Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are designed to accommodate individuals who do not need 24-hour supervision but can benefit from daily structured treatment. It combines the intensity of inpatient treatment with the freedom and autonomy of outpatient treatment, which is why it often serves as a middle step between the two.


In a partial hospitalization program (PHP), individuals have access to intensive short-term treatment similar to the structured activities of inpatient hospitalization. These include individual therapy, peer group therapy, and medical care as needed. However, unlike inpatient treatment, patients in a PHP are not required to stay overnight, giving them the freedom to live at home with family or in a sober living facility.

Treatment programming is typically scheduled five to seven days a week for at least six hours a day. During this time, patients take part in healthy activities geared toward maintaining recovery like counseling, psychoeducation, relapse prevention planning, and other wellness activities. The ability to return home every day allows individuals to practice skills learned at the facility in their normal environment. This can provide an adequate segue to help people transition from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment, though in some cases, a PHP may be suitable on its own.


Though PHP borrows from outpatient and inpatient treatment, it stands on its own by blending the two methods. It provides more structure and hours of care than a typical outpatient program which offers treatment for only a couple of days per week. However, unlike an inpatient hospitalization program, it doesn’t require temporarily living in the treatment facility during the course of treatment.

As a result, it provides more independence along with intensive treatment, which helps individuals learn to cope in a real life setting. Depending on their individual needs, a PHP may be recommended after completing inpatient treatment and before transitioning to an outpatient program. However, it may also be useful after detox.

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Partial hospitalization is likely to benefit individuals who:

  • Have the desire and ability to participate in intensive therapy.
  • Have already finished medical detox.
  • Have completed inpatient treatment and are transitioning to outpatient treatment.
  • Have a stable and supportive home and community.

Addiction often co-occurs with other mental health conditions, which can complicate the course of treatment. In cases where other psychological illnesses are being treated along with addiction, PHP is best suited to those who:

  • Do not meet criteria for 24-hour supervision but can benefit from intensive therapy.
  • May be on a stable medication regimen but do not have acute medical needs.
  • Want to transition to more independent living while treating their addiction and their co-occurring condition.


Since it blends components of both, PHPs provide benefits also found in inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. These include:

  • Short-term structured therapy and recovery programming.
  • Greater access to medical care than outpatient treatment.
  • Consistent program hours that allows patients to adjust to a working schedule.
  • Increased support for those transitioning to outpatient treatment.
  • Greater success at maintaining recovery when a PHP is completed as part of a continuum of treatment.


PHPs have increased in popularity due to research showing its effectiveness in combating addiction and other mental health disorders. Since PHP patients are not expected to require round-the-clock supervision, partial hospitalization allows you to reintegrate into your daily life and home environment. During treatment, you’ll participate in near full time individual and group therapy along with other activities like meditation and yoga that can help you achieve the goals of sobriety. Therapy is designed to instill confidence, communication skills, and recovery prevention techniques. If necessary, nurses provide support in managing disorders and medication monitoring.

The structure of the program is typically designed ahead of time in conjunction with therapists and program administrators. If PHP is completed as a step down from inpatient hospitalization, treatment planning begins at the inpatient stage and is designed based on your individual needs and time commitment abilities.

PHP includes several primary components:

Individual Therapy

During regular individual therapy sessions, you’ll work with a licensed professional therapist who will help you uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior that maintain your addiction. In a safe space to discuss your feelings freely, therapy can help you cope with triggers and may address other issues like trauma, self-esteem, co-occurring mental health issues, communication skills, and relationships.

Group Therapy

Group therapy has proven effective in treatment of addiction because it provides a support system where individuals within each group foster accountability for themselves and each other. Group therapy may focus on triggers, social skills and relationships, education, and life skills. These connections may help you maintain sobriety after completion of treatment.

Family Therapy

The family dynamic can be severely affected by addiction, and conversely, a maladaptive way of communicating in the home can influence patterns of addiction. In order to address these issues, family therapy helps individuals jointly cope with addiction and provide ongoing support. Family therapy also includes couples counseling.

Medication Management

Medication may be necessary to restore chemical imbalances caused by eliminating addictive drugs. Medications like buprenorphine or acamprosate may be prescribed and administered at the PHP program to help you with adverse symptoms that can keep you from focusing on therapeutic goals. Medication may also be required to treat co-occurring mental health illness like anxiety and depression.

Drug Testing

Regular drug testing is part of PHP to keep you accountable for your own recovery. These tests may screen for drug or alcohol use in the event that relapse happens during the course of treatment.


Riverwalk Ranch’s partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides you with intensive treatment for addiction without the commitment of living at the treatment center. Programs can be accommodated to your needs and availability, but generally provide a comparable level of care.


  • 5 days per week, 6 hours per day
  • 9 am – 3 pm
  • Individual therapy
  • Group and family therapy
  • Case management


  • Psychoeducation
  • Didactic lectures
  • Process-based programming
  • Specialized and culturally specific programming
  • Mutual self-help programming
  • Skills training
  • Expressive therapy (yoga, tai chi, art, music, comedy)
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Community support
  • Experiential programming
  • Nutritional & wellness counseling
  • Recreational programming


The PHP timeline depends on several individual factors that dictate the needs of treatment. These include:

  • Length of time and severity of addiction
  • Personal motivation to comply with program requirements
  • Availability of family and social support outside of treatment
  • Presence and management of co-occurring mental illnesses
  • Relapse history

A detailed PHP plan is designed with the help of professionals at the facility at the beginning of treatment. Committing in advance to completing the agreed upon program length is part of recovery accountability you need to maintain sobriety on a long-term basis.


It is common for addiction to occur along with other mental health disorders including depression, trauma disorders, anxiety, and other serious psychological illnesses. Treatment of co-occurring disorders may require targeted focus to address conditions that can worsen recovery outcomes.

Because the interaction between addiction and other mental health disorders can be complicated to understand and treat, PHP is well-suited to treating these conditions. Our licensed professionals understand the impact of mental illness on long-term recovery and can provide an integrative approach to holistically treat these complex conditions. A PHP provides the requisite level of care to address co-occurring disorders.


Treatment doesn’t have to end with PHP. Most patients in rehabilitation instead transition to a lower level of care after partial hospitalization. This can be an intensive outpatient program or typical outpatient program. By gradually reducing the level of care, you continue participation in clinical services while slowly reintegrating into your regular life.

This step down transition method can help you ease into regular responsibilities so that you don’t become overwhelmed when faced with triggers. Remaining engaged in therapy and recovery support groups even after treatment is completed increases the likelihood of long-term sobriety.

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