When mental illness or substance abuse related problems are minor and respond well to counseling, behavioral therapy or medications, there may not be a need for intense and invasive treatment. Mild cases of mental illness or substance abuse will often respond well to outpatient treatment. Unlike residential treatment which is typically a last resort option for those suffering from these conditions, outpatient treatment is usually a first-line of treatment and care.
The program of treatment that is provided in an outpatient treatment facility is much different than that provided in a residential setting. These programs provide patients with the freedom to live at home with their families, work and attend school, take part in regular routines and move freely in their day to day lifestyles but require regular participation in counseling, therapy and similar services. The patient will attend a weekly, daily or similarly structured meeting with a counselor, therapist or other treatment professional and a protocol of treatment will be followed similar to that of residential care except that the patient will not reside in a hospital like setting while receiving care.
Who Benefits from Outpatient Treatment?
Not all patients will benefit from the lassie fair methods of treatment provided in an outpatient treatment program. Because the patient is allowed to return home to take part in their own decided activities and routines, there is a chance that medications will be missed, substances will be abused and treatment will not continue in the right direction. This method of treatment is ideal for patients who:
- have mild mental illness that responds well to medication
- have mild substance abuse problems such as marijuana addiction
- have not already tried this method of treatment
- have a strong support system at home within their families
- have a commitment to their well-being and will do what it takes to stay on track
There are many positive elements associated with outpatient treatment if it’s the right choice for your individual needs. While this method of care is not always the best choice, for some, it provides to provide the exact level of support, education, guidance and care for effective treatment and improved quality of life.
Methods of Treatment Offered
Various methods of treatment are offered in an outpatient treatment facility. You may be prescribed medications and then be asked to take part in an outpatient treatment protocol as prescribed by your doctor or treatment professional. You can expect any combination of the following methods of treatment to possibly be included in your treatment plan:
- individual counseling with a therapist
- group counseling or group therapy
- support groups
- follow-up care and prevention services
Outpatient programs focus heavily on family involvement in the recovery process. For this reason, patients are encouraged to actively participate in the counseling and therapy groups that are offered to them and to include their family members in their recovery process. Because much of the recovery for those in outpatient treatment takes place on their own time and at home, family involvement is an important element that can help reiterate and reinforce the lessons that are being learned along the way.