Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
A Guide to South County Psychiatry's Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
At South County Psychiatry our IOP team will work with you to reconnect you with valued living while also receiving daily, intensive support for mental health needs. The IOP at SCP provides intensive, short-term treatment for people struggling with a wide variety of mental health concerns. We emphasize client-focused, evidence-based, and personalized care that provides support while minimally disrupting your life. All sessions take place in a virtual format, so you can receive treatment from the comfort of your home.
The program combines the power of medication management, individual, and group interventions to provide support you need to make changes in your life. We have two types of groups. In the morning group you will learn new skills to support healthy coping, and the afternoon group functions more like a support group led by experts in which you can practice new interpersonal skills and ways to relate to others as well as new perspectives on struggles that you have. Group therapy allows patients to share experiences in an open, compassionate environment and receive peer support and feedback.
Unlike traditional therapy and medication management, which involves maintaining long-term progress in treating a mental health issue, the goal of IOP is to make a significant change in your mental health in a relatively short time. We aim to help you regain your ability to function in the community and emotionally care for yourself, quickly, safely, and successfully.
Before beginning treatment in the program all patients receive a comprehensive, clinical assessment interview administered by a trained psychometrician and supervised by a licensed provider at the doctoral level. This is an evidence-based assessment and the results will be shared with you, your IOP and outpatient teams.
First Day of Treatment
Your admission to the IOP will begin the day after your evaluation day. You will check in by calling the front desk between 8AM and 9AM. This lets the team know that you are present, logged-in, and ready for treatment.
You will be assigned an individual treatment team consisting of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Both team members will be reaching out to connect individually on the first day. Results from your comprehensive evaluation will also be reviewed with you on this day, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions about your diagnoses and recommended treatment(s).
In addition to individual sessions with your treatment team, the program also includes daily skills and process groups. Information will be provided about what these groups entail, and how to make best use of them.
The program runs 9:00AM-12:30PM daily, Monday through Friday.
What We Treat
Our program is a generalist IOP, which means the program is designed to be broadly applicable to a range of mental health concerns. We draw from evidence-based interventions with a strong research base, and that impact human functioning across diagnoses.
Reasons why people choose to attend our program vary, but commonly include:
- Ongoing symptoms of low mood, sadness, or depression
- Intense and persistent anxiety and/or panic
- Difficulty interacting with friends, family, and co-workers in an appropriate manner
- Struggling to complete daily tasks at home or work
- A decline in function in everyday life
- Stressful life events that are experienced as overwhelming, such as loss of a loved one, sudden change to medical symptoms, divorce, or work stress
- Trauma, abuse, or PTSD symptoms
- Rapid and unmanageable mood symptoms that seem to change daily
Our clinicians will work with you to create a treatment plan to address your issues and help you emerge stronger at the program's end.
Duration of Program
Length of stay varies depending on individual needs. On average, most people are in the program for 2-3 weeks.
Our program is based in cutting edge, evidence-based, third wave behavior therapies with documented effectiveness in treating a range of psychological concerns. A vast body of research confirms that treatment in mid-level care settings like IOPs can significantly improve symptoms such as anxiety and depression, as well as your ability to engage fully in work, hobbies, and time with your family. This effect is achieved through a combination of individual sessions and group therapy, and work together to help you approach your experiences in a different way.
Unlike many other private practices, the SCP IOP treatment group is also actively engaged in both reviewing and generating research improving treatment and diagnosis. We place a high value in understanding how and why effective treatment works so we can provide you with the best possible care in our programs.
Individual Treatment Team
Consistent with our commitment to high quality care, you will be assigned a treatment team at the doctoral level, including a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Our psychiatrists are experts in psychiatric medication and diagnosis, and will review your comprehensive evaluation results with you on your first day.
Another vital component of IOP programs is individual therapy. While many patients become comfortable enough in a group setting to share their issues, this does not replace the benefits of individual one-on-one treatment.
Our clinicians want you to take the coping skills you learned in the IOP home with you. You can use the insights and tools gained in group and individual discussions to effect positive change.
Research has consistently demonstrated that optimal treatment is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. During your stay in the IOP you will meet with a psychiatrist to discuss issues related to medication. If you have an outpatient psychiatrist, your IOP psychiatrist will coordinate care with your outpatient prescriber.
Coordination of Care
We at SCP are committed to setting the standard for excellent and coordinated care for everyone in our programs. Part of providing good care is working effectively with your outpatient team. At intake you will be asked to provide a release of information for us to speak with each member of your outpatient mental health team, typically your individual therapist, psychiatric prescriber, and primary care doctor. We will then make outreach calls to inform them of your admission and to discuss any pertinent information to provide the best possible support while you are in IOP. After you discharge from the program we will send a brief discharge summary detailing the treatment provided as well as any recommendations for your care moving forward.
After the IOP, our goal is to get you to the point where you can care for yourself again. We want to help you bring your crisis to a close and help you move forward with hope and intention.
We will communicate with your outpatient team prior to discharge to ensure a smooth transition back to your life. If you do not already have providers for therapy and psychiatric medication– and IOP recommends you have those providers– we will do our best to assist you in establishing care with providers in the community.
Insurance Requirements and Coverage
SCP is actively seeking credentialing with local and national insurance groups, and updating our information as we go. If you do not see your method of payment listed below, please contact our facility to inquire whether you may be covered for services. Currently, SCP’s IOP accepts the following methods of payment:
- Blue Cross
- Harvard Pilgrim
Insurance criteria for covering an IOP program may include:
- Experiencing significant functional impairment in daily life due to psychiatric symptoms that are not responding to outpatient care.
- That failure to receive IOP care could cause the patient to worsen and need inpatient care.
- Providers believe the symptoms will improve in the short term if the patient receives IOP care.
- Dedication to the IOP program and willingness to attend regular group sessions.
- Stable living conditions at home to allow participation in the program.
- IOP provider's documents and information supporting admission
Enrollment and Referral Process
To make a referral please complete our secure online referral. Please note that we only accept provider referrals and will not accept self-referrals.
We can answer your questions about our program, determine your insurance coverage, and help you move forward with strength and confidence.