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Intensive Outpatient Program

If your child is having a psychiatric or medical emergency, please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for evaluation and treatment.

The UC Irvine Health Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a hospital-based, nonresidential, outpatient mental health treatment program.

Our program works with teens and their parents to overcome psychiatric conditions. Our licensed clinical social workers are experts at compassionately helping teenagers.

The program may be used in several ways:

  • As an initial point of entry into mental health care
  • As a step up from routine outpatient services
  • As a step down from acute inpatient, partial hospitalization programs or residential care

The IOP promotes and supports positive changes while ensuring the integrity of the family unit through preventive and therapeutic intervention.

How treatment works

The average length of time spent in the program is six weeks (18 sessions). The duration depends on the treatment plans, as well as the goals of the patient and family.

Treatment is conducted by licensed clinical social workers in a group setting. Group therapy has several benefits, including promoting coping skills, stress management, goal achievement and treatment compliance.

The program incorporates elements from several evidence-based treatment interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), some components of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness exercises. It is also heavily influenced by family systems therapy.

In group therapy, participants learn:

  • How to communicate effectively
  • How to receive feedback from others
  • How to identify barriers to reaching and maintaining recovery
  • How mental health impacts the family
  • How to achieve personal goals
  • How to cope with everyday life situations

Program schedule

IOP meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.

Meetings take place at UC Irvine Health Neuropsychiatric Center, 3rd floor.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Monday: Parent(s) and teens attend. The primary focus of this session is developing coping skills. Parents learn strategies to cope with their child's emotional and behavioral symptoms.
  • Tuesday: Teens attend. The primary focus of this session is self-esteem and personal development, including peer socialization.
  • Thursday: Parent(s) and teens attend. The primary focus of this session is on multifamily interactions and relationship building within the family unit.

Who is eligible for IOP?

  • Adolescents must be between the ages of 12 and 17 to be eligible for IOP treatment.
  • A patient is considered a viable candidate for IOP when he or she no longer needs inpatient hospitalization, but requires a level of support and structure to remain out of the hospital and reach a level of stability.
  • Typically, adolescents participating in IOP are attending school or actively participating in an independent study program.
  • Because the family is an integral component to an adolescent's wellness, family members are required to be involved in the program. At least one parent must attend IOP treatment on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • If the adolescent is taking prescribed psychotropic medications, he or she must be under the care and supervision of a psychiatrist while participating in IOP.

Advantages of IOP

  • The patient lives at home.
  • Sessions may be conducted while the teen continues to attend school.
  • The duration of attendance is determined by the individual's needs.
  • Support is provided to the family to assist in the teen's ongoing wellness and recovery.

Getting started

To schedule an appointment, call 714-456-3007 (Monday through Thursday).

When calling, please be prepared to provide the adolescent's name, date of birth, a brief summary of prior treatment history and current symptoms.

We are an in-network provider for most major insurance plans. When you call, please have your insurance information available, including the name and policy number of the adolescent's current insurance coverage plan. Learn more about the insurance we accept ›

Make an Appointment