Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): A Comprehensive Guide

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Recovery


Has your child been struggling in more ways than one recently? You find that their friend group has changed, and they’ve gotten into some things beyond your knowledge. It may be time to seek IOP to help get your child back on the right track.

If you’re wondering what an IOP program is and if it’s the right choice for your teenager, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’re going to find an in-depth guide about the program and how it can benefit your child.

Continue reading for everything you need to know when it comes to Adolescent IOP.

Reasons Your Child Needs IOP

Your child will face a variety of struggles as they continue on the road to adulthood. And in some cases, these struggles can be overwhelming, and they will need help to overcome.

When entering an IOP, there are many reasons why your child would need to enter the program. Find out the reasons that IOP San Diego is needed for your child.

Academic Problems

As children continue through school, it gets harder and may be more challenging to manage. An issue with school may be characterized by a decline in grades and academic performance.

Mood Changes

One of the most significant signs that your child isn’t doing well is a sudden change in mood. A child that was once happy and full of life has become anxious and easily irritated.

Negative Thoughts

For some teenagers, when life becomes overwhelming, they begin to think that the only solution to the problem is to end their life. If your child has made suicidal comments or is having suicidal thoughts, IOP is for them.


10% of children are bullied by others regularly. Bullying is cruel and can cause your child to have problems with their self-image and confidence.

Bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts and your child becoming withdrawn and distant.

It’s crucial that as a parent, you keep an eye out for signs that your child may need help. Some of the signs that you should look for include:

  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Depression

Keeping an eye out for these things will ensure that you get the help that your child needs before things get too bad. In some cases, things have already begun to go downhill for your child, but an adolescent intensive outpatient program can help save your child’s life.

What Is IOP?

An intensive outpatient program focuses on helping your child address areas of issues in their life without disturbing their day to day schedule. In IOP, your child will use group and individual therapy to address the problems that they’ve been facing.

As they tackle these issues head-on, they’ll learn how to cope and work through these things as they continue to face them. A teenager in an IOP may have problems with any of the following including:

More issues can be tackled in IOP; these are just a few. In some cases, depending on the severity of your child’s case, it may be suggested that they are admitted to an inpatient program.

What Happens in IOP?

When your child is entered into an IOP program, they must know what to expect. As stated, they’re going to participate in various individual and group therapy sessions throughout the week.

Due to the pandemic taking place, options to host these meetings online are becoming an option. It’s a way for your child to continue their care from the comfort of their own home while practicing social distancing.

Your teenager will visit the facility up to four times a week to participate in sessions.

Benefits of Individual Therapy

Individual therapy allows your child to get to the route of their problems and figure out where those problems stemmed from. In these therapy sessions, their counselors will teach them to dig and begin the process of healing.

Things that a child isn’t comfortable sharing in a group will come out in individual therapy as they continue to become comfortable with their counselor. It takes time, but your child will strengthen their sense of self and learn more about themselves than they ever knew before.

Your child will learn skills that will keep them from relapsing and teach them how to reach out for help when they feel themselves slipping back into the place that landed them in the program in the first place.

Benefits of Group Therapy

The first benefit of group therapy is getting to be around others that are struggling in the same ways that they are. They’ll find comfort in knowing that their not the only ones experiencing the problems that their experiencing.

Group therapy also gives your teenager a chance to become more comfortable in social situations and learn how to interact positively with people of their own age. The therapist will introduce scenarios, and together the kid will work through them and come up with ways to solve them.

Group therapy helps your child see that not every teenager they interact with has something negative to say to them.

IOP Is What Your Child Needs

When you place your child in an IOP, you’ve got to remember that the program is what your child needs to better themselves and solve issues that they are having. In the beginning, your child may not be receptive to it, but eventually, they’ll come around and realize that it’s for the best.

Here at Sober Life San Diego, we specialize in a variety of services, but one service we offer is the intensive outpatient program. The program can be accessed 3-5 days out of the week, and each day it’s offered for 3 hours.

Our programs are personalized for your child to ensure that their needs are met. If you’re looking for the perfect IOP to put your child into contact us today. Let us help you get the best care for your child.

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