Balancing Life During Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Transiting from detox or residential treatment to an Intensive Outpatient Program can be challenging and requires some adjustments along the way. As a newly sober and recovering addict, it's essential to have a plan for how you are going to manage re-integrating into everyday life while maintaining your recovery and rehabilitation.

May 19, 2023

Living A Balanced Life During Intensive Outpatient Treatment

The path to healing can often be long and winding, with multiple challenges on the way. We understand how anyone seeking help for their mental health condition or addiction needs all the support they can muster on that road to recovery.

The fundamental benefit of an intensive outpatient treatment (IOT) program is getting that support while living at home and continuing with your day-to-day activities. However, anyone who is undergoing IOT knows that balancing your treatment with daily life is easier said than done.

In this article, we discuss intensive outpatient treatments in-depth and provide practical tips and strategies to help you navigate them. Read on to learn how you can live a balanced life while getting the full benefits of IOT.

What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a form of structured support for patients trying to overcome addiction or mental health problems. It is intended for individuals who require greater assistance than traditional therapy provides but do not require full-time care or inpatient commitment.

IOT is often used as a way to help patients in full-time care transition back into their homes and daily lives while still receiving the support they need to navigate these changes.

It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Substance use disorders, like alcohol or drug abuse
  • Depression and other mood disorders like bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Eating disorders

In terms of effectiveness, IOT is considered the right option for people who:

  • Require intensive support
  • Don’t require 24/7 care, or don’t require that level of care anymore
  • Can commit to regular treatments
  • Have a supportive environment at home

If you want to know whether the intensive outpatient program is right for you or a loved one, speak to your healthcare provider or contact a team specialist at Studio 64 Recovery.

IOT involves a host of treatments and therapies, with a special focus on the following types of group activities:

Family counseling

This involves encouraging the family to open up about how the primary participant’s addiction or mental health has affected their relationships. They are then helped to work together to overcome those challenges and find ways to support each other.

Relapse prevention

This is about helping the primary participant identify their trigger factors and situations and teaching them how to navigate them better to avoid a relapse.

Refusal guidance

This is a role-playing activity designed to help the participant get comfortable with saying no to the substances they are trying to avoid.

Psychological education

This is focused on teaching participants about the effects of substance abuse and trauma, helping them understand their minds better. It also provides participants with the emotional support they need to overcome the psychological effects of past events linked to mental health or addiction.

Generally speaking, IOT requires you to attend therapy sessions multiple times a week, where each session can be several hours long. Your exact treatment program will vary based on the facility you choose and the level of treatment intervention required.

It’s easy to understand how the time commitment required for this kind of therapy can make it difficult to balance with daily activities. Achieving that balance takes commitment and a positive approach. Let's find out how you can make that happen.

Balancing Life With Your Treatment Plan

Before diving into practical advice on living a balanced life during your intensive outpatient treatment program, here are some tips on why establishing this balance is so important.

  • Intensive outpatient therapy is often used to phase out 24/7 in-patient care. In other words, the success of this phase is crucial to maintaining the progress that has been achieved during institutional care. That’s what makes it important to be self-motivated in balancing your work and life while still getting the support you need to make a full recovery.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment programs help you develop coping skills, manage stress and anxiety, and improve communication and relationship skills. All of that is vital in making a smooth eventual transition to regular life. It also goes a long way in preparing you for work and home life and enabling you to navigate specific challenges along the way.
  • Balancing your life and IOT can help reduce the risk of a relapse. Treatments for addiction and mental health are not one-offs but ongoing processes. Maintaining the right balance between IOT and your regular life will leave you better equipped to manage triggers and stressors that often lead to a relapse. In short, it will help you achieve long-term recovery and wellness.

Practical Ways To Create A Balance

It can be overwhelming at first to balance the rigors of intensive outpatient treatment with the demands of your daily life. Finding that balance, however, is vital to your overall well-being and key to making a successful recovery.

Here are some proven tips to help you find the right balance between treatment and life.

1. Prioritize your treatment

The success of an intensive outpatient treatment program relies heavily on how seriously you take these appointments. Be diligent about keeping your appointments and make sure to complete whatever assignments your therapist might give you. Remember to communicate with your therapist if personal or professional demands are making it difficult to keep to your treatment schedule.

2. Stay organized

Use a planner to keep track of your weekly appointments, other work-related commitments, and important dates. That will help you block different hours of your week for your treatment, work, and personal commitments. Staying organized and disciplined also goes a long way in reducing the stress involved in intensive outpatient treatment.

3. Make time for loved ones

As life gets hectic with work and intensive treatments, it’s essential to make time to spend with people you love and enjoy hanging out with. This will help you stay connected with your network of friends and family and have a support system outside of therapy. It also helps reinforce that you don’t have to go through this difficult phase of life alone.

4. Seek support when needed

Balancing life and treatments can be rough at times. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your therapists and support network of friends and family if you feel particularly low or stressed out.

5. Take breaks

Schedule regular breaks throughout your day to rest, care for yourself, and have fun. The idea of treatments is to heal yourself and live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Avoid the urge to cram your day with more than you can handle. Overworking yourself can prove counterproductive to your recovery.

6. Set boundaries

Learn to say "no" to commitments that could interfere with your treatment or cause unnecessary stress. Focus on your priorities as long as you’re still in the recovery process.

7. Practice self-care

Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation such as exercise, meditation, mindfulness, reading, or just spending time with loved ones.

8. Be patient and kind to yourself

As you recover, celebrate small victories and be compassionate with yourself. Remember that everyone's recovery journey is different, and finding a balance may require time and adjustment. So do your best without being too hard on yourself.

A Balanced Road To Recovery

As we’ve seen, balancing your life with an intensive outpatient treatment program can be challenging. It takes diligence and discipline. It’s about setting priorities, staying organized, and prioritizing your well-being above all else.

Studio 64 is a leading provider of IOT treatment programs for substance use disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and eating disorders. Our expert team of mental health professionals is dedicated to providing individualized treatment plans that address each patient's unique needs and challenges.

We offer a structured and supportive environment that includes individual and group therapy, family therapy, psychiatric evaluation, medication management, and ongoing support and aftercare. Our goal is to help our patients achieve long-term recovery and wellness, and we believe that IOT can be a critical component of that process.

Reach out to us today if you or a loved one is struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.

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