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Treatment Programs

Intensive Outpatient Program

An outpatient program situated in Laguna Beach, designed for individuals seeking recovery from challenges related to mental health or substance use disorders, featuring a focused and personalized small group approach

What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a lower level of care. That means an individual in this level of care does not require hospitalization, or 24-hour supervision, but they need more support than an individual outpatient provider can give. Intensive Outpatient Treatment requires individuals to attend at least nine hours of group and/or individual therapy per week, which is divided up into three-hour sessions, ranging three-to-five evenings a week, typically for 4-6 weeks.

Individuals in IOP are either stepping up from seeing an outpatient provider (therapist/psychiatrist) or stepping down from a higher level of care such as residential treatment (RTC) or partial hospitalization (PHP).

What Can I Expect in Intensive Outpatient Treatment

The IOP program is the lowest level of care offered by Alter. Patients have the autonomy to continue their everyday life while having the support of group and individual therapy. The goal of IOP is to support individuals as they shift the majority of their time back to their life outside treatment, utilizing the program as a tool to continue to work on the areas they need additional therapy or skills practice.


In IOP, medication management is no longer supported through us but rather the patient works with their own outpatient psychiatrist/practitioner.

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

IOPs offer many benefits. In addition to benefiting the client’s mental health, IOPs often provide additional benefits over other treatment types. These benefits include:

Scientifically backed care

Outpatient care has been scientifically proven to improve mental health outcomes.

Structured support

 IOP treatment is regular, consistent, and frequent. Unlike most traditional psychotherapy, clients enrolled in IOPs can attend therapy nearly every day, and treatment is often heavily structured and detailed.

Access to community

 IOPs provide a safe, welcoming environment for all people struggling with mental health. In an IOP, clients can meet others who are struggling with similar problems, share strategies and tools, and learn vital social skills.

Stigma-free recovery environment

Many people experiencing mental health conditions feel unable to be open and honest about their struggles in their day-to-day lives. In an IOP, mental health is taken seriously, and the environment is designed to be stigma-free.

Control over one’s schedule

Clients in IOPs have control over which therapy sessions they decide to attend, meaning their schedule is in their hands. In addition, clients can decide what to do and where to be while not in treatment. They may continue with work or classes.

Control over one’s schedule

In addition to control over one’s schedule, clients can determine many other aspects of their treatment. They work with staff to decide what is best for them.

Our Intensive Outpatient

At Alter, we offer two state-of-the-art, expert-led IOPs. Our IOPs are offered at two levels: IOP5 and IOP3. While our programs share some similarities, they are each designed in different ways to provide different options for clients with different needs.


IOP5 is our first level of IOP. This IOP is the longer of our treatment programs, lasting a total of 40 to 60 days. Upon enrolling in our program, clients can attend multiple therapy sessions a day, offered Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

While not in therapy, clients have full control over their days and may choose what they wish to do. To ensure our clients have access to a safe, comfortable, and convenient living place, clients stay in a local sober living house seven days a week.


IOP3 is our second level of IOP. It is the shorter of our IOP programs, lasting 30 to 40 days. Clients enrolled in this program can choose from one of two morning or two afternoon therapy sessions, Monday through Friday.

Our client’s safety is important to us. As such, during treatment, our clients stay in a local sober living house seven days a week. When not in treatment, clients have control over their days and may do what they wish.

Your Mental Health Team

The team around you matters in your success, so we’ve packed it with deep experience and a variety of specialties. Our clinical team contains industry-renowned leadership and a diverse lineup of master’s level therapists with expertise in anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, bipolar, and more.

Why Intensive Outpatient Program Are So Effective for People with Mental Illness​

Research shows that when a patient has achieved a degree of psychiatric stability and wellness in an institutional setting and immediately re-enters life without adequate psychiatric and recovery support, the person often digresses. As a result, decreasing treatment exposure commensurate with increasing life becomes an essential part of treatment across the continuum of care. This is why it is strongly recommended that from a residential treatment experience individuals step down to a day treatment program. This level of care provides the necessary psychiatric support while the recovering person acclimates back into life with its associated challenges.

Behavioral health facility

Laguna Beach

Psychoeducational Groups

The primary focus of these groups is to educate and inform individuals generally about mental health, related behaviors, and the consequences of those behaviors.

Support Groups

Just as the name suggests, this model provides support and care for the members while teaching them interpersonal skills through group discussion, shared experiences, and collaborative problem-solving.

Skills Development Groups

This model is flexible. The therapist can adapt the teaching of skills based on the needs of the individuals in the group. Skills focus on maintaining mental health symptoms and involve more interaction among the group members.


Interpersonal Process Groups

Within this model, clients will process their traumas and interpersonal conflict as well as intrapersonal dysfunctions. The therapist helps members with their emotional development and addresses the childhood concerns that may lead them to poor decision-making and impulsive tendencies.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Groups

The concept behind CBT is that your thoughts and beliefs lead to emotions and then behaviors. CBT therapy will help you identify these beliefs, understand how they impact your feelings and actions, and learn to challenge faulty thinking. CBT aims to give you new coping skills to manage your mental health condition in a healthy way.

Seeking Safety

This Model is a modern evidence-based- model of treatment that treats co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder as well as underlying mental health issues.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT provides opportunities for the development of existing skills. In treatment, four basic skill sets are taught. These are emotional regulation, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.

Acceptance Therapy

This model will educate clients to identify what matters to them, what they stand for, the types of relationships they would like to build, and how they would like to behave and respond. Clients will learn how to commit themselves to take actions that bring fulfillment and enriches their life, and to focus on what really matters to them.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

We work with most PPO insurance’s out-of-network benefits. Our team is happy to help you verify benefits.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Insurance benefits vary greatly depending on the policy you have, so we obtain a detailed quote of your coverate. It usually takes between sixty to ninety minutes depending on how fast we can connect with your insurance company and the time of day.

Insurance Verification Information Please complete the following information for the person seeking treatment. We will check your insurance coverage and benefits to see if you’re covered. This insurance verification is entirely free and no obligation.

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