Intensive Outpatient Program

There is no “one size fits all” model for treating people with eating disorders. People with eating disorders may have a variety of different reasons for their illness – biological, emotional to environmental. In the same way, treating eating disorders usually requires a team approach – with assistance from counselors, psychologists, dieticians, nutritionists, and other specialists.

IOP, or intensive outpatient program, is a form of partial psychiatric hospitalization. IOP is more intense than weekly outpatient therapy and less intense than inpatient hospitalization. IOP clients come for therapy several days per week for several hours at a time.

An important part of the intensive outpatient program is group work. Attending an eating disorder support group may help the person with an eating disorder feel less alone and ashamed. Usually run by a mental health professional, support groups are composed of peers who can provide a safe environment to share experiences, advice, encouragement, and coping strategies. Group counseling involves educating the group on family dynamics, dependency, stress management, nutrition, women’s issues, depression, feelings, sexuality and assertiveness; as well as using a mix of therapeutic devices.

Intensive Outpatient Programs are usually shorter in duration than full Partial Hospitalization Programs.

Related Articles

How our helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.