At first glance, partial hospitalization sounds like a step down from intensive care or aftercare from a major medical procedure to those who don’t fully understand it. However, it does not have much to do with physical health. Instead, a partial hospitalization program offers outpatient mental health services, yet at a different level than inpatient or outpatient programs.
A partial hospitalization program is one of many different tools available to treatment facilities, looking to help people through the rehabilitation process after quitting and getting clean. Unlike other programs, a partial hospitalization program offers a very distinct experience from most other outpatient programs, while still being entirely separate from the traditional inpatient, residential treatment (also known as rehab).
Instead of living within the treatment facility, partial hospitalization presents you with a more flexible schedule that allows you to come to the treatment facility for your program, and leave to go home, work, and generally live your life.
Because of this integrated role that a partial hospitalization program plays in the lives of its patients, the program is ideal for post-rehab, or for people who can’t afford to spend too much time in an inpatient setting, but need something more intense than regular outpatient care to help them ease back into living life in a “regular”, completely sober fashion.
A Different Level of Care
Partial hospitalization is designed to provide a comprehensive, yet still quite flexible psychiatric program. For addiction treatment, a partial hospitalization program will still involve a lot of input from psychiatrists, mental health workers, and addiction specialists. Programming for each patient follows a certain structure to help them cope with the challenges they’re facing, without requiring a full 24-hour day package.
A partial hospitalization program works on both a group level and on the individual front. Not only are you going to be receiving specialized care, but most programs also encourage you to join into group therapy sessions, where you and several others can open to each other, see addiction in a new light, and inspire one another to keep pushing through even the hardest of weeks.
This is a type of care that is meant to only be short-term. Unlike other post-rehab arrangements that have a similar goal of helping someone in early recovery adapt to living in sobriety, partial hospitalization urges you to learn to adapt rapidly, and it does so quite effectively.
Inpatient, Outpatient & Partial Hospitalization Program
To better understand partial hospitalization, it’s important to understand what it is not. It is not strictly-speaking regular outpatient care, and it isn’t an inpatient program.
Outpatient programs refer to programs designed to work around a patient’s schedule, providing minimum support to allow them to focus on their real-life responsibilities. Outpatient programs help patients cope with new challenges in early recovery, and deal with many of the common issues surrounding the first few months of sobriety after years of addiction. They’re not as comprehensive or intensive as a partial hospitalization program, but typically offer enough care for most patients who simply need a support group to work with to stay motivated.
Inpatient programs are much more complicated, and involve a much higher level of care – and a greater commitment to your recovery, in every sense of the word. Inpatient treatment requires you to live in the facility and includes 24-hour care. Inpatient treatment is also known as residential treatment, or simply rehab. It’s not a necessity, but in certain cases, it can help kickstart your recovery journey. Like a partial hospitalization program, inpatient programs are usually short-term. Some treatment facilities offer long-term inpatient treatment, for serious addictions.
Partial hospitalization finds itself in-between these two options, opting out of the residential aspect of inpatient treatment while still providing access to many of its benefits, including specialized care.
What You Can Expect From a PHP
A Partial hospitalization program typically offers everything the treatment facility has to offer, as a more intensive version of the outpatient program. Typically, this includes treatments such as:
- Group therapy
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Job counseling
- Psychiatric/Psychological evaluation
Partial hospitalization is less streamlined than most outpatient programs. While outpatient programs are designed to provide people in need with a basic addiction treatment package, a partial hospitalization program will go through more of an effort to create a tailored treatment schedule to help you adjust to your biggest challenges, and deal with your biggest worries.
Should You Choose Partial Hospitalization?
If you’re looking for a more intensive treatment but don’t have the time or opportunity to apply for an inpatient program, then a partial hospitalization program may be just what the doctor ordered.
Looking into the Future
Recovery is a long journey, regardless of how you look at it. Some people consider there to be an end to it – a point where you decide that addiction is a closed chapter in your life. Other people figure that recovery lasts a lifetime, and while you won’t always struggle with addiction, that past will always be a part of you.
One way or the other, this is a process spanning years – and depending on how severe your habit was, the repercussions could last decades. Dealing with this takes time, effort, and a considerable amount of help. Only you can truly overcome your addiction – but it’s the people who inspire you, support you, keep you sane and happy and healthy who matter most. Your family, your friends, and everyone you meet along the way who have played a role in managing to convince you to stay sober, even through the hardest days, and – even harder – step back into sobriety after a misstep.
However, one thing is for sure – it gets worse before it gets better. Early recovery can be extremely challenging, especially if you’re not sure what you’re in for, and every bit of help matters. A partial hospitalization program may be just what you need if you don’t have the time to attend a fully residential program, but still want a comprehensive and intensive addiction treatment package, to help you launch your successful return to a sober and clear-headed life.
Be sure to consult with a professional, or a local treatment center, to decide exactly what type of program and treatments would work best for your circumstances, schedules and more.