We all have nervous moments or times when we are depressed. It’s normal to feel these emotions when we are in stressful situations. Generally, this anxiety or depression goes away once conditions improve and life becomes less hectic again. For millions of people, however, anxiety or depression can drag on and on. It may get worse over time and might even start to interfere with their work, school, or relationships.
When it reaches this point, it is likely that the person has an anxiety or mood disorder that requires treatment. Most of the time, someone who is undergoing treatment for depression or anxiety will see their therapist once or twice a week for 30-60 minute sessions. These sessions often continue for three to four months but could go on much longer depending on the severity of the person’s disorder. However, a relatively new concept in psychotherapy, called intensive outpatient program for depression & personality disorders, is showing promise for helping patients get better faster.
What Is Intensive Outpatient Therapy?
Intensive outpatient therapy is focused therapy that is given over longer treatment sessions. For example, intensive treatment might be concentrated into daily, three-hour sessions given five days in a row over a two to four-week period.
Just as with a traditional psychotherapy session, the intensive treatment uses methods like CBT, mindfulness, and exposure-response and prevention (ERP). The idea behind the intensive sessions is to teach strategies to decrease the person’s symptoms and provide support but to do it within a framework that allows them to live at home and continue family or personal activities.