How Is Therapy Through an IOP Different From Regular Therapy?

When considering therapy options for alcohol and substance abuse, a variety of rehab or therapy options exist. Ultimately, at Lighthouse Recovery in Dallas we want you or your loved ones to achieve comprehensive programming appropriate for your severity of addiction that leads to long-term success. That’s why we consult each prospective Client to ensure our IOP is the right fit. Some more severe cases require an inpatient stay first.

Let’s look at differences in treatment and therapy options, so you can figure out which might be right for you or your loved one.

Short-term, inpatient treatment

A short-term residential treatment often takes place in a hospitalized setting for those needing around-the-clock medical care and attention, typically those with a severe addiction facing dangerous withdrawal effects. Most, but not all, short-term hospitalized treatments utilize the 12-step approach to therapy, which focuses on submission to a higher power.  Clients stays within a hospital detox program usually lasting 3 to 6 weeks, and strong emphasis is made to continue with an IOP once discharged to continue the recovery.

IOP Program Benefits


We employ staff specializing in a wide range of modalities, allowing us to provide a more comprehensive approach. These modalities include, but are not limited to: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT), and Eye Movement Desensitization, and Reprocessing (EMDR).


Our highly trained staff work intensively with clients to address core issues. Every IOP session is aimed at reducing negative behaviors by addressing the emotions and thoughts that are often behind them. We work diligently and compassionately to make clients feel safe and understood.


Our flexible programming allows clients to continue to live at home, go to work or attend school, and still get the therapeutic support they need. The average intensive outpatient program lasts eight to twelve weeks and combines three group therapy sessions and one individual therapy session per week. We offer night groups and telehealth options for those with busier schedules.


Depending on the severity of the client’s case, programmatic therapy can be dramatically more cost-effective than a standard Inpatient Treatment program. We work with most private insurance providers to offset the majority of programming costs.

Insurances We Accept

Lighthouse accepts 100+ private insurance policies and offers cost-effective private-pay plans.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)

PHPs usually require around 5 sessions a week, which can each last 4-8 hours. Time-wise, the PHP is an intense program most beneficial for those just leaving residential treatment, or those with a history of intense relapse. Partial hospitalization programs work as a stepping stone from residential treatment but more hands-on and time intensive than an outpatient treatment. Clients retain the benefit of living at home, but still have a strict therapy regimen.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

An Intensive Outpatient Program is often one step below inpatient treatment centers because they’re outpatient – Clients still live at their own home, and work their usual jobs. At Lighthouse Recovery, we offer IOP therapy for those suffering from substance abuse and wanting to break free from addiction. We assess each potential Client to ensure IOP therapy here in Dallas is the right step for them. For some, it’s crucial to participate in a 30-day inpatient stay first and then once the withdrawal side effects are medically managed, continue the recovery through an intensive outpatient setting. For others, entering an IOP is the best first step. Our program includes 3 weekly group therapy sessions, 1 weekly individual therapy session, and 1 one-on-one with a specialized recovery coach. All of our licensed, Masters-level therapists use a range of comprehensive behavioral therapies (CBT) to help identify the underlying causes of addiction and therefore, break free from substance abuse addiction. We also employ therapies through our IOP such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), experiential therapies, and psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (PIT). Doing therapy through an IOP can be a more cost-effective solution to therapy than inpatient therapy. Timing will vary, but most participate in IOP therapy for 12 weeks.  An advantage with the IOP therapy at Lighthouse Recovery is our ability to treat co-occurring disorders alongside addiction.

Individual drug counseling

A less exhaustive approach to alcohol and drug recovery comes through individual counseling sessions. Unlike having both group and individual counseling through an IOP, some individuals seek to only participate in individual sessions. The therapist works at identifying the underlying causes of addiction while also helping the Client function productively at work and home through skills training. Oftentimes individual counseling is not sufficient therapy to break the chains of addiction, so they often recommend Clients participate in support groups concurrently. 

Group support

Some individuals further down their recovery journey, who’ve graduated from an IOP, seek to continue their care by joining support groups. These are informal, large group meetings where a handful of individuals share their struggles and lean on the community for support; like in alcoholics anonymous. These large groups help addicts stay accountable to their long-term alcohol or drug recovery goals, while remembering coping tools. 

Depending on where you are in your recovery journey, consider IOP therapy at Lighthouse Recovery. Give us a free, confidential call to help assess which level of care suits you best. We promise to provide a safe, supportive environment for you to heal and thrive.

Why Choose our Dallas IOP?


Lighthouse IOP

Standard IOP

Program Philosophy
and Structure

  • Individualized, custom-built, and holistic curriculum

  • Maximum of 8 persons per group

  • Each client is matched with a Recovery Coach who can provide support outside of clinical programming by setting goals, building engagement in outside recovery groups, and creating accountability

  • All Lighthouse Therapists are Masters-level clinicans with a wide range of experiences so we can best match client to Therapist

  • Both in-person and Teleheath attendance options available

  • Both day and night groups available

  • 24/7 access to support plus 12 months of extended support

  • Standardized programming (usually an "off-the-shelf" curriculum)

  • Up to 30 persons per group

  • No Recovery Coaching i.e. program is limited to only hours spent in group and individual therapy leaving significant "gaps" in coverage

  • Experience of Therapist varies from company to company as does the ability to "match" a client with the most applicable Theraupetic experience

  • Attendance options vary from company to company

  • Group options vary from company to company

  • Extended support varies from company to company

Additional Program Features

  • Lighthouse is in-network with the most common insurance policies and accepts 100+ policies on an Out of Network basis

  • Preferred Access to our Recovery Coaching Program

  • Robust Network i.e. psychiatrists, neurofeeback specialists, etc.

  • Beautifully designed, private office building centrally located in Dallas, TX

  • In Network benefits vary from company to company

  • No access to in-house Recovery Coaching offered

  • Referral Network for Auxiliary Services varies from company to company

  • Condition and privacy of office varies from company to company

IOP Frequently Asked Questions

What is IOP?

Intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a lower level of care on the spectrum of treatment.  It usually consists of three 3-hour group sessions a week with a licensed therapist and at least one 1-hour individual therapy session. IOP is perfect for those stepping down from a Residential or Inpatient Treatment Center, or those that are unable to commit to going away for a minimum of 30 days. IOP is often a good alternative for those with families or careers that they are unable to take too much time away from.

Is IOP right for me?

An intensive outpatient program is suitable for most people at some point in their recovery journey. Although we like to be able to help as many individuals as possible at Lighthouse, some clients require a higher level of care initially due to the severity of their addiction and are later suitable for the IOP level of care. We offer a free assessment for everyone who calls needing help with no obligation to enroll in our programs. Let one of our trained professionals help you make the determination.

How long does IOP last?

Typically, an IOP lasts 8 to 12 weeks. There are a number of factors that help determine the intensive outpatient program length, such as insurance benefits, medical necessity, and engagement.

How much does IOP cost?

Treatment can be expensive, but IOP is often on the lower end cost-wise when comparing it to Residential or Inpatient care. We’re able to work with most private insurances to help offset the cost of your treatment with us.  If for some reason your insurance doesn’t cover our program or you don’t have insurance, we can always discuss our Scholarship Self-Pay rates. Our finance team may be able to help you set up a payment plan, if you are unable to come up with the full cost upfront.

What happens if I relapse in an IOP?

As unfortunate as it may appear to be at the time, every experience can be turned into a positive lesson, if you are honest and seek immediate help. For some people, relapse is part of the process and it only has to be a negative if you don’t work to get back on track. It’s hard for some people to come to terms with being addicted to alcohol or drugs, so a relapse could be the motivation to focus harder on their recovery. If one does occur, call your support system and your program contact immediately. One mistake does not have to derail your journey to lasting recovery and happiness.

Contact Us for a Free and Confidential Assessment