What is IOP?

Teen Advisory Committee-13

Doorways Arizona currently offers two ongoing IOP groups. (Photo credit: Vancouver Public Library)

To most people, there are two kinds of mental health treatment. First, there is inpatient treatment where you live at a facility for weeks to months and which includes treatment for chronic issues or addictions and secondly, Outpatient treatment, which is meeting with a group or an individual provider, typically once a week. Here at Doorways, we understand that there are times where adolescents and young adults need more than a weekly one on one with a therapist or other provider, but who don’t need to be in an inpatient program.  In an effort to fill this need, we developed an adolescent and young adult-specific Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that target specific disorders.

IOPs meet several times over the course of a week and participants are part of several different kinds of therapy each day.  These programs enable us to provide more comprehensive treatment options in the specific areas where a more intensive experience is warranted.

Doorways currently offers two ongoing IOP groups, the Young Adult Trauma IOP and the Adolescent Eating Disorder IOP.  These specialty groups each meet three days a week and have rolling, open enrollment.

The Young Adult Trauma IOP is for those ages 17-25.  The program requires 10 hours a week spread over a three day period.  Each week, attendees participate in the following different types of therapy and group sessions.

  • Art Group – These groups are designed to enhance and reinforce positive emotion.  Participation helps promote peace and calm.
  • Process Group – These groups help participants practice identifying and expressing emotions, learning to let go of shame, and how to build relationships with interpersonal skills.  By sharing their experiences, participants grow and learn to trust others.
  • Yoga and Mindfulness – This group uses yoga and mindfulness practice to increase participants’ awareness of thoughts, feelings, urges, and actions in an observational and non-judgmental way.
  • DBT Skills Group – These groups use the concepts and theories from Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help participants develop effective life coping skills.
  • Skills Card Process Group – This group expands on the skills learned in the DBT Skills Groups and helps participants learn to process thoughts, emotions, feelings, self destructive behaviors, and urges.  The emphasis is to put the skills, learned in the DBT Skills Groups, into practice.
  • Voice, Power, & Trust Group – This group provides participants with a place to tell their story in a safe space and is designed to help trauma victims recover their voice and learn to trust again.
  • Trauma Theory – This session combines psychoeducation and processing in an effort to explore a model of trauma and how it is manifested in adulthood.

The Adolescent Eating Disorders IOP is for those ages 13-18.  The program requires 13 hours a week spread over a three day period.  Each week, attendees participate in a variety of therapy and group sessions.  In addition to the Process Group, Yoga/Mindfulness Group, and DBT Skills Group outlined above, this IOP also includes the following:

  • Group Meals – Each meal or snack is an Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) session supervised by a dietician or therapist.  ERP is a premiere method of learning to tolerate the kind of anxiety often experienced with eating disorders.
  • Nutrition Group – This group’s focus is promoting a healthy, balanced approach to eating that is supported by the latest research and is taught by a registered dietician with years of experience treating children and adolescents with eating disorders.
  • Body Image Group – This group provides participants with a place to tell their story in a safe space and is designed to help those with eating disorders recover their voice.
  • CRT Group – Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) is on the cutting edge of eating disorder treatment.
  • Parent Group – The goal of this group is to give parents and guardians the necessary information to assist in their loved one’s recovery process.  This group is for parents and guardians only.
  • Parent Update – The focus of this group will be to discuss client progress, barriers, obstacles, concerns, and expectations for the weekend while establishing the type of structure that is conducive to the recovery process.
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