Intensive Outpatient Program

One of the most common and popularly used therapeutic options, intensive outpatient therapy is designed to offer accessible, high intensity care to people struggling with substance use disorders, but who may not want or be able to enter into residential rehab. Intensive outpatient therapies also offer a wider variety of therapeutic options, and added benefits, such as the ability to maintain employment and home obligations, that many residential programs simply cannot provide. At Cornerstone we offer top-of-the-line intensive outpatient programming (IOP) with a variety of therapeutic options in order to meet the needs of as many people as possible. 


Cornerstone Cares Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are treatment programs used to address substance use disorders without requiring the client to stay in a residential facility or have 24/7 monitoring. While round-the-clock care can be more than necessary for people with severe addictions and in need of medical detox, IOP offers many people a treatment option that allows them to receive intensive care, all while maintaining the normative obligations of their work and home life. IOPs are different from residential programs as they do not require overnight admissions and they differ from general outpatient treatments because IOPs have a much higher treatment and therapy frequency - usually every day of the work week.

Although sometimes used as a step-down from residential treatment, IOP can also be a first step treatment option for people who cannot go to a residential treatment facility. Requiring a high level of contact and participation, IOPs can be extremely effective in addressing addiction in people who need daily contact from a care facility in order to maintain their recovery plans. Many IOP programs offer clients a number of treatment, education, and therapeutic options in order to address the client holistically and give them the best chance at lasting recovery. 

What to Expect In Our Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programming is developed for each patient based around their immediate needs, availability, and recovery goals. This means that in order to offer the most effective care for each client, Cornerstone has developed multiple programming options for our clients as a way to meet as many of our clients needs as possible. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy is conducted by a therapist who leads groups through topics and discussions that can be beneficial to those within the group. By speaking to other people going through similar hardships, group therapy can help to put issues into perspective, and allow people to share what has helped and hindered their path to recovery. There is also the added benefit of community support. 

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy has a number of benefits. From working through deep personal turmoils, to collaborating one-on-one to dismantle undesirable behaviors and replace them with new ones, individual therapy can be a great tool for remaining accountable, testing new ideas, and working towards change in a focused, personalized setting. 

Support Groups

Support groups function in a similar way to group therapy, but support groups are often structured in a way that focuses on allowing clients a place to voice their experiences, struggles, complaints, victories, and successes. Where group therapy works to provide a therapeutic environment for group growth, support groups are less formal and more focused on community building and belonging. Support groups do not have to be hosted by therapists. 

Support for Families

Often the forgotten population in substance use care, families of people with addictions can also face a high level of stress and trauma regarding their loved ones’ disorder and can also benefit from support, therapy, and learning new behaviors. This can benefit the family as well as the individual going through treatment for their substance use disorder. 

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies can range from different types of talk therapy to various holistic and alternative therapeutic approaches. While traditional therapeutics get clients started on their track to recovery, complementary therapies can be used to bolster and increase the rate of success of traditional therapeutic options. 

How Long Does Our Intensive Outpatient Treatment Last

Although it may sound cliché, there is no set timeline to recovery. Once you are enrolled at Cornerstone, you and your therapist will be able to discuss treatment durations, frequency of visits, and appointment length. Like with anything, the skills you will learn in treatment and therapy need to be practiced to hone and master. 

We can however say that most intensive outpatient programs begin by meeting every day for at least an hour, meaning that some treatment plans may require longer than an hour a day. While this may seem excessive, the goal of treatment is to replace old habits with new ones and work through the causal factors for those undesired behaviors. Such things take daily attention and care to accomplish successfully. 

That being said, many intensive outpatient programs lessen in intensity as progress is made. This means that as the client progresses and becomes more stable, the amount of appointments and duration of those appointments gets less until they only need to check in every so often. The amount and duration of appointments can be a useful progress marker for clients, letting them know that they are on the right track when their appointments begin to decrease. 

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services Cornerstone Cares

Why Choose an IOP Over Residential Treatment

When looking for treatment options, it can be difficult to choose what kinds of treatment might be right for you. Residential treatment can be a great care option for some people, but oftentimes residential treatment is too expensive, far away, and requires clients to dedicate at least an entire month to living at the facility and engaging in rehab. For many people, this simply isn't practical. Intensive outpatient treatment addresses these issues and makes treatment possible for those who may not be able to get or may not want residential care. Oftentimes, intensive outpatient therapy might even be the better option. 

Intensive outpatient therapy provides clients with consistent, but not constant, care. One of the main benefits of intensive outpatient treatment is that it allows clients to maintain a normal daily life all while offering them the intensive, daily care that they desperately need in early recovery. By being compatible with clients’ daily lives, intensive outpatient therapy is more available to people who may not be able to attend residential treatment and who need to maintain employment or home obligations while in treatment. In addition, intensive outpatient treatment allows for more opportunities to integrate what is learned into treatment immediately into regular life. This can give clients a better view of where they might struggle and what skills work best for them.  

Intensive outpatient treatment is also drastically cheaper than most residential options and is typically more likely to be covered by insurance providers. While some people may need residential treatment, or even a medically based inpatient detox, intensive outpatient treatment can offer a number of benefits to people who are looking for an affordable, manageable, and integrative way to begin their recovery from substance use disorder. 

Intensive Outpatient Therapy at Cornerstone

At Cornerstone, we treat a variety of substance use disorders through our intensive outpatient programming. Our focus is on providing education, prevention, intervention, and treatment to those struggling with substance use issues of all kinds.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder and you believe that you might benefit from our intensive outpatient treatment options, visit us at to find a facility close to you and call to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome!

FAQs About Intensive Outpatient Program

What does IOP mean in treatment?

IOP is an acronym standing for “intensive outpatient treatment.” Intensive outpatient treatment is a form of regular, high frequency, high intensity treatment for substance use disorder where the client meets for therapy every day but does not stay overnight in the facility. 

How long does IOP last? 

The duration of treatment is unique to the client. Some people progress from IOP to general outpatient therapy quickly, others require more time. It is important to keep in mind that all recovery journeys are different and should never be rushed for the sake of keeping treatment “brief.” 

What are the benefits of IOP? 

IOP offers patients the chance to get intensive care while maintaining their home life, obligations, and employment. Not only does this allow for more people to attend treatment, it can also have a number of added benefits in integrating new skills and behaviors into a client’s daily life. 

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