Intensive Outpatient Program


Columbus Park offers a structured intensive outpatient program (IOP) for clients who need a more concentrated schedule of support and a more robust “dose” of treatment than standard outpatient therapy. In IOP, we combine individual therapy, group therapy, and meal support into two to three-hour blocks during day or evening hours; these treatment blocks occur anywhere from three to five days per week. One of the unique and defining features of Columbus Park’s IOP is that it’s designed with great flexibility to accommodate busy work or school schedules. For each IOP participant, we create an individual program schedule to cater to even the most complex logistics. Further, and perhaps even more importantly, we hand-pick clinical services so that each and every therapy hour aligns with individual patients’ needs to be clinically necessary, productive, and purposeful.

When is IOP Necessary?

IOP is a treatment option that serves as a step-down from a residential or partial hospitalization program or a step-up from standard outpatient therapy. IOP is an opportunity for individuals to engage in their daily lives (i.e. participate in work, school or community, and social activities) while also working toward treatment goals in a supportive and structured environment. For those who are phasing back into their everyday lives after a residential stay or partial hospitalization program, IOP bolsters the process of moving toward more fluid and independent eating. For those who are seeking a higher level of care than a traditional outpatient program, IOP provides more points of contact with a treatment team and peers while enabling participants to participate in the activities of daily life, as appropriate.


What is the Time Commitment for IOP?

IOP programs involve between six and fifteen hours of treatment per week over the course of three to five days. The intensity (i.e. three versus five days) depends on the specific needs of the client. Again, our IOP hours are designed around individual schedules so that we can accommodate day or evening availability, or even a combination of both.


What Does Treatment Look Like on a Daily Basis?

IOP is an opportunity for many to “jump-start” treatment. In other words, in a short amount of time, IOP works to redirect and shape behaviors, change long-standing patterns, and support new strategies for stable eating. Typical expectations for an IOP suggest a 50 percent reduction in symptoms within 8 weeks. For those who are stepping down from more intensive settings, IOP may be structured differently in order to slowly expose the individual to more and more independence until the client feels confident to move on.

IOP hours typically include group therapy, supported meals, individual therapy, and family work (if indicated). Intervention strategies and objectives vary depending on the patient’s individual challenge areas. For example, for clients with highly restrictive conditions like anorexia, it’s important to see movement toward more varied and balanced eating along with a clear trajectory of weight restoration. With bulimia, an ideal program will focus on exposure to feared foods, safely increasing variety, and developing skills for managing/coping with urges to binge or purge. For binge eating disorder, an IOP program would be geared around skill building, developing self-awareness, mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

Why Choose Columbus Park?

Ready for Complex Diagnoses: Our team is the best in the field for treating complex and difficult-to-treat patients in the IOP setting.

Efficacy of Teletherapy: We have been providing teletherapy services for many years – well before COVID-19 and social distancing mandates. Our staff is well-trained and well-versed in administering telehealth appointments.

Flexibility: We offer our clients a flexible schedule, perfect for individuals in school or working full-time. Our eating disorder treatment plans can accommodate any needs.

Evidence-Based Treatment: We utilize interventions that are supported by published research to demonstrate effectiveness. We work from an anti-diet, Health at Every Size® (HAES) perspective. We celebrate body diversity, respect body autonomy, and support our clients as they move beyond weight and food preoccupation.

Contact Us

Please schedule your complimentary 15-minute informational intake or fill out the form below and we will respond within one to two business days.

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