What is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

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A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is the most structured and intensive form of outpatient treatment.

Partial hospitalization programs, sometimes known as day programs involve a time commitment of up to 35 hours per week. PHPs deliver the same level of care as you would expect in residential rehab.

PHPs are typically indicated for those who:

This guide highlights the following issues to help you choose the right level of care:

  • What is a partial hospitalization program?
  • What is partial hospitalization recommended for?
  • What is a PHP program not suitable for?
A group therapy session to represent partial hospitalization program

Types of PHP Treatment

Within a PHP program, various treatment approaches are employed to address substance use disorders comprehensively. Here are some common types of PHP treatment:

  • Individual therapy: One-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist or counselor are a fundamental component of PHP treatment. Individual therapy allows for personalized attention and the exploration of underlying issues contributing to substance use. Therapists may utilize evidence-based approaches like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or MET (motivational enhancement therapy) to help individuals develop coping strategies, set goals, and foster positive behavioral changes.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy plays a crucial role in PHPs, offering a supportive and collaborative environment for individuals to share their experiences, learn from others, and develop social connections. Group therapy sessions may focus on various topics such as relapse prevention, communication skills, and coping mechanisms. The interaction and feedback from peers can be immensely valuable in the recovery process.
  • Family therapy: Involving family members in the treatment process can be instrumental in improving outcomes. Family therapy sessions aim to repair relationships, enhance communication, and educate loved ones about addiction and recovery. This helps create a supportive and understanding environment for individuals in PHP treatment, as well as promoting long-term recovery for the entire family unit.
  • Medication management: In cases where MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is part of the PHP, a team of medical professionals, including psychiatrists or addiction medicine specialists, will oversee medication management. They will assess the individual’s medication needs, monitor effectiveness, adjust dosages if necessary, and provide ongoing support and education regarding the prescribed medications.
  • Holistic therapies: Many PHPs offer complementary therapies to enhance overall well-being and provide additional avenues for healing. These may include activities such as yoga, art therapy, mindfulness meditation, music therapy, or recreational therapy. These holistic approaches aim to address emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of recovery, promoting self-expression, stress reduction, and self-care.
  • Psychoeducation: Psychoeducational classes are designed to provide individuals with essential knowledge about addiction, relapse prevention, coping skills, and healthy lifestyle choices. These classes help individuals develop a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to substance use disorders and empower them with the tools necessary to maintain long-term recovery.

The specific combination and duration of these treatment modalities may vary depending on the individual’s needs, the treatment program, and the philosophy of the PHP. The goal is to create a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan that addresses the unique challenges and goals of each individual in their journey towards recovery.

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program Like?

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the most comprehensive type of outpatient mental health treatment. They offer a wide range of evidence-based therapies, group sessions, classes, and complementary activities, such as yoga and art therapy. Some PHPs may also offer detox services through a related residential treatment center or a local detox center.

PHPs are day programs, meaning that participants attend during the day and return home at night. A typical day in a PHP might include individual and group therapy, psychoeducation, skill-building exercises, and periodic evaluations. These activities are led by licensed mental health professionals, and medication management may also be available through a staff psychiatrist. Family therapy sessions may also be incorporated into the program to help build a support system for recovery.

Lunch is provided at the program, but participants are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner. Some treatment centers may offer transportation to and from the program.

The specific scheduling and programming of a PHP can vary depending on the treatment facility. However, most PHPs offer a wide range of therapeutic techniques, from traditional therapies like CBT to alternative approaches like trauma-sensitive yoga.

If you are considering PHP for your child, missed schooling is a common concern. That said, most treatment providers offer schooling within the program to ensure that teens do not fall behind in their education.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about PHPs:

  • PHPs are usually a shorter-term treatment option than inpatient hospitalization.
  • PHPs can be a good option for those who need more support than traditional outpatient therapy but do not require the level of care provided by inpatient hospitalization.
  • PHPs can be a good option for people who need to continue working or attending school while receiving treatment.
  • PHPs can be a good option for individuals who have a history of non-compliance with treatment.

If you are interested in learning more about PHPs, you can talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. You can also search online for PHPs in your area.

A woman sits looking out at a sunset to represent someone who got help at a php program Cincinnati, Ohio.

Begin Recovery Today at Ohio Recovery Center’s PHP

If you feel that partial inpatient treatment sounds like the most effective route to recovery, engage with a partial hospitalization program at Ohio Recovery Centers. Studies show that most mild or moderate substance use disorders respond just as well to intensive outpatient therapy as inpatient rehab.

All treatment programs at our Cincinnati rehab combine behavioral, holistic, and pharmacological interventions for a science-based approach to addiction recovery. All plans include a robust aftercare component that involves coping techniques, relapse prevention strategies, and ongoing treatment if required.

Call admissions today at 877-679-2132 for immediate assistance.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn