Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
for Substance Abuse


In Balance’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a level of substance abuse treatment that provides clients with the flexibility to work, attend school, and remain at home while addressing their substance use challenges.

Facilitated by a professional therapist, In Balance’s IOP groups meet three times a week for three-hour group sessions, totaling nine hours of weekly treatment.  Typical clients will be in the IOP group for 30 sessions (roughly 10 weeks), depending on the severity of their substance use, response to treatment, and ability to remain drug and alcohol-free.  Each client is assessed at the end of the 10 weeks to identify if extra support is needed.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Our IOP services are delivered in a group format wherein members are invited into a safe space to evaluate their past and present choices in order to explore new ways of behaving, feeling, and expressing themselves without mind-altering substances.  Group members are encouraged to share their struggles and accomplishments with others to whom they can relate to on the journey toward recovery.

Integrated into our IOP program, members can expect to receive therapeutic treatment based on a variety of clinically sophisticated and empirically proven methods.  As members inspire each other towards recovery, they can also expect to experience treatments that integrate the following therapeutic modalities:

Intensive Outpatient Program flow chart

Therapeutic Approaches

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


    CBT is a clinically proven form of treatment that helps clients identify negative and faulty thought patterns and/or behaviors, and, subsequently, develop effective strategies to counteract and, ultimately, change, those thoughts and behaviors.

    CBT is an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health issues; it’s not only effective when treating substance use disorders, but in addressing many common co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others.

    The use of CBT in the IOP program helps members build the coping skills needed to prevent relapse.

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy


    DBT is a subset of CBT therapy focusing on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The term “dialectical” refers to the therapy’s combination of two seemingly opposite concepts: acceptance and change.  DBT focuses mainly on paying careful attention to one’s thoughts and feelings in order to regulate emotional responses in a healthy way.

    A common symptom of substance abuse is a person’s difficulty in regulating emotions and their responses to those emotions.  As part of In Balance’s IOP program, clients will have the opportunity to track and understand their feelings so they can better respond in a healthy way.

  • Motivational Interviewing

    Motivational Interviewing is a twofold process. The first goal of Motivational Interviewing is to increase motivation by encouraging clients to talk about their need for change and their own reasons for wanting to change. The second goal of Motivational Interviewing is for a person to make the commitment to change. During IOP group sessions, members collaborate and work through the emotional stages of change necessary to find motivation. This process is reinforced through support and encouragement as important conversations about change and commitment take place.

  • Family Integration Therapy

    Substance abuse affects the entire family, not just the person seeking treatment. In order to aid and heal damaged family relationships, IOP group members are encouraged to invite their family members and loved ones to the group twice a month. Attendees will receive education in such subject matters as setting healthy boundaries, understanding the addiction process, codependency, enmeshment, family systems, family roles, and feelings identification and expression. These sessions will help families understand the disease model of addiction, how to best support their loved ones in recovery, and, just as importantly, learn skills to heal themselves.

  • Recreational/Experiential Therapy

    In Balance regularly offers recreational/experiential therapy as an adjunct to group therapy. When clients work together on an activity, they’re able to learn more about their addiction from a different perspective; experiential-based therapy allows people in recovery to learn about themselves by doing recovery. Recreational and experiential-based therapy improves self-esteem, strengthens social connections, and boosts cognitive abilities as clients experience recovery in the context of daily life. Some of the experiences offered include:

    • Hiking
    • Art Expression
    • Yoga
    • Community Service Work
    • Field Trips (Museums, Botanical Gardens, Bowling, Skating, etc.)
  • Equine Assisted Therapy

    Equine Assisted Therapy is an experiential form of therapy that involves working with horses. For centuries, horses and humans have shared a strong bond that is based on trust and non-verbal communication. Horses, as sensitive, powerful, and responsive herd animals, have an incredible mirroring ability. They can organically reflect how people experience our lives.

    Equine Assisted Therapy offers clients unique opportunities for identifying (in a surprisingly short time) patterns, strengths, and challenges. One’s self-care, assertiveness, and intensity under stress are all reflected during equine therapy; horses provide instant feedback during the session and intuitively acknowledge blocks, dissonance, or other emotional barriers and provide informational feedback. Processing feelings, life skills, communication, teamwork, and empathy can all play a part in equine sessions. Many participants report that these experiences are life-changing.

  • 12 Step Component

    In Balance encourages IOP group members to tap into the many strengths and benefits of the 12-step programs Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Al-Anon. The community, fellowship, and spirituality that the 12 Step programs offer are important components in maintaining sobriety.

    In Balance IOP helps introduce the 12 Step recovery community to clients by periodically inviting members of 12 Step groups to share their experience in outpatient sessions. The 12 Step community offers the support, experience, and guidance of people who have already walked the difficult path toward recovery. In addition, those in longer-term sobriety find that sharing their experience, strength, and hope with others can help them maintain their own sobriety into the future.

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Personal Success Stories

In Balance group therapy
  • "I came to In Balance a year ago after failing four major inpatient treatment centers for alcohol and drug abuse going back to 1989. I was so sick that I barely remember coming. In Balance has given me my life back. I truly feel like I have been given a second chance at life."

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  • "In Balance has given me a new respect for life. It’s a fun and safe place to be. I experienced many different forms of therapy to keep it interesting. Thank you everyone."

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  • "For me, the diversity of the program was a big plus. The groups were very helpful and supportive. The experiential components were important to learn how to be active in recovery and sobriety."

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