A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an outpatient treatment program that allows the client to receive mental health services during the day. They don’t have to stay in a facility overnight. This can serve as a “step-down” from primary treatment in an inpatient psychiatric or addiction treatment program. PHP can also be a primary treatment.
PHP provides structure and focused care while still allowing the client to get back into the swing of daily life. With the therapeutic guidance of clinicians and peer support groups, clients learn to manage their condition and regain stability.
PHP is meant for individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious mental disorder and/or substance use disorder (SUD) and are expected to improve with intensive care. According to an article in Psychiatry (Edgemont) from 2010, this program can assist clients “who need crisis stabilization and amelioration of their acute symptoms.” Clients may start to regain a range of capabilities to eventually achieve a level of independence. Those who are at risk of relapse or full hospitalization for their condition may also benefit from this program.
Partial hospitalization may be right for an individual if they:
- Neglect their basic needs
- Have co-occurring disorders
- Are unable to function at work
- Have a support system at home
- Desire treatment and are willing to cooperate
- Cannot meet familial or social responsibilities
This program is not suitable for those who are:
- Medically unstable
- In need of around-the-clock care
A clinician who has intimate knowledge of the client’s condition, medical history, home situation, and support network works with them to determine whether PHP is the best path for their recovery. If it’s not, they can provide guidance on what type of program is likely to be the most beneficial. For example, 449 Recovery also has an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that is less intensive but still provides similar benefits. Clients spend about three hours per day, five days a week in IOP. This is compared to the more committed schedule of PHP, which is six hours per day, five days a week.
Clients in PHP return to the facility throughout the weekday for at least four hours a day. Clients get to go home in the evenings so they can spend time with loved ones. This is also an opportunity to practice healthy behaviors, and build up relationships that may have been damaged.
The core of PHP is medication management and therapy. Prescription medications are often a key component due to the severe nature of the mental health conditions and SUD being treated in this type of program. Medications may need to be lowered or increased to counteract undesirable symptoms. Side effects are typically monitored for several weeks as the body may take time to adjust to new dosages.
Therapy sessions are scheduled to provide a highly-structured environment in which clients can stay focused on their treatment goals. At 449 Recovery, our licensed counselors and therapists help clients identify their triggers and learn new skills and coping mechanisms in individual and group sessions. The overall goal of therapy is to come to terms with behavioral patterns that may be hindering the client’s progress and modify them.
An important focus is placed on learning resilience and adaptability to difficult and evolving circumstances. Clients learn to self-soothe and see their issues with more clarity. This helps them combat unproductive thought and behavioral patterns when faced with intra- and interpersonal conflicts.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are particularly useful when it comes to acquiring life skills that contribute to a client’s resilience, such as acceptance, self-awareness, and emotional regulation.
Clients are exposed to peers who are also being treated for mental disorders and/or addiction during group therapy sessions. This gives clients the chance to share their personal experiences and gain advice. They may even make friendships that continue to support them after treatment. When faced with uncomfortable social situations or triggers, clients can practice coping techniques to de-escalate the situation or control their emotions.
Experiential therapies such as psychodrama, art therapy, activity therapy, and music therapy can simulate real-life scenarios, helping to prepare clients for discharge. In addition to social benefits, therapies offered in a group format can improve a client’s cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities.
Participation in group therapies can motivate clients to keep pushing forward even when things get tough. Having peers they trust and can relate to also helps maintain accountability. As peers face similar challenges and rewards, there is an inherent understanding that everyone is “in it together.”
To be sure, the process of personal transformation can be painful and full of uncertainties. Managing a severe mental health disorder or addiction can feel like moving through hills and valleys. Having a team of supporters can give a person the energy and confidence they need to complete PHP and move on to recovery.
449 Recovery is rooted in 12-Step principles. We believe that spirituality is an integral part of the treatment experience in PHP. In fact, the name of the facility is based on an inspirational quote from page 449 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
However, our clients don’t have to be participating in this 12-Step program. We have other support groups, such as:
- Process groups
- Vocational groups
- Experiential groups
- Trauma-focused groups
- Spirituality groups
449 Recovery is a client-centered treatment program for mental health and substance use disorder in Mission Viejo, CA. Our partial hospitalization program offers clients treatment for mental health conditions that have created major disruptions in their daily life. Our mission is to transform lives by offering opportunities for recovery, wellness, and independence. Whatever your concerns may be, give us a call at (949) 435-7449 so we can help direct you.
Dr. Warren Taff MD, graduated from the University of Birmingham, England School of Medicine, with a BA from Rutgers University. He then went on to UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles Health and Human Services and received an MPH. He also attended an internship in internal medicine, with the Veterans Administration. Dr. Taff’s residency includes General Psychiatry at USC, with elective residencies at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and Royal College of Psychiatry. Board certifications include American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Taff has extensive experience in both psychiatry and addiction medicine, extending from 1979 to present. He has held professional titles that include Chief of Staff and Medical Directorship in both hospitals and private sectors.