Couples therapy or marriage counseling. Man and woman holding hands on couch during a psychotherapy session. Psychologist, counselor, therapist, psychiatrist or relationship consultant giving advice.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment: Which Type is Right for You?

The outpatient addiction treatment maze can feel tough to navigate at first. You’re probably asking questions like:

What kind of addiction treatment is right for me?

Can I get effective treatment and still work, attend school, or care for my family?

Is quality outpatient treatment available near me?

Outpatient therapy for alcohol and other drugs doesn’t require 24-hour care at a specialized facility. Instead, it offers treatment and support from professional counselors while you live at home or in a recovery-focused residence. For many people recovering from addiction, it’s a way to receive quality therapy without being away from work, school, or family.

The two most common types of outpatient treatment are intensive outpatient treatment and general outpatient treatment.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Treatment

As highly structured treatment plans, IOP programs are often recommended for people who are in the early stages of recovery but don’t require inpatient treatment or a medically-supervised detox. The focus in IOP is to help you make recovery a priority and build the lasting skills that support sobriety.

While program specifics vary among facilities, you can expect to participate in—at minimum—nine hours of treatment weekly, often spread over three to four days. Providers typically offer multiple session options, such as morning or evening, so you can attend treatments that fit in with your daily schedule.

Some sessions take place in a group setting, which combines the guidance of a professional and the support of peers. You might also participate in individual therapy sessions to focus on your specific recovery needs.

Effective addiction treatment programs use evidence-based practices. For example, Matrix Model-based programs use an integrative approach that includes a combination of effective therapies to help you understand the root causes of your addiction and develop skillsets for long-term recovery.

During IOP treatment, you may:

  • Learn to identify relapse triggers
  • Practice refusal skills
  • Participate in family counseling
  • Practice stress management skills
  • Learn to cope with common addiction-related emotions, like guilt or shame

General Outpatient Treatment

Less structured than IOP, general outpatient addiction treatment focuses on helping you process and cope with experiences common to people in recovery. Through a combination of group and individual treatment, you’ll develop the understanding and skills needed to maintain sobriety.

During general outpatient treatment, you may:

  • Identify the underlying issues that lead to addiction and relapse
  • Pinpoint relapse triggers
  • Learn to manage stress in healthier ways
  • Develop stronger communication skills
  • Repair relationships damaged by addiction
  • Attend 12-step programs or other peer support groups

Effective general outpatient treatment also addresses gender-specific issues and co-occurring disorders, like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Get the help you need to live the substance-free life you deserve.

Every person’s situation is unique. Find the best treatment option for you by talking with a credentialed addiction professional.

The Gate House in Lancaster, PA offers the intensive outpatient and general outpatient programs that provide the support you need to live a life free from substances and full of hope.

Contact us for judgement-free guidance.

Scroll to top