What Is an Online Therapy Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is an addiction or mental health treatment program designed for individuals who need more structure and intensive treatment than they can get from standard treatment options such as one-on-one therapy, medication, and support groups on their own. Best suited for patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, IOP’s can either be in person or provided through an online therapy platform. IOP’s can be as effective as residential treatment for many people.[1]

Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Right for You?

By asking yourself the following questions, you can get a good idea regarding whether or not an intensive outpatient program (IOP) is the right kind of treatment to help you with your addiction or mental health.

Are your symptoms mild to moderate?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) produce the best results for individuals with mild-to-moderate mental health or addiction symptoms. If the following are true about your mental health or addiction, then an IOP may be a good fit for you:

  • You may have just started to notice that your mental health or addiction is starting to affect your family life or work.
  • Loved ones, colleagues, or health professionals may have expressed concern about your mental health or addiction.
  • You’re still relatively functional and can fulfill the majority of your important responsibilities
  • You don’t need medical interventions such as detox or prescription medication management.

Do you feel that your current treatment options aren’t enough?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are designed to provide a level of treatment that is more structured and intensive than standard options such as individual counselling, medication, and support groups. You may benefit from this higher level of treatment if any of the following describe your situation:

  • You’ve tried standard therapy and support options and feel that you need a more structured and intensive program to keep you on track.
  • You feel that you’d benefit from the accountability and support that you’d get from a group of peers who have similar struggles.
  • You want to learn practical skills to improve your mental health or addiction that you can apply to your daily life, and a safe and supportive environment in which you can have discussions and get feedback.
  • You feel that you’d benefit from a program that also provided your family with education and support regarding your mental health or addiction.

Do you need a flexible and accessible treatment option?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) allow you to choose sessions during days or evenings, according to what best fits your schedule.  The flexibility offered by an IOP might make it the best choice for you, if any of the following are true:

  • You’re unable to take time off work for your treatment.
  • You have childcare responsibilities that make residential treatment impossible.

Online intensive outpatient programs (IOP) provide further convenience, since all you need to participate in online therapy is a reliable internet connection and a mobile device or computer for video conferencing. An online IOP would best serve your needs in the following cases:

  • You travel frequently.
  • You live somewhere without access to local outpatient services.

Do you need a step up or step down from current or past treatment?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) offer a step up in treatment intensity from support groups such as AA and SMART recovery, and can be a bridging program to help you prepare and decide whether you need residential treatment for your mental health or addiction.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) also offer a step down in treatment intensity from residential, or inpatient, treatment. They can provide intensive support after you complete a residential program while you return to a new daily life. An IOP can also serve as a useful refresher course if you’ve completed a residential treatment program in the past.

EHN Online Intensive Outpatient Programs Launching in September

Through our Wagon app, we’ve been offering online therapy for addiction since long before COVID-19, but we are now bringing intensive outpatient programs online. EHN Canada will be launching its online Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) on September 8th: one program for substance addiction and one for mood (depression) and anxiety disorders. An additional IOP for sex and love addiction will be coming soon. EHN Canada will not be offering in-person IOP’s in the near future due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

Addiction Online Program

EHN Canada’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for addiction is for individuals with mild-to-moderate addiction. It’s an abstinence-based online therapy program that focuses on teaching patients applied skills to stop or reduce their substance use.

EHN Canada’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for addiction uses science-based therapies including the following:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)

Patients learn relapse prevention skills and get help creating recovery plans to set them up for long-term success. Patients receive psychoeducation—information and support that helps them better understand and cope with their addiction. We measure patient outcomes in terms of achieving abstinence or reduced severity of substance dependence (LDS).

Mood and Anxiety Online Program

EHN Canada’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for mood and anxiety disorders is for individuals with mild-to-moderate symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, depression, or trauma. This online therapy program focuses on teaching patients applied skills to self-regulate, manage their symptoms, and function better in daily life.

EHN Canada’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for mood and anxiety uses science based therapies including the following:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Behavioural activation therapy (BA)

Patients receive psychoeducation—information and support that helps them better understand and cope with their mental health disorders. We measure patient outcomes in terms of reduced severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, and improved interpersonal and social functioning (GAD-7, PHQ-9, OQ-45).

EHN Online Intensive Outpatient Program Components and Format

All EHN Online Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) include individual counselling, group therapy, skills development, and psychoeducation (information sessions). All sessions are conducted by counsellors who are master’s-level registered social workers, psychotherapists, or occupational therapists, and have additional training in providing online therapy. We measure every IOP patient’s progress during their program to identify and provide extra help to those who need it (OQ-ASC).

Program length and hours per week

EHN Canada Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) are eight-week programs. Nine hours of online therapy each week consists of one hour of individual counselling, with the remaining time divided between group therapy, skills development, and psychoeducation.

Flexible scheduling options

You can choose between two different session times: 6 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. PST.  This provides flexibility to fit your schedule.

Family program included

EHN Canada Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) also include online family programs designed to educate and support patients’ families. Addiction and mental health are often referred to as “family diseases,” meaning that these illnesses affect everyone in a person’s life. We help families heal from the pain of witnessing, or being directly affected by, a loved one’s suffering.

Aftercare meetings included

Ten months of weekly aftercare group meetings are also included after patients complete an EHN Online Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). This helps ensure that patients maintain the positive momentum that they build through online therapy in the IOP and continue to improve their quality of life. Studies show that the longer a patient undergoes treatment, the greater their chance at long-term healing.

We Take Care of You

We’re truly excited to be launching this online therapy program soon, as it is the first of its kind in Canada. There are many wonderful outpatient options available for depression, anxiety, and addiction, but for those who need a little bit more, we take care of you.

Call Us to Enrol

If you have questions or if you’d like to enrol in one of our Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) starting on September 8th, please call us at 1-888-767-3711.

References

[1] McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. Psychiatric Services, 65(6), 718–726. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201300249

Like What You’re Reading?

Get insights on mental health, addiction and recovery straight from the experts

We post informative, insightful, and inspirational blogs and videos on a regular basis.

Sign up to subscribe – we’ll let you know when we post more content.