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Knowing your options is useful if weekly outpatient therapy programs or sessions are not enough to regulate your mental health. You may have heard of inpatient hospitalization for disorders of mental health — staying in the hospital overnight.

However, inpatient mental health treatment can be costly. According to one source, the cost might range from $3,500 to $8,500. Hospitalization is also the most restricted form of mental health care.

The healthcare industry has been evaluating alternatives. A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is one method. People who need more intense mental health therapy but don’t want to stay in a hospital may benefit from this type of program.

In this article, we discuss partial hospitalization program treatment, how it’s different from full hospitalization, its benefits, and much more.

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an organized kind of outpatient intense mental health therapy. Each program is intended to address a significant mental health concern. And it includes a wide range of treatment-providing healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists and therapists.

Partial hospitalization program treatment offers intensive care to individuals with serious mental health disorders. As suggested by the name, clients receive care over several hours per day while staying in their own homes. This permits individuals to leave intensive care slowly with the resources and skills necessary to live independently.

Depending on your diagnosis, you may be able to join a PHP program that fits your needs. For example, you might decide to go to a PHP program for trauma disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or eating disorder. Each treatment plan is tailored to the specific needs of the patient.

PHP programs normally run for four to eight hours each day, five days a week. Each day, you travel to and from your therapy program. Some programs also offer virtual participation through telehealth. Based on your symptoms, you may participate in a PHP program for weeks to months.

Individuals who are suffering from or have recently undergone the following conditions or disorders may gain from partial hospitalization:

  • Abnormal or damaging behavior resulting from medication abnormalities
  • Symptoms that are challenging to handle on one’s own
  • Suicidal ideas and tendencies
  • Discharge from an inpatient hospital due to suicidal ideation or behavior
  • Behavioral health concerns, like anxiety, depression, personality disorders, etc., are debilitating.
  • Substance addiction and related disorders
  • Emotional or personal crises caused by divorce, loss, abuse, or other adverse life events

Some people who need mental health therapy need full-time, inpatient care to get rid of their symptoms, get help 24 hours a day, and lower their risk of hurting themselves or others. Those whose symptoms are not severe enough to warrant inpatient hospitalization or who have just finished inpatient therapy may benefit from targeted supervision and care in an outpatient setting via partial hospitalization.

Patients who take part in PHP gain access to several special advantages in addition to the opportunity to spend their nights and weekends at home in a comfortable setting, like:

  • Regular meetings with medical and mental health experts
  • Individualized mental health care
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Treatment without expensive overnight hospital stays
  • Easier readjustment to daily life and independence.

A partial outpatient program is designed to meet your specific requirements. During the day, you will engage in a range of treatment activities and then return home at night.

Individuals participating in a PHP receive individualized forms of assistance. Typically, this includes:

  • Individual counseling/therapy
  • Group treatment
  • Skills training
  • Medication management
  • Physical or nursing healthcare
  • Educational courses
  • Care coordination
  • Family Counseling
  • Planning for relapse prevention and aftercare
  • Creative therapies, like art and music therapy

You will be given a partial hospitalization program schedule of daily treatment activities. Your medical and care team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your treatment goals.

The following are examples of common PHP treatment approaches:

The detoxification phase may have stopped the person from using the addictive substance, but there is no guarantee that they won’t use it again. Relapse refers to the resumption of previous behaviors by patients who have completed rehabilitation.

Numerous doctors employ intensive individual psychotherapy to assist patients in avoiding a probable relapse. The psychotherapy sessions aid the patient in two different ways. The first step is to break the patient out of old, repetitive thought patterns that keep him or her in a cycle of drug use, abstinence, rehab, and relapse.

The other option is to look for specific psychological factors that may be linked to the cycle. These problems can be caused by unresolved trauma, ongoing abuse, or a single terrible event that had a big effect on the person.

Individual psychotherapy also comprises of approaches that are widely utilized in numerous treatment centers, such as:

Cognitive behavioral therapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a method of psychotherapy that enables individuals to recognize self-destructive ideas and thoughts. Once recognized, these factors become more manageable and alter how they are seen and reacted to.

Contingency Management Program – As children and growing up, most people learn that positive behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is penalized. This gives rise to the belief that incentives will elicit improved behavior. Others, though, misinterpret substance abuse as a reward. Based on this belief, contingent management aligns a person’s perceptions and thoughts of incentives with sobriety and recovery.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – Initially used to manage borderline personality disorder, DBT is a special form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to assist individuals in developing healthier and more effective methods to deal with their challenges and stress. It also assists individuals in managing their emotions and reactions.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy — Some individuals are certain that they need help and therapy for their substance misuse problem; yet, when it comes to searching out and attending a treatment facility, their doubts kick in and inhibit their entire commitment. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) aims to strengthen a patient’s resolve to persevere with treatment to its finish, including preparing them for the treatment’s inherent difficulty.

Exposure Therapy – Some psychologists address substance use problems by investigating the potential causes, especially if the disease is the result of a traumatic event or intense or underlying fear. Exposure therapy boosts a person’s courage and confidence, allowing them to face their fears and recognize them for what they are. In this way, they can get rid of an underlying trauma or fear or at least bring it down to a level that is manageable.

PHPs are good for people who need more monitoring than an outpatient program can provide but less active treatment than an inpatient program can offer. Patients who require more intensive supervision but cannot reside on-site at a rehabilitation center are sometimes suitable candidates for PHP programs.

As primary caretakers for minor children and often for elderly adults or relatives, women frequently encounter impediments to inpatient treatment programs. While their children are in school or an older relative is at home with a part-time caretaker, women with serious drug and alcohol addictions may benefit from a program of partial hospitalization.

Men and women who couldn’t take time off work are also suitable candidates for a PHP because they can continue working while receiving addiction treatment. Inpatient rehabilitation treatments can drastically impair a person’s capacity to work and maintain employment. Other elements that can affect a person’s ability to profit from a PHP include:

  • Patients exhibiting mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Having a secure job, reliable transportation, and housing outside of rehabilitation.
  • Providing main caregiving.
  • Patients who cannot be adequately supervised in the majority of outpatient settings.
  • Patients with robust support networks outside rehabilitation and therapy.
  • Individuals would be negatively affected at their job or schools if they underwent inpatient rehabilitation.

Individual and group therapy, skill-building practice, psychoeducation, and frequent evaluations comprise a normal day. All of them are performed by a qualified mental health practitioner. If medication management is required, you will consult with a psychiatrist on staff. The program may also include family counseling sessions. It is common to include the client’s family in the treatment plan, since building a support system is an important part of recovery.

Typically, the program will include lunch, however, you’ll be responsible for any other meals. Some treatment facilities offer transport to and from the program.

Scheduling and programming are dependent on the treatment center, however, the majority of facilities employ an array of therapeutic modalities. There are many different kinds of treatments, from traditional ones like cognitive-behavioral therapy to non-traditional ones like trauma-sensitive yoga.

If you are contemplating PHP for your child, school absences are a serious problem. Most treatment providers are aware of this and provide schooling within the program to ensure that adolescents do not fall behind in their education.

In general, the duration of a treatment program depends on the individual patient, and there is no defined period. Patients can attend PHP as few as three days per week and as many as five days per week. Sessions can last between four and six hours, and the program can last anywhere from a few weeks to many months before a person can transition to less rigorous outpatient treatment options.

During PHP, patients may go through detox and/or be told to take drugs to help with or stop drug cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. The timing for withdrawal will vary based on a variety of variables, including the patient’s age, metabolic rate, the intensity of their addiction, and physical and mental health. After detox, individuals have access to a team of physicians and therapists who may treat and alleviate the symptoms of substance misuse, depression, and anxiety.

PHPs assist patients in managing their cravings and emotional suffering and provide them with the tools necessary to rebuild their relationships and maintain sobriety outside of treatment. The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems recognizes PHPs as an important part of improving patients’ mental and emotional health, which is important for getting and staying sober.

You or a loved one may be battling drug addiction or a dual condition. Rehab and counseling can assist in achieving and maintaining abstinence. Regardless of the severity or mildness of your addiction, and irrespective of your situation, a care plan can be customized to meet your needs.

There are numerous ways in which this form of therapy might be beneficial. Here are several significant advantages:

Individual and Group Therapy: In PHP, you will have access to both private and group therapy. You will learn about your mental health and addiction issues, as well as how to manage their symptoms.

Intensive treatment. PHP is a more intensive program than standard outpatient treatment. You will devote more time to treatment sessions, enhancing your potential to conquer addiction.

Work with medical experts regularly. Because you will spend a considerable amount of time in therapy and treatments for both addiction and mental health conditions, you will interact with a variety of professionals daily. This provides complete assistance depending on your specific requirements.

Highly effective outpatient care. The PHP is a step down from inpatient residential care. This treatment can be effective for those who desire intensive counseling to help them overcome addiction but yet wish to live at home.

Facilitates the Transition between Inpatient and Outpatient Care. A PHP is a perfect approach to move from inpatient treatment, the maximum level of care where individuals are constantly supervised, to outpatient care, where there is less structure and complete independence. PHP provides a bridge between the two.

Aftercare services are provided in this form of treatment. Life skills education and skills for a sober living are frequently included in the aftercare programs of a PHP. These assists individuals in making the transition from a PHP to independent living.

A more cost-effective option, PHPs are typically less expensive than residential treatment programs, making alcohol or drug addiction treatment accessible to a broader spectrum of clients who pay privately.

Expands the value of health insurance dollars. While the Affordable Care Act expanded access to all types of addiction treatment in the United States, insurance companies would rather cover a PHP than an inpatient program due to the lower cost. Inpatient treatment often requires a 28-day stay at a higher cost. PHP is often a longer-term treatment program spanning several months. A partial inpatient hospitalization program prolongs your treatment period at a lower cost

Flexible schedules to accommodate outside obligations. A PHP is a fantastic option for those who have other duties at home, with their family, or at work. The freedom provided by a PHP’s reduced work hours permits the patients to fulfill other obligations. PHPs also give participants the chance to build support networks outside of the rehabilitation center.

It is essential to understand that PHP is not for everyone. Some individuals do not require this level of assistance. Others require greater assistance. When you visit your therapist for a discussion and evaluation, you will discover more about the sort of therapy that may be optimal for your particular situation. Many have access to genuine opportunities for recovery.

  1. What is a partial hospitalization program? GoodRx. Available at:
  2. How long is a partial hospitalization program? what should I expect?, Live Free Recovery Services | NH Addiction Treatment. Available at:
  3. The benefits of partial hospitalization programs, Silvermist Recovery. Available at:
  4. Partial hospitalization program: What is it and is it right for you? Windward Way Recovery. Available at:
  5. Partial hospitalization. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at:



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