Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are an effective way to build a solid foundation for recovery amongst those recovering from mental health disorders as well as substance use disorders. They give clients the autonomy to continue aspects of their normal life, while also ensuring that clients receive the care that they need.

We understand that few people have a positive association with the connotations of ‘hospitalization’ however we wish to make it clear that the name PHP refers to the level of care and not to being an inpatient within a hospital facility. It is a compassionate, affordable program designed to help those who need it whilst not impinging on their freedoms.

During a partial hospitalization program, clients continue to live at home and attend a care facility for regular treatment. Most commonly, clients will attend a partial hospitalization program for about six hours a day, five days a week.

a hospital lobby

Partial hospitalization programs can be useful for:

People recovering from mental health disorders

Clients who are recovering from mental health disorders, who need a higher level of care than inpatient or outpatient care facilities can offer, benefit from partial hospitalization programs. Those who are at risk for self-harm or suicide are not suitable for partial hospitalization programs because they are not live in facilities.

People recovering from substance use disorders

When recovering from a substance use disorder transitioning back into everyday life after inpatient treatment can be extremely challenging. Partial hospitalization programs offer a level of care that is suitable for clients who maintain autonomy and responsibility in their personal lives but would strongly benefit from ongoing therapeutic treatment, accountability and structure.

People who suffer from dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a co-existence of a mental health issue alongside a drug addiction. Those who suffer from co-occurring disorders would find this level of personalized care especially helpful. Partial hospitalization allows for regular, comprehensible treatment for a host of different disorders, targeting each one individually or in conjunction with others.

Determining if a Partial Hospitalization Program is Needed

Seeking care for substance use disorders and mental health disorders can be overwhelming, as navigating the different levels of care is often difficult. In general, the first step is to undergo an assessment by a healthcare professional, whose evaluation will be used to help determine the appropriate care options for the client in question.

Partial hospitalization programs are particularly designed for:

  • People who may experience difficulty in their day to day lives at work or school
  • People who are not at risk of harming themselves or others, and do not have suicidal thoughts
  • People who are medically stable, and fit to spend nights unsupervised without round the clock medical support
  • People who have an adequate support system in their home life
  • People who are eager to participate in treatment
  • People who are experiencing dual diagnosis – the co-existence of several disorders at once

What to Expect from Partial Hospitalization?

Days inside of partial hospitalization programs usually follow a structured itinerary, which often includes; psychotherapy, skill building exercises, and period evaluations or health assessments, all of which are facilitated or conducted by licensed medical professionals. Given the importance of building a solid support system, many clients will also be recommended to attend group therapy with their families.

The hours of partial hospitalization are typically from the morning until the afternoon with lunch provided.  Transportation to and from the program will be provided as needed with shuttles running to local neighborhoods.

Using a wide array of therapeutic techniques, treatment plans will be personalized to meet the unique needs of each individual. Plans can include traditional therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as alternative and holistic therapy methods such as meditation and yoga therapy. Partial hospitalization programs are equipped with a complete array of medical treatments, and those treatments will be selected to form a comprehensive care portfolio for each client.

Young adults over the age of 18 are also welcome in partial hospitalization programs and can be accommodated for with some changes. For clients who are still studying, missing large amounts of college is a concern. There are schooling options within the program to ensure that students do not fall behind.

Partial Hospitalization Specifics

The goal of this treatment method is to improve the autonomy of the clients at the facility to a degree where they will be able to be transferred to a lower level of care, such as an inpatient or outpatient care facility. Lengths of stay typically range from several weeks to several months, depending on a clients progress. Stays can be as short as a single week, or as long as six months, but the goal of partial hospitalization programs is to make significant progress. Until that progress is achieved, other suitable treatment options will likely not appear.

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