Peninsula Health Center

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Program

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What Exactly Is Intensive Outpatient?

Depending on your treatment needs, an intensive outpatient program or IOP may be the first step on your recovery journey. An IOP may be a transitional step between a more formal treatment environment and traditional outpatient care. Intensive outpatient treatment is vastly different from a residential or inpatient care setting. As part of an intensive outpatient program in Southern California, patients have the freedom to resume many aspects of their day-to-day life while working towards recovery. 

An intensive outpatient addiction treatment program is often advised if you have minimal mental health concerns, a mild to moderate addiction, and your home environment is safe and supportive of your recovery. One of the critical elements of an intensive outpatient treatment program is group therapy sessions. Participation in a group treatment setting allows group members to give and receive support from others in the group. It also helps improve communication skills and provides an opportunity to learn how to be in a social environment without using drugs or alcohol. 

Intensive outpatient programs help you learn essential coping skills needed to maintain lasting recovery after completing treatment. Some IOP programs also assist with housing and employment while helping you develop a support system and improve problem-solving and coping skills. Our outpatient detoxification program is an ideal first step if you require detox services. 

One of the most significant benefits of an intensive outpatient addiction treatment program is the ability for clients to remain at home while still receiving the essential addiction and mental health treatment needed to progress towards recovery. IOPs generally provide a similar level of treatment services when compared to inpatient residential programs.

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What to Expect

Preparing for Intensive Outpatient Treatment in South Bay

Intensive outpatient programs are beneficial for many addiction and mental health treatment needs. Considering the level of care needed to address your care needs is crucial as the intensity of IOP programs may not be ideal for everyone. In general, an intensive outpatient program in southern California is recommended for someone with mild to moderate treatment needs. It is also necessary to remember that due to the nature of an IOP program, monitoring is limited (compared to a traditional inpatient program or a partial hospitalization program). Therefore opportunities for exposure to relapse triggers are increased. 

Intensive outpatient programs use multiple therapy models, both evidence-based and holistic (alternative) options, to help you achieve sobriety and maintain lasting symptom recovery. The most common programs you will find at our Southern California intensive outpatient program include popular and effective evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-informed therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) combined with alternative treatment options such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. 

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When you begin an intensive outpatient program in Palos Verdes, the first step is a comprehensive evaluation or assessment. This step allows your treatment team to assess your unique treatment needs and your current physical and emotional health. After completing your assessment, your treatment team at a Southern California IOP will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific treatment needs and goals. 


Your treatment plan will also consider other essential treatment needs such as dual diagnosis treatment, co-occurring medical conditions, nutrition education, and medication management. As noted above, your treatment team may recommend (or require) detoxification as the first step in your treatment plan. Detox is a necessary step for some because it is impossible to entirely focus on healing and overcoming addiction while still under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 


Another part of the treatment planning process at an intensive outpatient program will consist of creating a schedule for how many hours (or days) you will attend therapy each week. Intensive outpatient programs often have flexible schedules to accommodate each individual’s unique treatment needs and employment or obligations. If your treatment needs or the speed of your recovery change during the treatment program, your treatment providers can adjust your plan to accommodate these changes. 


While you are at an intensive outpatient program, you will meet for various group sessions designed to help you develop the essential skills you need to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. Some of these skills include relapse prevention education, addiction education, skill-building, and employment education. Sessions at an intensive outpatient program occur in a combination of therapeutic settings, including individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and 12-step groups


Most intensive outpatient programs require drug and alcohol testing while you attend the program. The frequency and interval of this testing vary and are usually random and based on the design of the individual program. Testing is a normal part of many treatment programs due to the freedom associated with the outpatient treatment environment. Testing also helps ensure program participants follow program guidelines and rules while protecting other program members from those who continue to use or who relapse during the treatment program. A positive test may suggest that you need to consider a higher level of treatment, such as a residential program, before stepping down to an intensive outpatient program. 

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Find out more about Peninsula Health Center's aftercare planning services and how we set clients up for success.

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Our IOP Program in Palos Verdes

Peninsula Health Center offers our clients intensive outpatient treatment with or without housing options. Should you decide to stay in community housing, you will share a sober living environment with other peers who are part of our treatment program. Our intensive outpatient program offers weekly group therapy sessions to accommodate the scheduling needs of our employed clients and those with family obligations at home. 

Over the course of the week, you will participate in several hours of group and individual therapy. The number of hours required as part of your treatment program will vary depending on the type and intensity of treatment you need to overcome addiction and learn safer and more effective ways to manage mental health symptoms without turning to drugs or alcohol. Similar to our partial hospitalization program, our IOP offers various therapeutic services ranging from behavioral therapies and holistic treatments to sober living arrangements, relapse prevention education, and aftercare planning. 

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The Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program

It is important to remember that once you complete an intensive outpatient program at Peninsula Health Center, you are not necessarily “cured.” Maintaining recovery from a mental health condition and long-term sobriety from drug or alcohol addiction will take ongoing work. Many with addictions to drugs or alcohol continue to participate in some form of continuing care after completing a primary treatment program. Participating in group sessions or meeting with your therapist individually can help you stay motivated in your sobriety and continue working on essential relapse prevention skills in Southern California.

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Your Health Insurance Can Pay for Treatment

Learn more about how Peninsula Health Center works with health insurance plans and how your insurance can help cover most of the costs associated with treatment.

Find Your Path to Freedom at Peninsula Health Center

Everyone who begins treatment to manage addiction or mental health challenges has different needs and goals. No two people experience addiction or the recovery process in the same way. Choosing a South Bay drug rehab where the therapeutic models align with your specific treatment needs is crucial. 

Contact us at Peninsula Health Center today if you are ready to take the first steps towards healing and believe a Southern California intensive outpatient program is right for you. There is no wrong time to take the first steps towards a future free from drugs and alcohol. Contact our treatment center in Rolling Hills today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you find your path to freedom.