Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people globally. It can influence anyone, irrespective of their age, gender, or background.
As our world becomes increasingly digitalized, there’s a growing interest in using technology to understand, detect, and potentially assist individuals suffering from depression.
A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a type of outpatient treatment program that provides comprehensive, short-term, intensive clinical services. It’s often used for individuals with mental health, substance abuse, or dual diagnosis conditions.
PHPs are designed to be a step down from inpatient hospitalization, but they are more intensive than traditional outpatient therapy.
IOP vs PHP
Both Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are outpatient treatment modalities designed to provide more intensive care than standard outpatient therapy.
However, they differ in the level of intensity, structure, and duration. Here’s a comparison:
Level of Intensity
- PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program):
- Typically the most intensive form of outpatient care.
- Generally operates 5-7 days a week and may last for several hours each day.
- Suited for individuals who need a high level of support and structure but not 24-hour care.
- IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program):
- Less intensive than PHP.
- Usually takes place 3-5 days a week for a few hours each session.
- Designed for individuals who need more support than traditional outpatient therapy but less than PHP.
- More structured with a full schedule of therapeutic activities throughout the day.
- Might include multiple group therapy sessions, individual therapy, educational sessions, and other therapeutic modalities.
- While still structured, it offers more flexibility than PHP.
- Mainly centered around group therapy sessions with some additional services.
Duration of Treatment
- Due to its intensity, PHP might be shorter in duration, typically ranging from several days to several weeks.
- Generally longer than PHP, potentially lasting several weeks to a few months, depending on the individual’s progress and needs.
Purpose & Transition
- Can act as a step-down transition from inpatient hospitalization, providing a bridge between the highly structured inpatient setting and the less intensive outpatient setting.
- Can also serve as an alternative to inpatient care when the individual needs intensive support but not 24/7 supervision.
- Often used as a step-down from PHP or for individuals who have stabilized enough in their recovery to no longer need PHP-level intensity but still require significant support.
- Both PHP and IOP:
- Allow individuals to live at home or in another supportive environment like a sober living home.
- Participants return home after their treatment sessions, applying the skills and strategies they learn in a real-world setting.
- Generally more expensive than IOP due to its intensity and the number of therapeutic hours provided.
- Typically more cost-effective than PHP but more expensive than standard outpatient therapy.
- Suited for individuals with acute symptoms who need close monitoring but not continuous supervision.
- Best for those who have progressed in their recovery and need a sustained, yet somewhat less intensive focus on their treatment.
Best PHP Programs for depression
Delray Center For Healing’s Depression PHP
Delray’s PHP is renowned nationwide for its in-depth outpatient depression care. Instead of just addressing immediate crises like many hospital-based programs, Delray focuses on the root causes of depression.
Their mission is holistic: not just symptom management but long-term remission and lasting happiness. Recognizing the intertwined nature of various disorders such as anxiety, substance abuse, or trauma, they are equipped to address them all.
The program is especially noted for its success where other treatments, including ECT, TMS, and VNS, have been ineffective.
Rise Above Treatment’s Depression PHP in Murrieta, California
Rise Above offers a distinct PHP that collaboratively designs personalized recovery plans with patients.
Their comprehensive strategy integrates physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions for effective treatment. The expert team at Rise Above ensures continuous guidance in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
Rockland Recovery’s Approach to Depression
Rockland Recovery’s PHP aims for enduring mental well-being. Their method is exhaustive and custom-tailored, ensuring structure, guidance, and encouragement.
Beyond conventional therapy and medication, they focus on addressing depression’s root causes and emphasize the significance of strong familial and social support.
What happens during a PHP program?
During a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), participants undergo a structured and intensive therapeutic experience designed to address their specific clinical needs.
Keep in mind that below is a general idea of what might happen in a PHP, the specifics can vary based on the facility, the program’s focus, and the individual’s unique needs.
Intake and Assessment
Upon entering a PHP, the individual undergoes a comprehensive assessment. This includes:
- Clinical interviews to determine psychiatric and medical history.
- Substance use evaluations, if relevant.
- Psychological assessments.
- Risk assessment for any potential harm to self or others.
- Developing an initial treatment plan based on assessed needs.
- Individual Therapy: Regular sessions (usually once a week or more) with a licensed therapist to address personal challenges, process emotions, and develop coping strategies.
- Group Therapy: Participants join group sessions, which can vary in focus, such as coping skills, stress management, substance abuse education, trauma processing, and more.
- Family Therapy: In some PHPs, family involvement is emphasized to repair family dynamics, educate family members, and ensure a supportive environment at home.
If needed, participants will have access to a psychiatric provider for medication evaluations and management.
Depending on the program’s focus, participants might engage in skills training sessions like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions, and more.
Some PHPs offer specialized therapeutic modalities such as:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Occupational therapy
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for trauma
Topics can range from understanding specific mental health conditions, the science of addiction, medication education, to relapse prevention strategies.
Spending time with peers going through similar challenges can offer social support, normalization, and an opportunity for mutual learning.
Progress is continually assessed, and the treatment plan is updated accordingly. There are regular meetings to discuss progress, address any issues, and make necessary modifications to the care plan.
As participants approach the end of their time in the PHP, there’s an emphasis on planning for the next steps. This includes:
- Determining the appropriate level of care needed after discharge, such as transitioning to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or traditional outpatient therapy.
- Connecting with community resources.
- Setting up follow-up appointments and ensuring continuity of care.
Homework and Assignments
Often, participants are given assignments or tasks to complete outside of the program hours. This might include journaling, reading, practicing specific skills, or other activities designed to enhance their therapeutic experience and progress.
Given the intensity of PHP and the conditions it addresses, regular checks on participants’ safety and well-being (e.g., suicidality, potential harm to others, substance use) are integral.
Advantages of a PHP program for depression
A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) offers numerous advantages for individuals struggling with depression, particularly for those who require more intensive care than traditional outpatient therapy but not the around-the-clock supervision of inpatient hospitalization.
Here are some of the advantages of a PHP program for depression:
- Intensive Treatment
PHP provides a high level of care, with multiple therapy sessions and interventions each day. This concentrated focus can lead to rapid symptom stabilization and skill acquisition.
- Structured Environment
A structured setting can provide routine and predictability, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with depression who might struggle with motivation or organization in their daily lives.
- Multimodal Approach
PHPs usually incorporate various therapeutic approaches, ensuring a comprehensive treatment plan. This might include individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, skills training, and complementary therapies like art or recreational therapy.
- Peer Support
Being in a group setting with others who are experiencing similar challenges can provide a sense of community and understanding. Group therapy sessions, in particular, allow participants to give and receive support, share experiences, and learn from peers.
- Immediate Feedback
The frequent interaction with clinicians and therapists in a PHP allows for real-time feedback and adjustment of treatment strategies.
- Medication Management
For individuals who need medication or adjustments to their current medication regimen, having consistent and close oversight by psychiatric professionals can ensure that medications are optimized for their condition.
- Skill Building
PHPs often incorporate skills training (like DBT or CBT skills) that equip participants with practical tools to manage their depression, regulate emotions, and cope with stressors.
For those at risk of self-harm or with significant functional impairment, PHP provides a safe environment with regular check-ins and assessments.
- Transition and Flexibility
PHP can serve as an intermediate step for individuals transitioning from inpatient care to outpatient care. It offers a balanced approach by providing intensive treatment while also allowing individuals to practice coping skills in real-world settings outside of treatment hours.
- Family Involvement
Many PHPs involve family therapy or education, ensuring that the patient’s support system understands the nature of depression and the ways they can offer assistance.
- Shorter Duration than Inpatient Care
PHPs are designed to be intensive but short-term, often lasting several days to a few weeks. This can be beneficial for those who need intensive care but are also eager to return to their regular routines.
Compared to inpatient hospitalization, PHPs can be more cost-effective while still providing a high level of care.