PHP vs IOP: What level of care is right for me?


By Tricia Moceo

Have you ever asked PHP vs IOP: What level of care is right for me? When I first started working in mental healthcare, I was honestly so confused at some of the terminology used around the clinic. PHP and IOP were two abbreviations that almost always came up. I actually had to google search them a few times early on to keep up with conversations. So as a passionate educator and mental health advocate, I’d like to take a moment to share very simple explanations of the two terms.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

IOP stands for “intensive outpatient program”.  This approach is generally a good fit for individuals experiencing a mild to moderate degree of impairment or addiction. Clients at the IOP level attend a few hours of treatment each day and return home in the evening. It’s quite practical for individuals who are busy with work have been to treatment before, and have a healthy support system in place outside of treatment. 

Signs you are best suited for intensive outpatient treatment:

  • You need more support than standard outpatient therapy offers
  • You are able to drive yourself or arrange transportation for yourself
  • You can motivate yourself to make most appointments on time
  • You have a supportive home environment
  • You don’t require behavioral observation outside of treatment hours

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

PHP stands for “partial hospitalization program”. PHP is a step up from IOP. It requires a bit more time and commitment, and it’s great for anyone dealing with moderate to severe addictions or impairments. Like IOP, a person in this level of care still returns home in the evenings, but they attend more sessions during the day and receive a higher degree of support. This is generally a great approach for folks who are just starting treatment and looking to build healthier habits, those who are at a higher risk of relapse, and also it can also be an effective “step down” for people leaving residential treatment centers. 

CAST Centers’ PHP is a program with a format designed to deliver comprehensive and personalized mental healthcare. PHP is helpful if you are stepping down from residential care. Additionally, PHP creates more structure and support then weekly meetings with a therapist. 

PHP Treatment option

The CAST Centers PHP Program, was created with clinical research in mind. 

When it comes to choosing PHP vs IOP levels of care speak with a clinically trained professional. These helpful resources can offer confidential, compassionate guidance and provide free evidence-based consultations, both will really help you navigate through challenging times. If you’re seeking more information or clarity on what’s the best “next step” for you or a loved one, I encourage you to reach out to our professional team at Cast Centers.

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