Finding Freedom in Recovery

Exploring High Desert Counseling's Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in St. George, UT

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) have become an important component for treatment of various mental health and substance abuse disorders. High Desert Counseling offers flexible recovery programs that support you while you to maintain your daily routines and responsibilities.

Understanding Intensive Outpatient Programs

High Desert Counseling provides intensive outpatient programs for individuals who require more care than regular outpatient treatment. These programs are for those who do not need constant supervision in a residential facility but need some case management to navigate their care. Our Pretzel Effect provides a mix of intense treatment while connecting you with community outpatient care, offering lasting support long after treatment at High Desert.

While High Desert Counseling’s IOP offers numerous benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. When deciding to enroll in an IOP, make sure you make the decision with a qualified mental health professional or addiction specialist. You must carefully consider factors such as the severity of the condition, your level of support at home, and your ability to commit to the program.

If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, it it's important to get professional help. Our experts can evaluate and assist you in finding the appropriate level of care. This could include an intensive outpatient program or another form of treatment.

Is IOP Right For You?

In some cases, IOP can be a positive choice when the person living with addiction has dependents at home who require care. It is not always possible to find alternative care solutions for young children, special needs family members, or older adults. Work or schooling may also conflict with other forms of treatment such as Residential or Day Treatment.  High Desert Counseling accepts most insurance so your treatment may be covered fully or partially.


IOP will provide the structure needed while still allowing for the duties of everyday life. Treatment is conducted the HDC office, with our highly trained addiction professionals. This treatment occurs during regularly scheduled sessions and involves a combination of individual and group therapy. 


IOP mimics inpatient programs in terms of energy and focus, but do so without many of the restrictions. If you’re not able to set aside job commitments or caring for children, among other responsibilities, to be fully immersed in an inpatient program, IOPs offer a workable middle ground. Perhaps the greatest benefit of IOP however, is that you can use what you’re learning in therapy in the here and now. 


IOP treatment is often the first step in recovery from substance abuse.  For some, this first step is enough to help them kick the habit, especially if they have an extensive support network. For others, more structured and intensive long-term treatment programs are required.

The Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs

1. Flexibility and Accessibility

One of the key advantages of High Desert Counseling’s IOPs is the flexibility they offer. Unlike inpatient programs, in our IOP, you can continue living at home and maintain your work or educational commitments. This flexibility enables you to integrate your treatment into your daily lives, ensuring a smoother transition to recovery.

In addition to being able to live at home, IOPs also offer flexible scheduling options. High Desert Counseling understands that everyone has unique needs and responsibilities, which is why they offer morning, and evening sessions. This allows you to choose a schedule that works best for you, ensuring that you can attend therapy sessions without significantly disrupting your daily routine.

Furthermore, IOPs also provide the flexibility to tailor the duration of the program based on your progress and needs. While there is a structured treatment plan in place, the length of your participation in the program can be adjusted to accommodate your specific circumstances. This personalized approach ensures that you receive the right level of care for as long as necessary, maximizing the effectiveness of the treatment.

By offering this level of flexibility and accessibility, High Desert Counseling's IOP empowers you to prioritize your recovery while still fulfilling your obligations and maintaining a sense of normalcy in your life. This approach not only promotes a smoother transition to recovery but also increases the likelihood of long-term success by fostering a sustainable treatment experience.

2. Comprehensive Treatment Approach

Our IOPs provide a comprehensive approach to treatment, addressing the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of recovery. These programs offer a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, and medication management. IOPs help in different areas of life by teaching coping skills, building resilience, and creating a strong support system.

  • Case Management - In substance use recovery, case management plays a vital role in promoting holistic and comprehensive treatment. Case managers collaborate with individuals to assess their unique needs, develop personalized treatment plans, and connect them with appropriate services and resources. This may include referrals to medical professionals, therapists, support groups, vocational training programs, or housing assistance.  By incorporating case management into intensive outpatient programs, individuals receive personalized guidance, advocacy, and support throughout their recovery process. This comprehensive approach enhances the effectiveness of treatment, promotes positive outcomes, and empowers individuals to build a solid foundation for lasting recovery.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a widely recognized and effective treatment approach used in substance use recovery. DBT combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with mindfulness practices to help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and emotional regulation skills. In the context of substance use recovery, DBT can assist individuals in managing cravings, identifying and modifying destructive thought patterns, and improving interpersonal relationships. By focusing on acceptance, validation, and skill-building, DBT provides individuals with the tools necessary to navigate the challenges of recovery and maintain long-term sobriety.
  • Seeking Safety is a widely recognized and evidence-based treatment approach that is often used in substance use recovery. This therapeutic intervention focuses on helping individuals who have experienced trauma and struggle with substance abuse concurrently. Seeking Safety aims to create a safe and stable environment for individuals to develop healthy coping mechanisms and skills to manage both their trauma-related symptoms and substance use. By addressing the underlying trauma and its connection to substance abuse, Seeking Safety facilitates the healing process and supports individuals in their recovery journey. The program incorporates various techniques and strategies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, and skill-building exercises, to promote self-empowerment and resilience. Through its emphasis on safety, grounding techniques, and relapse prevention, Seeking Safety equips individuals with the tools they need to navigate their recovery and improve their overall well-being.
3. Peer Support and Community

Within High Desert Counseling’s IOP, you have the opportunity to connect with peers who face similar challenges. The sense of community and support that arises from group therapy sessions can be incredibly empowering. Sharing experiences, insights, and encouragement with others who understand the recovery journey can foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.

Peer support and community play a crucial role in the recovery process. By engaging with others who are going through similar experiences, you not only gain validation and understanding but also learn from their perspectives and strategies for coping with challenges. The connections formed within the IOP setting can extend beyond the program duration, providing a network of ongoing support and friendship.

Group therapy sessions offer a safe and non-judgmental environment where you can share your thoughts, fears, and successes. Through active listening and empathy, group members offer support, encouragement, and constructive feedback. The shared experiences and collective wisdom of the group can inspire hope, provide guidance, and reinforce the belief that recovery is possible.

In addition to group therapy, High Desert Counseling’s IOP may also incorporate specialized support groups focused on specific topics, such as addiction recovery, trauma healing, or dual diagnosis. These specialized groups allow participants to connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges, providing a deeper level of understanding and targeted support.

The peer support and community aspect of the IOP experience not only aids in emotional healing but also helps develop social skills and healthy relationship dynamics. By engaging in group discussions, practicing active listening, and offering support to others, you can enhance your communication skills and build trust and empathy. These skills can extend beyond the IOP setting and positively impact your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.

Remember, you are not alone in your recovery journey. High Desert Counseling’s IOP provides a nurturing and inclusive environment where you can find the support, encouragement, and camaraderie necessary to overcome challenges and achieve lasting recovery.

4. Continuity of Care

Our intensive outpatient program often serves as a bridge between more intensive levels of care, such as inpatient or residential treatment, and regular outpatient therapy. This continuity of care ensures a smooth transition and prevents you from experiencing a significant drop in support as you progress through your recovery journey. High Desert Counseling’s IOP also provides ongoing monitoring and follow-up care to help you maintain your progress and prevent relapse.

5. Tailored Treatment Plans

Your journey to recovery is unique, and our IOPs recognize this by offering personalized treatment plans. These programs consider your needs, goals, and challenges, providing personalized treatment based on your situation. This personalized approach enhances the effectiveness of the program and increases the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Call High Desert Counseling today to break free from addiction: 435-673-2899.

Embrace Life with Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs have revolutionized the way we receive treatment for substance abuse disorders. By offering flexibility, comprehensive care, and a supportive community, these programs empower us to embrace life in recovery. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment, consider exploring the benefits of an intensive outpatient program and take the first step towards a healthier, happier future.

Remember, recovery is possible, and intensive outpatient programs can be a vital part of the journey.

Call High Desert Counseling now to overcome addiction: 435-673-2899 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

Here are some sources for the above article:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2021). Types of Treatment Programs.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2015). Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.
  3. American Psychological Association (APA). (2021). Intensive Outpatient Treatment.
  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). (2021). Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP).

Please note that these sources provide additional information on intensive outpatient programs and may be helpful for further understanding and research.

High Desert Clinical Team

About Us

High Desert Counseling is founded on the principle that anyone suffering from addiction can have a long lasting recovery from substance use addiction. Our clients will experience profound change through advanced, evidenced based practices provided by an experienced, hand selected professional team, in a comfortable St George environment.

What We Offer

Day Treatment (PHP)

Day treatment is partial hospitalization (PHP) for those individuals that do not clinically require 24-hour inpatient or residential care.

The course of treatment, includes 4 hours daily at the facility where the individual receives counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention skills, education, and a personalized treatment plan.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are treatment programs designed to address substance use disorders not requiring detoxification or round-the-clock supervision. This allows patients to continue with their daily lives in a way that residential treatment programs do not.  If you are someone who has a safe living environment, family or work commitments that may interfere with residential treatment, IOP may be your best solution.

Continuing Care (GOP)

For those needing access to continued recovery support at the conclusion of outpatient treatment. 

It is also an alternative for those who do not meet the clinical need for Day Treatment or IOP. With access to individual and group counseling, peer support, medication-assisted treatment, and other psychiatric services.

Outpatient FAQ

How do I access outpatient care?

Most patients are referred directly to partial hospital or intensive outpatient programs by their therapists following an assessment. You can also seek treatment for yourself or a loved one by calling our Outpatient Admissions team at 435-673-2899.

How long does day treatment last?

While each patient’s treatment plan may different, patients generally attend our partial hospital program five days per week for four hours per day, and our intensive outpatient program three days per week for three hours per day. On average, patients are in treatment for a total of six to twelve weeks. Patients can begin treatment at a partial hospital or intensive outpatient level of care, depending on their needs.

What is evidence-based treatment?

Treatments throughout our programs are evidence based. This means that findings from the latest research at major academic medical centers and government agencies are regularly reviewed and incorporated into our treatment modalities. The outcomes are closely examined to understand what therapies work best for each individual patient, how to reduce symptoms, and how to bring about lasting recovery. Evidence-based programs have been shown to increase engagement and success.

What is a typical day like in day treatment?

Typically, a partial hospital treatment day includes five group sessions, each with a different focus. Some groups are psychotherapy groups, where participants are encouraged to bring up and discuss current feelings and struggles they are having. Other groups are psychoeducational, where patients are educated about aspects of illness, wellness, and coping techniques that can be employed to help manage the symptoms of their illness.

What insurance do you accept?

High Desert Counseling is in-network with most commercial insurance programs and accepts Medicaid. You can call us at 435-673-2899 and we can confirm your coverage and verify your benefits.

How many patients are in a group?

At High Desert Counseling, our Day Treatment (PHP) groups are typically capped at six while our Intensive Outpatient (IOP) groups may have from ten to sixteen attendees.

Can I work during treatment?

Not exactly. Day Treatment may require four hours or more of treatment and therapies scheduled daily. Many are group workshops and support groups, thus the times cannot be shifted to accommodate the scheduling needs of individual participants on a regular basis. Work is, however an important part of recovery and is encouraged.  Your Day Treatment may be shortened after two weeks if you are demonstrating a strong commitment to recovery and you obtain a job or start an education.  You may be able to step down to Intensive Outpatient, requiring fewer hours and  evening or early morning sessions.   

Is Family Therapy important?

A patient’s psychiatric illness or addiction can impact the entire family. When the family has an understanding of their loved one’s issues and conflicts, they have the power to play a major role in the recovery process. High Desert Counseling has long recognized the importance of the family in the healing process, and incorporates family therapy and education into the treatment routine. Our family education program empowers families with information and education, enabling them to better cope during a difficult time. We also refer families to resources available in the community.


Outpatient treatment

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For more information regarding Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs or IOPs, click here

McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)65(6), 718.