Outpatient treatment is the lowest level of mental health and substance abuse treatment that is offered to individuals in recovery who have already completed a higher level of care such as residential treatment, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment does not require the individual to live in the house but rather schedule appointments on an outpatient basis to receive maintenance therapy. Usually, outpatient therapy is offered once per week for one to two-hour sessions and works to maintain and sharpen skills that were learned from a more intensive level of care.
Outpatient therapy can be an ongoing process for months to years, as it is considered maintenance therapy. This flexible schedule allows clients to continue with their regular responsibilities and continue living at home. Outpatient treatment usually takes places in an office setting between a therapist and the client where the therapist takes note of the client’s progression in recovery. Discussions may involve relapse triggers, coping tools, personal struggles in the home or workplace, and re-iterating steps of psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectal behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Individuals will usually also see a psychiatrist, as most psychologists do not write prescriptions if they are taking any prescription medications for their mental health or substance abuse disorder as it may take weeks or months to titrate the proper dosage.
Outpatient therapy for substance abuse
- MDMA abuse
- Adderall abuse
- Methamphetamine abuse
- Marijuana abuse
Outpatient therapy for mental health disorders
- Personality disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
How much does outpatient treatment cost?
Outpatient therapy for mental health or substance abuse disorders is much more affordable compared to high level of care such as residential treatment or partial hospitalization. The cost for a therapist can range from $40-$250 per hour, depending on a variety of factors. If you have health insurance, check with your company to see if therapy is covered
Is outpatient therapy right for you?
- Are you medically stable? If you are experiencing active withdrawal side effects, or have unstable medical complications you might have to go an inpatient setting where medical attention is readily available. Outpatient therapy focuses on addressing day-to-day battles with substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders while providing ways to practice positive coping skills rather than acute complications, which are usually addressed in higher levels of care.
- How much can you afford to spend? Outpatient treatment usually costs less than inpatient, which includes the cost of housing and more hours of treatment. Most private insurance companies will cover outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- How motivated for recovery are you? Outpatient treatment does not offer constant supervision and support, so if you are having a hard time controlling cravings or if you do not have a strong support system at home, you might want to consider residential treatment or partial hospitalization.
Ultimately, successful, long-term sobriety and mental health wellness stems from your commitment to the outpatient program. It is your choice to open up to your therapist and talk openly during group sessions. Opening up can be difficult and facing your problems can be painful, especially in front of strangers. It is important to discuss your treatment and care with your loved ones and treatment team to decide if outpatient treatment is the correct level of care for you, at this time.
Most PPO Policies Accepted