Anxiety disorders can severely affect your quality of life. Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive worries, ruminations, fears and other stressful, intrusive thoughts, images, and impulses that are unwanted and excessive. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can take over your thinking and make you feel that you are not in control of your own life. If you want to regain control over yourself and your life, one of the best ways to do so is to seek therapeutic treatment. If you want a balance of intensive support while still maintaining some independence, you might try an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program.
For Whom is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program Appropriate?
An Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program for anxiety uses the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders, which is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is especially beneficial for individuals with anxiety disorders and depression, as it provides them with a supportive and structured therapeutic setting where they can learn to systematically reduce their symptoms and manage their anxiety and depression. It is especially geared toward treating disorders such as
* Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
* Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
* Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
* Social Phobia
* Specific Phobia
* Panic Disorder
* Depression, which often accompanies the above conditions and anxiety disorders
* Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, including Hypochondriasis or Health Anxiety, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Tic Disorder (also known as Tourette’s Disorder), Compulsive Skin Picking, Trichotillomania or Compulsive Hair Pulling, and Olfactory Reference Syndrome.
Who is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program not for? It is not for individuals who require a high level of support, such as adults who cannot maintain activities of daily living, suffer from active suicidal impulses, active addictions or active eating disorders. For these individuals, a more acute, highly regimented environment with a great deal of supervision, such as in an inpatient or residential setting, is recommended.
Who Can Benefit from an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program?
An Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program meets during daytime work hours and typically starts in the morning, at around 8:45 am, and continues until the late afternoon, at around 4 pm, on weekdays. The days are structured with one to two hour long groups, such as a goals group, a CBT skill building group, or exposure and response prevention (ERP), punctuated by a lunch break in the middle of the day, and self-directed exposures in the afternoons.
Intensive outpatient programs are especially good for adults who suffer from OCD or anxiety disorders at moderate to severe levels, who do not want the intensity of a residential or inpatient program, or are stepping down from inpatient program. It can also be appropriate for those who have tried outpatient therapy and want to speed up their progress, or who are currently in outpatient therapy but want extra support. Intensive outpatient programs also provide the opportunity to find social support from other individuals who suffer from the same conditions.