What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program and Is It Right for Me?

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program and Is It Right for Me?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Recovery is a personal journey that looks different for every client. While some clients may feel secure in inpatient residential treatment, others may find themselves benefiting from an outpatient program. There is no “right” way to recover, and there are services that match every client’s needs. Sometimes, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) is more fitting to a person’s needs, and this is okay. It is important to understand one’s options fully in order to feel ready to enter treatment.

At First Steps Recovery, a number of services are offered within different types of treatment programs. While inpatient and outpatient treatments are seemingly more popular or well-known, a PHP is also available for clients who may benefit most from this treatment path.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

A PHP is traditionally used as a program of continuing care following inpatient treatment. The program was first used for mental health treatment but has grown to assist with substance use disorders (SUDs) as well. A PHP is useful for clients looking to continue their care to help prevent relapse or who want support while transitioning into their normal routines.

Clients in PHPs continue to receive active and intensive care while still transitioning into outpatient treatment. It is important to remember that a PHP should not be substituted for residential treatment unless the client does not require inpatient care.

Who May Benefit From a PHP?

As mentioned, a PHP can be appropriate for a client recovering from addiction or working through their mental health disorder(s). This program can benefit clients who are looking to avoid hospitalization, have completed their inpatient treatment duration, and are looking to more effectively use the resources gained from inpatient care. 

A PHP acts as a stabilizing point for clients as they are given the time during the day to regather themselves, engage in different sessions, and progress in their healing. At the end of the day, clients return home and can practice using the skills and resources learned in treatment within their normal lives.

The Partial Hospitalization Program at First Steps Recovery

First Steps Recovery’s PHP provides a higher level of structure than an outpatient program but still allows clients to return home. The program lasts for at least 20 days depending on the needs of the client. A significant amount of treatment is required for clients in this program. Clients spend roughly six to eight hours per weekday in treatment and spend their nights and weekends in the comfort of their own homes. The frequency and duration of treatment are based on the client’s needs as well as the facility’s availability.

During the weekdays, clients attend scheduled classes and therapy sessions and may also receive medication management from trained professionals if that is included in the treatment plan. The therapy sessions can range from one-on-one therapy to experiential therapies like art or wilderness therapy.

Services Offered as Part of the PHP

The First Steps Recovery’s PHP offers a number of services. These include:

  • Psychoeducation
  • Psychological assessments
  • Psychotherapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Peer-support meetings
  • Case management
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Safe and sober transport

Transitioning Back Into Normal Routines Post-Treatment in a Partial Hospitalization Program

Since the partial hospitalization program acts as a transition program from inpatient care, clients are able to get a beginning feel for sobriety and healing outside of the facility. There can be a stark difference between healing within the walls of a facility and navigating life post-treatment, which is why a transition period for clients can be useful. Our PHP allows clients to continue their care and practice healthy coping mechanisms at home. In other words, the PHP offers the first taste of a healthy sober lifestyle without 24/7 accessible supervision.

If needed, clients can then pursue their treatment further in an outpatient program. The First Steps Recovery intensive outpatient program (IOP) continues to provide an intense level of treatment in a more flexible manner. Clients still spend scheduled time in their sessions but spend the majority of time in their everyday environments which can include working at a job. Some clients can opt for a less intensive outpatient program as well if their healing has progressed beyond intensive needs.

Recovery is not an easy journey, and it is important to remember that there are steps and milestones along the way. When the journey is undertaken skillfully and with intention, the results of sobriety and higher life quality are unmatched. Programs such as a PHP assist in the overall journey as it begins to prepare clients for their normal lives. Having these transition-like steps in the journey promotes long-term, sustainable sobriety. Through these transitions, clients are supported by all staff members at First Steps Recovery as they access the facility as needed.

At First Steps Recovery, we offer a partial hospitalization program (PHP) for clients exiting their inpatient treatment or for those who do not require the intense level of care that inpatient programs provide. Our PHP runs for at least 20 days. Clients in this program are at the facility each weekday for roughly six to eight hours. They participate in therapy sessions ranging from individual to experiential sessions. Additionally, clients can receive other treatments such as medication management. At the end of the day and on weekends, clients return to their homes. A PHP is the first step in transitioning back to their normal lives, navigating sobriety, and healing on their own. Contact us at (844) 489-0836 to learn more. 

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