Very simply put, Outpatient Treatment is a program that allows an individual being treated for substance abuse or mental illness to attend treatment while living in their homes or in another safe living environment.  Outpatient Treatment differs from inpatient or residential treatment because clients’ of an outpatient program do not reside at the location of their treatment. 

Individuals seeking treatment who have responsibilities and commitments and need to remain in the home environment, or have the freedom to continue to work or go to school during the course of their treatment are best suited to an Outpatient Program.

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There are a variety of schedules at most outpatient treatment programs.  Depending on the level of acuity for each individual, various schedules of Outpatient Treatment are available.  Some of the most popular types of outpatient treatment include:

Day treatment is the closest to residential or inpatient treatment due the frequency and duration of each session. Typically, day treatment clients attend the outpatient treatment center 3-5 days per week for approximately 4-6 hours per day. The intensity of day treatment most closely mirrors the course of treatment at most residential facilities with the major distinction being that individuals in day treatment live at home or in some other stable living environment.

Typical intensive outpatient treatment programs require less of a time commitment than do residential treatment or day treatment. Most intensive outpatient programs require clients to attend a minimum of 3 days per week and between 2-4 hours per day. Intensive Outpatient Treatment programs are ideal for individuals who are continuing care from a residential or day treatment program, or for those who have professional or educational commitments. Most intensive outpatient programs will schedule sessions taking into account each clients’ prior commitments.

Standard outpatient procedures vary drastically from program to program. Some outpatient programs meet only once or twice per week for an hour or two. This could encompass individual therapy sessions, drug counseling sessions and group therapy sessions. Individuals’ in standard outpatient treatment programs often have the ability to collaborate in creating their schedules for sessions and are able to maintain outside commitments. Standard outpatient is ideal for those who have completed a residential or day treatment program and are looking to integrate continuing care into their everyday lives.


In almost all outpatient programs of varying intensity, there is a myriad of groups, sessions, and activities that occur.  Meetings with a psychotherapist, addiction counselor, case manager, and medical professional are nearly always standard.  Clients receiving treatment at an outpatient program will have group sessions that will often include:

  • Process groups
  • Psycho-drama groups
  • Relapse prevention groups
  • Life skills
  • Meditation groups
  • Educational groups
  • Gender-specific groups

Additionally, many outpatient treatment programs are integrating experiential therapy practices into their programs which allow for clients to engage in unconventional activities like; rock climbing, surfing, hiking, ropes courses, and many others.

The primary focus for outpatient treatment is to help individuals on the journey of recovery from substance abuse and mental illness.


Aside from the innate beauty that West Lost Angeles provides to its inhabitants, there are a number of reasons to choose an outpatient treatment center in West Los Angeles.  With one of the most active and populated recovery community, West Los Angeles is home to thousands of 12-step meetings each week.  Developing a strong recovery network is of paramount importance and attending an outpatient treatment center in West Los Angeles allows for client’s to access the robust recovering community the area has to offer.

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Many outpatient treatment centers in West Los Angeles take advantage of the geography of Southern California and integrate trips to the beach, hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains, and other experiential therapeutic activities that other cities are unable to offer.  West Los Angeles provides so much to individuals in outpatient programs based on its rich culture, active recovery community, and natural serenity.  If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or any other mental health disorder, and considering an outpatient treatment program, why not choose one on the most vibrant and active cities in the world?


The cost of outpatient treatment varies from program to program.  With recent legislation passed, insurance companies now classify substance abuse as a parity diagnosis and are required by law to provide coverage.  This can greatly help mitigate the out of pocket investment of outpatient treatment.  Many programs accept a combination of private pay and health insurance to cover the cost of outpatient treatment.  It is best to contact a professional to help navigate the process of admission into an outpatient treatment program as this expert will be able to answer questions regarding insurance and finances.  If you or a loved one are looking to escape the depths of drug addiction or mental illness, don’t hesitate, call now to receive guidance and support from a trained and compassionate treatment professional.

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