IOP Treatment Process


The first step in the IOP process is to complete the intake process. The biopsychosocial model is an approach to understanding mental and physical health through a multi-systems lens, understanding the influence of biology, psychology, and social environment. While these systems often overlap and interact to impact everyone’s well-being and risk for illness, understanding these systems can lead to more effective treatment. You may take several assessments and answer questions to uncover other possible mental health issues. For one to two hours, the client, parents/caregiver discuss the presenting issues and what therapy modalities will work best for you. Next, we create a treatment plan.

Treatment Plan

Your biopsychosocial assessment is how you got here and what you want to change. Your treatment plan is the roadmap for making those changes. It is a series of goals with milestones to achieve along the way. The treatment plan is built directly from your assessments. It is also a living document that changes as your treatment progresses. With your treatment care plan in hand, you will work to complete the identified goals and objectives as outlined each week.

With your assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan in place, you are ready to start group therapy sessions and ongoing individual sessions with the group leader. You will meet similar people in your group who have experienced traumas and other mental health issues, too. These will be the people with whom you spend the most time at IOP. Many lifelong friendships are made among people who go through treatment together.


As you progress toward achieving your goals and learn from your new friends in a group, your primary Therapist will ensure that all the external factors and people in your life are also moving in the right direction. Whether we address medical concerns, living situations, or school issues, your Therapist is there to help enhance your self-awareness and understanding of your diagnosis, along with broadening your sense of what problems or challenges may be affecting your overall well-being.

Transition Planning

As you approach the completion of your treatment, you and your counselors will focus on what is next for you regarding support. From what you can do in your community to the Horizon Recovery Outpatient program that focuses on maintaining the new skills you learned and reinforcing your newfound health, sober-free living, and a new life in recovery.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Group Therapy -Horizon Recovery Health Centers IOP utilizes both group and individual therapy to balance both benefits. Several recent studies confirm that, for delivering relapse prevention training, a group approach is at least as effective as individual therapy (McKay et al., 1997; Schmitz et al., 1997). Group therapy offers the following benefits:

  • Providing opportunities for clients to develop communication skills and participate in socialization experiences without drugs or alcohol.
  • Establishing a safe environment in which clients support one another and, when necessary, confront one another constructively to help move recovery forward through a feeling of shared purpose and community. An essential part of creating a safe environment is a set of norms reinforcing healthy interaction.
  • We are introducing structure and discipline into what may have been chaotic lives.
  • Providing a venue for group leaders to transmit new information, teach new skills, and guide clients as they practice new behaviors. Group members who are further along in recovery can help other members, which advances their recovery, too.
happy young girl therapy - children's depression treatment

Individual Therapy

Conducted by the client’s primary Therapist, IOP uses individual therapy to address individual issues inappropriate for group therapy sessions, track treatment plan progress towards achieving treatment goals, manage aspects of treatment that fall outside of therapy sessions, and plan for discharge and transition. Clients meet with their Therapist for individual therapy for one hour per week.


Psychoeducation combines the elements of cognitive-behavior therapy, group therapy, and education. The primary aim is to provide the client and families with knowledge about various facets of the illness and the recommended treatments so that they can work together with mental health professionals for a better overall outcome. These groups provide a supportive environment where clients learn to complete numerous exercises that will give them personal insight into their symptoms, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, relationships, and inner biological functioning. These lessons are delivered in a low-key rather than emotionally intense environment, focusing on rational problem-solving to help change dysfunctional beliefs and thinking patterns.

Some topics include:

  • Learning about biopsychosocial disease and recovery processes
  • Communication Skills, Unhealthy Relationships, Attachment Theory, and Social Media Management
  • Overcoming common barriers to treatment
  • Understanding the effect of specific drugs/alcohol and eating disorders on the brain and body
  • Impulse Control, Anger Issues, Relaxation Techniques, Suicide Prevention, Safety, Security, and Intention
  • Identifying and reducing trauma triggers/Trauma-PTSD informed Interventions
  • Conducting self-assessments, setting goals, and completing treatment exercises

Skills & Interpersonal Process Development Training

These groups allow clients to practice specific behaviors in the safety of the treatment setting.
Common types of skills training include:

Trauma and the 12 Steps to Sober Living

Exercises and meditations for addiction, trauma recovery, and working the 12 Steps of recovery.

woman undergoing DBT

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Using relapse prevention materials, clients analyze personal triggers and high-risk situations for substance use and determine ways to manage or avoid them.

Assertiveness Training

Clients learn the differences between assertive, aggressive, and passive behaviors and practice being assertive in different situations.

Stress Management

Clients identify situations that cause stress and learn various techniques to respond to stress.

Interpersonal Process Development includes:

  • Finding pragmatic ways to change negative thinking, emotions, and behavior
  • Learning and trying new ways of relating to others
  • Tolerating or resolving conflict without resorting to violence or substance use
  • Understanding how members’ actions affect others and the function of the group

Family Sessions

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that strives to reduce psychological distress and interpersonal conflict by promoting healthy communication, understanding, and relationships within the family unit. Family sessions are conducted one hour weekly with your primary Therapist. Depending on the situation, your family members may be invited to participate via video conference with you and your Therapist. The benefits of family therapy include better communication, resolving conflicts, better problem-solving skills, increased empathy and compassion, and improved anger management. Types of family therapy include:

Functional Family Therapy

(FFT) focuses on the family system and works to improve interactions between family members. It takes a strength-based approach, emphasizing the potential for growth and change by helping individuals in a family system interact positively with one another.

FFT may include worksheets and worksheet examples of teletherapy to help families learn more about themselves and their relationships while providing structure and guidance during therapy sessions.

Family Systems Therapy

Family systems therapy puts the family in the center of treatment, recognizing that each family member may play a role in causing or perpetuating mental health issues within the system. The Therapist works with the whole family to understand patterns of communication and interaction, identify problems, and restructure negative behaviors.

Alternative for Families: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

(AF-CBT) is a trauma-informed, evidence-based treatment designed to improve relationships between children and family members/caregivers in families involved in conflict, discipline/aggression, child physical or verbal abuse, or child addiction issues.

For more information or to schedule a visit, please Contact Us. Our empathetic and caring team is here to support you every step of the way.