Frequently Asked Questions About Outpatient Programs

Two women sit in a comfortable office during an individual therapy session

When starting an outpatient programs, there are many things to consider. This can feel confusing and overwhelming, especially when the answers to your questions aren’t readily available. 

At  Branches Midtown, formerly the Excel Center of Midtown, we believe that you should enter treatment with the clarity and peace of mind you need. To that end’ we’ve compiled (and answered!) your most frequently asked questions about outpatient programs. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Outpatient Programs

1. What is an outpatient program?

An outpatient program refers to any type of mental health treatment program where people receive professional care during the day without having to reside in a behavioral health center. 

This means that outpatient programs provide structured care while still enabling patients to carry on with their day-to-day activities, such as work, school, or other responsibilities. 

Outpatient programs involve a variety of treatment tecniques and therapeutic modalities. Overall, you can expect a combination of therapy sessions, support groups and medication management.

2. What types of outpatient programs are available?

There are two types of outpatient programs: partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient. 

Partial hospitalization program, or PHPs,  are the most intensive kind of outpatient program. In a PHP, patients typically meet 5 days per week for anywhere between 4-8 hours at a time. Usually considered the first step down from an inpatient program, partial hospitalization is a short-term solution and “in-between” step in the continuum of care. 

The second type of outpatient program is the intensive outpatient program, or IOP. IOPs are the next step down in the continuum of care and a less intensive version of PHPs. Usually, intensive outpatient programs meet 3-5 times per week for 2-4 hours. IOPs remain a popular option for those struggling with mild mental health symptoms.

3. What conditions can outpatient programs treat?

Outpatient programs, thanks to their flexibility in care, can treat a wide variety of conditions. Common conditions treated in outpatient programs include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Mood disorders (such as depression)
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia

Outpatient treatment is always individualized to meet each person’s needs. This means that although two people with the same condition start an outpatient program, their treatment plans might look different.

4. Who can benefit from outpatient treatment?

While anyone can benefit from outpatient treatment, it may not always be best suited to everyone. We have found that outpatient programs can be especially beneficial to those who: 

  • Have previously completed an inpatient program and are ‘graduating’ to the next level of care
  • Need additional mental health support
  • Have recently been exposed to a sudden traumatic event
  • Have a strong support systems at home
  • Want to learn healthy coping mechanisms for their mental health
  • Have stressful jobs or day-to-day lives, such as first responders

5. How long do outpatient programs last?

The answer is, it depends. Some programs may last a few weeks, while others may last months. Ultimately, it depends on the person’s progress, needs and goals. 

6. How do outpatient programs work?

Outpatient programs vary from program to program. However, the following structure can be found in most programs: 

  • Intake and assessment
  • Creation of an individualized treatment plan based on assessment results
  • Start of regular treatment sessions
  • Medication management (where applicable)
  • Completion of the program

7. Are outpatient programs covered by insurance?

It depends.

Most commercial insurance plans provide coverage for outpatient treatment. However, depending on the amoung and duration of the program coverage may vary. 

Ultimately, it’s important to check with your insurance provides to determine which services are covered and what out-of-pocket expenses you can expect. 

Here to Help

The process of starting an outpatient program does not have to feel daunting and overwhelming.

Branches Midtown is here to help. We are an outpatient-only behavioral health center located in the Midtown Forth Worth area treating adults and older adults. We provides IOPs, PHPs and a dedicate outpatient program for first responders called the Honor Strong First Responder Program.

Give us a call at 682-235-3132 to get started on your journey to improved mental well-being today.

If you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.