPs offer highly customized support to you and will help you overcome depression. They will also prevent your depression symptoms from worsening. 

What is an IOP?

An intensive outpatient program provides mental health treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. When depression symptoms are persistent and you feel like you may need professional assistance for your mental health, IOPs provide you with a high level of support. IOPs are designed for individuals who need a higher level of care than only meeting with a therapist once a week to every other week. IOPs do not meet every day, unlike a partial hospitalization program (PHP).

At CAST Centers, the IOP meets three days per week and offers a one-on-one therapy session with a therapist, as well as group therapy. IOPs have the advantage of not requiring overnight stays, and they give people more flexibility when it comes to employment and home duties. During the IOP experience, you have the flexibility to go about your life without significant disruption.

The effectiveness of IOPs for depression

Did you know that research shows that IOPs are just as effective as inpatient programs in treating depression? IOPs are highly effective for treating depression when you are not a danger to yourself or others.

IOP programs use a variety of therapy modalities such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to address depression symptoms. One research study that implemented DBT for depression in an IOP found that participants’ depression scores decreased significantly over the course of treatment; they also found that patients had an increase in hope due to therapy.  

Recognize the symptoms of depression:

  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling worthless
  • Low energy
  • Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Excessive crying
  • Thoughts of suicide

What are the benefits of IOPs?

In addition to meeting with a therapist individually, IOPs offer group therapy for support. The combination of group therapy and individual therapy will be able to effectively treat your depression symptoms.

Benefits of group therapy in IOPs include:

  • Enhancing your communication skills 
  • Providing opportunities for a cathartic experience 
  • Giving you honest feedback
  • Helping you see you are not alone
  • Teaching you new coping skills
  • Benefiting others by sharing your experience
  • Enriching your own perspective through discussions

IOP at CAST Centers

The IOP at CAST Centers is highly effective in treating depression, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders, and anxiety. Sometimes, seeing a therapist once a week is not enough to overcome a depressive episode, and a higher level of care, such as an IOP, is necessary. The most important thing to know is that your depression symptoms will not last forever, and CAST Centers’ IOP is there to support you in overcoming depression.


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