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What Is Intensive Therapy?

intensive outpatient therapy, therapy, IOP, outpatient program

Mental health is as essential as physical health. Why? Because mental illnesses are so common in the United States that in 2020 nearly one in five American adults — or 52.9 million people — lived with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Luckily, various mental health treatments, such as intensive therapy, can help. How do you picture therapy? For some, it involves a person seeing a therapist once a week for an hour over the course of months. And this might be a great plan for some people with busy lives and not-so-severe symptoms. However, intensive therapy is like jumping on the fast track to getting better.

When you go to therapy, you should have an individualized plan that is personal to your needs. Having a connection with the therapist is vital for that reason; that way, you can develop a plan together to maximize your treatment results. An intensive program means you will have a trained professional who is dedicated to supporting you in improving your life. Whether you deal with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, intensive therapy can help. But what does that mean exactly? Please keep reading to learn more about inpatient and outpatient programs and who can benefit from intensive therapy.

What Is Intensive Therapy?

You can have intensive therapy for both outpatient and inpatient programs. Both will require you to undergo daily, three-hour sessions five days in a row over a two- to four-week period. Intensive outpatient therapy uses similar methods as traditional therapy sessions, mindfulness, Exposure Response and Prevention (ERP), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Intensive therapy is a focused therapy that provides longer, more frequent sessions over a shorter period to help accelerate your recovery.

Each session is designed to teach strategies to decrease symptoms of anxiety or some other mental health issue. Not only will the person receive support, but they can learn to cope while still living at home. Outpatient therapy refers to going to a facility to complete a session and then going back home to continue family activities and personal hobbies.

Intensive therapy programs generally include a comprehensive treatment plan, including:

  • Understanding to recognize unhealthy behaviors
  • Learning coping skills and strategies
  • Building successful problem-solving abilities
  • Practicing methods to aid in asking for help and getting support
  • Making follow-up sessions to reinforce new skills

Who Can Benefit from Intensive Therapy?

Intensive therapy can work for several types of people for various reasons. In certain cases, people struggle with mental health symptoms like depression or anxiety while still functioning in their daily life. Outpatient therapy allows them to live at home and continue their daily routine as they still receive the treatment.

On the other hand, inpatient therapy means they will stay overnight at a facility for a period of time. Some people require immediate support and a more-focused therapy that addresses specific issues with 24/7 care. Intensive therapy can provide rapid and effective treatment for someone with severe symptoms. If you need time away from school or work for recovery, inpatient treatment can help.

It is also ideal for those who have already tried traditional therapy but didn’t see as much improvement as they hoped. To get the most out of intensive therapy, those who participate should do the following:

  • Attend every session, even if you are having a bad day. By coming to each appointment, you will have the most effective results.
  • Allow yourself time to process everything you are learning before judging instant improvements — or the lack thereof.
  • Treat yourself gently. It would help if you went easy on yourself, understanding that making mistakes on this journey is okay.
  • Trust your therapist and have a positive outlook on therapy, knowing that you both are taking steps to better yourself.

Like other habits or hobbies, you may have an on-and-off period applying the practical coping skills you are learning in therapy. It’s okay if you need a boost after intensive treatment to ensure you still get on the right track. Please recognize that trusting the treatment methods and those teaching you will help you reduce symptoms and manage issues more effectively. Why? Because according to a 2012 study by Ritschel, Cheavens, and Nelson at the Emory University School of Medicine, anxiety and depression scores decreased significantly after intensive therapy. Likewise, hope scores increased dramatically during the treatment.

Start Intensive Therapy Sessions Today

Are you ready to seek professional mental health treatment? You may benefit from intensive therapy if you are dealing with mental health issues. Perhaps you know a loved one with depression, anxiety, or other conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health today to get more information about intensive therapy. We accept most insurance and are ready to listen to your needs.

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