SUN Behavioral Houston

24 Hour Crisis Care

Intensive Outpatient Programming - Adults and Adolescents

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”

Robbert Collier

Making those small efforts every day while experiencing substance use or mental health disorders can be challenging and overwhelming, no matter how small they are. However, receiving treatment can give you the support and skills necessary to make the slightest effort easier. In 2022, 846,000 Texans received treatment for a substance use disorder, and 3,899,000 received treatment for a mental health concern

At SUN Behavioral Health Houston, we solve unmet needs. One way we do this is by providing individualized treatment for adolescents and adults that allows them to make those small efforts day in and day out. Our intensive outpatient programming (IOP) for adults and adolescents is one way these age groups can achieve this. 

What We Offer: Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Many people wonder what their next steps might be following an inpatient or partial hospitalization program (PHP). They may be at a point in their lives where inpatient and PHP are not necessary, but they still need more support and structure in their treatment than what a traditional, once-weekly outpatient program can provide. 

During intensive outpatient programming (IOP), you will attend treatment for fewer hours during the week than you would with a PHP program. After your treatment that day, you will go home and then return to the facility for your next session.

IOP is also suitable for people who are starting their treatment journey but do not necessarily need inpatient or PHP levels of care. In this case, IOP can prevent the need for PHP or hospitalization. Our team at SUN Houston can help you decide which level of care is best for your unique needs and circumstances. 

IOP can provide treatment for people with substance use disorder, mental health disorder, or both. A substance use disorder is when the continuous intake of a substance results in complications with your physical health, mental health, relationships, and other aspects of your life. Mental health disorders are conditions that impact your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

How We Offer: Intensive Outpatient Program

At SUN Behavioral Health Houston, we provide IOP for adults and teens. This level of care continues to provide structure and support during treatment. People who attend our IOP program attend 3 group sessions every week. 

These sessions include a daily process group, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP). The daily process group allows you to work through current concerns, while the WRAP group provides the skills necessary to prevent a return to use. CBT focuses on recognizing and changing unhealthy thoughts and beliefs into healthy ones.

Below are some other treatments you may experience during your IOP. Our team will design your exact treatment plan during our no-cost care assessment. This assessment allows you to meet with our specialists, who will work with you, your doctors, and previous treatment and assessment history to tailor the best action plan for your needs.

why choose an iop over inpatient treatment

Group Therapy

Most people who attend IOP participate in group therapy. This therapy involves meeting with people in similar situations as yourself. You will learn stress management, mindfulness, and life skills development. During group therapy, you will also have the opportunity to discuss concerns in your life. Through this, you can receive support from your peers.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy involves sessions with a mental health specialist to address your concerns and needs. During this therapy, you will continue to build upon skills and techniques learned during group therapy. They may also prescribe and manage your medication if necessary. 

Support Groups

Support groups, including 12-step groups, are also available during our IOP. These groups help you recover and connect with peers at different stages in their recovery journey. By attending a support group, you will receive and provide support to other people through your experiences, coping strategies, understanding, and knowledge. 

Intensive Outpatient Programming for Adults

IOP is available for adults 18 and older and can be used to treat mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, or substance use disorders, such as an alcohol or heroin use disorder. Our IOP for adults runs during the day, Monday through Friday. We provide treatment that helps you identify pressing concerns in your life. For those not currently in crisis, it can be a great option to prevent the need for hospitalization later.

intensive outpatient programming for adolescents


Intensive Outpatient Programming for Adolescents

Adolescents aged 13-17 can also benefit from attending IOP. Like adults, we offer adolescent mental health IOP during the day. However, we also provide an evening option for adolescents that can be completed in person or virtually. Some indications that a teen might need IOP treatment include:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Excessive fear, worry, or sadness
  • Avoiding peers
  • Changes in sleep habits

Teens vs. Adults: How Is IOP Different Between?

Approaching treatment for a mental health condition is often different for teens than for adults. There are several reasons for this. One is that teens are still physically and mentally developing, while adults are not. Another is that family support is often more important for teens. While family support is essential no matter someone’s age, teens are often still dependent on their caregivers. Their family’s support ensures they can continue to recover even after leaving our facility with after-care and ongoing treatment. 

Another reason to remember is that teens may not be willing participants initially. Many times, parents or guardians may compel their teens to attend needed treatment, which may result in the teen not wanting to participate. When a teen actively participates in their treatment, they have a higher chance of recovering. Because of this, it is essential to approach adolescent IOP differently than adults, who are often more present in their decision to receive treatment. We meet your teen where they are and have patience when addressing their concerns to encourage them to participate. 

While teens can experience the same concerns as adults, they can also have unique factors that come with adolescence. These concerns may include social media, bullying, or uncertainty about their future. These factors often require a different approach to finding healing.

intensive outpatient programming sun houston

Why Choose an IOP Over Inpatient Treatment

Not everyone with a mental health or substance use disorder needs inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment provides security and stability as someone starts their treatment journey. Not everyone starting their treatment journey needs help in this way. However, they might still need help that a traditional once-a-week treatment program cannot provide. In this case, IOP would be the best option for them. 

IOP also allows people to continue to work or go to school while they receive treatment. Many people are unable to leave their jobs to pursue treatment for a mental health or substance use disorder. However, they can spend a few hours each day receiving treatment and maintain their work responsibilities afterward. IOP provides the opportunity for people to do this. 

However, it works best if they are in a place where they can keep themselves safe. If they cannot keep themself safe while attending IOP, inpatient treatment is the best option. On the other hand, if they have some sense of stability and security but need extra help, IOP is a great way to prevent the need for hospitalization.

Start Your IOP Treatment at SUN Behavioral Health Houston

Deciding to seek treatment for a mental health or substance use disorder is often a big step that can come with many questions. With many options for level of care, you may wonder which one is right for you and your needs. At SUN Behavioral Health, our team will help you, your doctors, and previous treatments to decide if IOP is the right fit. If you are ready to start your IOP treatment, feel free to contact us for more information.

Located in Houston, TX, SUN Behavioral Health solves unmet needs. Our IOP program can treat co-occurring disorders, which can exist simultaneously and require treatment together to facilitate healing. Call us today at 713-796-2273 for more information.


SUN Behavioral Houston

7601 Fannin Street
Houston, TX, 77054

Hours of Operation:

Open 24 hours

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