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IOP for Mental Health in California

When most people think of mental health treatment, they imagine a psychiatric hospital (inpatient treatment) or a therapist’s office (outpatient treatment). Few people think of a structured treatment program that can provide an intermediate level of care. Programs like this can be of huge value in managing mental health conditions. 

If you have been trying to cope with a mental health issue, there is a treatment center in California that can help you with an intensive outpatient program designed specifically for your issues. At Lido Wellness Center, we realize that every person is unique and deserves the best care available. 

What is An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An IOP is a type of structured outpatient program. It’s a type of treatment service and support program that is used mainly to treat:

An IOP consists of at least six hours a week of treatment services for adolescents and nine hours per week for adults. Most programs meet several days per week for 2-3 hours per day. However, these numbers are general and can vary depending on the insurance and the types of conditions being treated.

Core Services

A set of core services is necessary to all IOPs and should be a standard part of the treatment package for every patient. Often, enhanced services are added and provided either at the treatment facility or through relationships with community-based agencies or individual providers. 

The difference between core and enhanced services is somewhat flexible, however, basic core services that are typically provided in IOP  include:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Psychoeducation  ( teaching a patient about their condition and how to manage it)
  • Medication management
  • Psychiatric care
  • Complementary services may also be offered such as:
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga
  • Music therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Family therapy

Because a typical IOP doesn’t require the person to live at the treatment facility, it allows the person to take part in daily obligations such as work or school. 

However, Lido Wellness Center also provides supportive housing for people who may not have a stable home life to return to after treatment or don’t live in the Newport Beach, CA area. They can then participate in treatment at the facility in the morning or at the end of the day. In an intensive outpatient program, class sessions, meetings, and workshops are scheduled throughout the day. Individuals are expected to follow the structure of the program.

Since mental illness has an effect on the whole family,  Lido Wellness Center also offers a family therapy program. The program provides a full day of family programming designed to help family members understand the recovery process for themselves and their loved one in treatment. Among other things, family members learn the complex nature of their family member’s condition and how to improve their family relationships that may have shifted due to the mental disorder.

Who Are Good Candidates For An IOP for Mental Health?

A structured intensive outpatient program is often used as the next step after inpatient treatment. But it can also be a preventative measure before a person needs a higher level of care. Consider these examples: a person who is hospitalized for a suicide attempt or an individual who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

The first person might look for an intensive outpatient program as their next step in recovery after their stay in the hospital, while the second person might try IOP as a way to manage their suicidal thoughts before they lead to an attempt and subsequent hospitalization. Generally speaking, people are a good fit for IOP if they are:

  • Motivated to take part in programming
  • Able to learn and apply recovery skills
  • Comfortable in a group situation
  • Motivated to improve their condition and work towards their recovery
  • Willing to express their thoughts and feelings verbally

What Are the Benefits of an IOP for Mental Health?

Treatment for mental health issues can be thought of as a continuum, or a continuous sequence and patients may move up or down in levels of care as needed. 

  • One of the major advantages of IOP is that it allows the individual to receive an intense level of programming (similar to inpatient care) without completely disturbing their life situation. 
  • As mentioned previously, the individual is free to carry on their work, school, or family responsibilities. In addition, the home environment may be beneficial for recovery, as long as it is a healthy, stable environment.
  • This type of structured outpatient program also provides more direction in the individual’s treatment. In traditional outpatient counseling, it is the patient’s responsibility to finish assignments between sessions and apply the recovery skills they’ve learned. In IOP, the patient has extra support from counselors and other participants. 
  • Individuals in IOP also spend more time at the treatment center. This allows them more time to focus their attention on their recovery.

Group Therapy and Counseling

As part of the core services, group counseling is the most important part of most IOPs. And probably the biggest advantage of group therapy is showing the patient that they aren’t alone in their struggle–there are other people with similar problems. Often, this is a big discovery and relief to the person. In addition:

  • Being in group therapy helps an individual build new skills to relate to others. The interactions in a group are often similar to those of society in general. Learning how to interact with other members of the group can help with relationships outside the group. 
  • Members of the group who have the same problems can be a source of support for each other. They may offer suggestions for dealing with a certain problem not thought of previously.
  • The diversity of a group is an important benefit. People have different situations and look at problems in different ways. 

People are frequently uncomfortable at first discussing their problems in front of strangers. But, the fact that others are dealing with the same type of situation helps them open up and discuss their feelings. Also helpful is the knowledge that everything that takes place in group therapy is completely confidential.

What To Expect

Group sessions may vary but a basic form is a small group of patients meeting on a regular schedule to discuss their feelings and problems and offer support for each other. Typically, group therapy involves one or more psychologists who lead a group of about five to fifteen patients. 

This is different from self-help groups in that sessions are led by a professional therapist who is specially trained in group therapy. The therapist acts as the moderator of the group and may suggest a topic or theme for the discussion. Sometimes the therapist will have the members pick the topic for discussion.

As part of the group therapy sessions, members try to change their previous ways of behaving in favor of more productive behavior. Usually, there is a lot of interaction and discussion within the group. Members may also engage in specific activities such as discussing certain anxieties and fears. 

Who Can Benefit from Group Therapy?

Group therapy is helpful to individuals with many types of mental health issues. Similar to individual therapy, group therapy can help people with conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Family issues
  • Addiction
  • Anger
  • Shyness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief after losing a spouse, child, or someone who died by suicide

In many cases, people who take part in group therapy also engage in individual counseling.

The Stigma About Mental Health Treatment

There has always been an unfair stigma around mental health conditions and treatment. This stigma can keep people from getting the support and help they need. Often, they are afraid and concerned about what people will think of them. So this keeps them from getting treatment. As a result, their condition often gets worse. Sometimes, people take their own lives because the stigma of mental illness stopped them from getting help.

In recent years, however, educators, health care professionals, and organizations have worked to overcome that stigma. Now, individuals and their loved ones are more likely to speak out about mental health disorders. They encourage people to get treatment.

Signs of a Possible Mental Health Condition

Be aware of these signs that you or a loved one may be experiencing a mental health condition:

  • Feeling depressed or sad
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Extreme feelings (this includes fear, guilt, anger, or sadness)
  • Withdrawal from friends and previously enjoyable activities
  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Unexplained violence or hostility
  • Problems coping with stress or feelings
  • Paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations (such as hearing voices)
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There are many treatment options available. Mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed by. By being aware of mental health problems and learning the truth, you can help yourself and others. It can even save lives.

IOP for Mental Health at Lido Wellness

For people who are not managing a condition effectively at the outpatient level, or who don’t meet the standards for inpatient treatment, the intensive outpatient treatment level could be the perfect situation.  You or your loved one can receive a higher level of care than weekly outpatient sessions and still maintain your normal living situation. 

Intensive outpatient care has opened up new possibilities and better outcomes for people who are new to treatment or who have tried other levels of care and are seeking the next step. Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach, CA, offers several levels of care including IOP so you can always receive the level of care you need. 

Many people have mental health issues but, unfortunately, many try to ignore it or treat it on their own. This only leads to more problems. Stand up for yourself or your loved one and reach out for the help you need. Contact us today.



I am not just renewed. I AM NEW. I am found new in this freedom that breaking up the trauma has brought. I feel a true sense of clarity and oneness to the highest degree ever in my life. I was able to fully fall into trust with Lido Wellness Center and your clinicians. I was mightily impressed by the overall integrity, clinical and administrative competencies. You instilled such confidence in me about the paths and processes that lead to deep healing. I leave better and strengthened on all levels.

- Alumni, Lido Wellness Center

Going to Lido Wellness Center gave me a second chance at life. It equipped me with the tools and resources necessary to live my life the best way I can. I wouldn’t trade my time at Lido for anything. It was priceless to me and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life. I’m eternally grateful to the team I had around me that was dedicated to my recovery.

- Alumnus, Lido Wellness Center

Lido Wellness Center saved my life. I am endlessly grateful for the knowledgeable, empathetic, and supportive staff members that truly went above and beyond to provide a safe space to heal. Each staff member showed me kindness like I had never experienced before, and believed in me even when I was struggling to believe in myself. It is clear that the Lido Wellness Center team genuinely cares about every individual that walks through those doors, both during treatment and beyond through alumni services. Choosing to fully dive deep into treatment at Lido was one of the hardest and most rewarding decisions I have ever made, and I am now living a life that I never thought was possible.

- Alumnus, Lido Wellness Center

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