Young adult man participating in a virtual iop session

Here Are Charlie Health’s Virtual IOP Program Requirements

June 10, 2024

4 min.

Find out if Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program is the right fit for you.

By: Alex Bachert, MPH

Clinically Reviewed By: Meghan Jensen

Learn more about our Clinical Review Process

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Here Are Charlie Health’s Virtual IOP Program Requirements

June 10, 2024

4 min.

Find out if Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program is the right fit for you.

By: Alex Bachert, MPH

Clinically Reviewed By: Meghan Jensen

Learn more about our Clinical Review Process

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Intensive outpatient programming (IOP) is a type of behavioral healthcare that’s designed to support people who need more than once-weekly therapy. In an IOP, people usually meet with therapists and group facilitators several times per week for group therapy sessions, individual counseling, and medication management. 

If you’ve been considering an IOP but don’t know if it’s a good fit — this piece is for you. Charlie Health is the leading provider of intensive virtual therapy with a robust Intensive Outpatient Program. Below, we break down the key components and requirements of an IOP and offer a comprehensive overview of what to expect when starting this kind of treatment. 

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Who is eligible for Charlie Health’s Intensive Outpatient Program?

Charlie Health’s IOP was designed to support teens and young adults, ages 11-34 years, who are struggling with serious mental health issues and could benefit from intensive treatment. In general, there are two leading reasons people enroll in Charlie Health’s IOP:

  1. They’re attending weekly therapy sessions (also known as outpatient care) but are still struggling with their mental health and are interested in a more tailored treatment plan for additional support.
  2. They’ve recently been discharged from a residential treatment program, partial hospitalization program, an emergency department, or another kind of inpatient program and require ongoing care.

In essence, IOPs are more intensive than traditional outpatient treatment but less intensive than inpatient care. As mentioned, they typically include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, skill-building sessions, and psychiatric medications to help people manage symptoms and treat mental and behavioral health conditions.

What conditions do intensive outpatient programs treat?

Many people enter an IOP — including Charlie Health — for help managing depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, substance use disorders, and self-harm. “I think all diagnoses could possibly benefit from being in Charlie Health’s IOP program,” says Charlie Health Group Facilitator Clary Figueroa, MSW. “It really depends on the individual and their ability to understand empathy, open up, receive support and feedback, and understand and respect boundaries.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), IOPs tend to be a good fit for people who are: 

  • Able to verbally express their thoughts and feelings
  • Motivated to participate in the program
  • Motivated to work toward recovery
  • Comfortable in group therapy settings
  • Able and willing to learn and apply skills learned in therapy
  • Not in need of detox, specifically for drug addiction
  • Not in need of 24-hour supervision for their condition

How does an intensive outpatient program work?

As mentioned, an IOP is part-time, requiring more weekly hours than once-weekly therapy but fewer hours than inpatient care options. “An IOP program can be a flexible option for those in school, working, and caring for a family who may require a more intensive option than a typical outpatient experience,” says Figueroa. 

Most IOPs last between 8-12 weeks, but timing may vary based on each person’s mental health symptoms and needs. With Charlie Health’s IOP, a typical weekly schedule involves the following:

1 hour of individual therapy per week

Individual therapy with Charlie Health provides young people with one-on-one support and personalized solutions for managing serious mental health issues. During individual therapy, you’ll have a chance to discuss current conflicts, past traumas, and other mental health issues with a trained professional.

1 to 2 hours of family therapy per week

Family therapy is another core component of Charlie Health’s IOP, showing families how to improve their communication skills, build stronger relationships, and enhance their overall functioning. 

3 hours of group sessions per day, 3 days per week

Charlie Health’s group sessions prioritize community and collective healing. By connecting with others who are experiencing similar concerns, you’ll have an opportunity to gain social support, discover new coping skills, and focus on personal growth.

Are intensive outpatient programs effective?

In short, yes, IOPs are an effective way to help treat and manage mental illness! Charlie Health has found that 94% of clients don’t need to be readmitted to a higher level of care, such as an emergency department or inpatient facility, after completing their personalized IOP treatment plan. What’s more, discharge data collected between October 2021 and September 23 concluded that:

  • 89% of clients reported improvements in self-harm
  • 95% of clients reported improvements in symptoms associated with depression
  • 92% of clients reported improvements in symptoms associated with anxiety
  • 79%of clients reported a reduction in suicidal ideation

“I believe that Charlie Health helps youth and young adults by showing them that they are not alone in their struggles. Many clients come in feeling isolated and disconnected from others, and Charlie Health’s IOP program helps them make connections, build skills to better manage symptoms, and foster healing,” explains Figueroa. 

“It is also very flexible due to it being telehealth and allows clients autonomy in how they wish to show up for group. For example, they can be comfortable in their room or just getting in from work. It really has a strong emphasis in providing personalized treatment wherever you are,” says Figueroa.

A mother and son research IOP services at Charlie Health.

IOP services at Charlie Health

If you or a young person in your life are looking for a treatment option between inpatient treatment and outpatient therapy, Charlie Health may be a good fit for you. Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides more than once-weekly mental health treatment for young people and families dealing with serious mental health and behavioral health conditions, including depression, anxiety, trauma, co-occurring substance use disorder, and more. 

Our expert clinicians incorporate evidence-based therapies into individual counseling, family therapy, and group sessions. With this kind of holistic treatment, mental health recovery is possible. Fill out the form below or give us a call to start healing today.

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