Understanding Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

A group of people discussing their day to day routines during a group therapy session.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) serve as a vital bridge in the continuum of care for individuals grappling with mental health or substance use challenges. Designed to provide structured treatment for those needing more extensive care than traditional outpatient programs, PHPs offer a unique blend of comprehensive support while allowing patients to return home in the evenings.

Partial hospitalization programs are a critical component of mental health and addiction treatment services. They occupy a unique space between inpatient (residential) care and outpatient (less intensive) programs, offering a higher level of care than traditional outpatient modalities while still allowing some flexibility. PHPs are particularly well-suited for individuals who require structured and rehabilitative mental health treatment while maintaining the freedom to return home or attend work or classes outside of program hours.

These programs are highly adaptive, with a focus on tailoring treatment plans to meet individual needs. The intensity of care in a PHP is comparable to that of inpatient programs, but patients can go home each day. This flexibility allows them to maintain connections with their support systems, enhancing the overall healing process.

Who Benefits from PHPs?

PHPs are well-suited for individuals facing complex mental health or substance use challenges that may not necessitate around-the-clock supervision. They are ideal for patients who have already progressed through other levels of care or those who require more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient programs can offer.

The Step-Up or Step-Down Approach

The step-up or step-down approach is a crucial psychological construct that involves transitioning between treatment programs of varying levels of intensity. This approach ensures that patients receive the most appropriate care for their specific needs at a particular stage of their recovery journey.

Consider a scenario where an individual begins their treatment journey with residential rehab, receiving around-the-clock care. As they make progress, they may be ready to step down to a PHP and begin reintegrating into normal life. Then, after more progress, they will step down to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that offers fewer therapy hours and even greater flexibility. In essence, the patient is transitioning from higher to lower levels of care as their needs change and their condition stabilizes.

Conversely, a patient who starts with an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may require a step-up in care if their condition deteriorates or if they experience challenges managing their symptoms. In such cases, the PHP serves as a vital step up in the continuum of care, offering increased structure and support.

A Day in the Life of a PHP Program

A typical day in a Partial Hospitalization Program is characterized by structured support and a variety of therapeutic activities designed to promote healing and recovery. While specific schedules may vary from one program to another, here is a glimpse into what a daily program at a PHP may look like:

Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions are a core component of PHPs. These sessions focus on various aspects of mental health and addiction recovery, including coping skills, emotional regulation, and relapse prevention. Group therapy offers individuals the chance to share their experiences, receive feedback, and connect with peers who understand their challenges.

Individual Therapy

In addition to group therapy, patients often engage in individual therapy sessions. These one-on-one sessions provide a confidential space for patients to delve deeper into their personal struggles, set goals, and work on specific issues with a trained therapist.


PHPs often include psychoeducational components where patients receive information and resources to better understand their conditions and treatment strategies. Psychoeducational sessions may cover topics like stress management, healthy relationships, and symptom recognition.

Holistic Therapies

Many PHPs incorporate holistic therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, and art therapy into their daily schedules. These activities promote overall well-being and provide patients with additional tools for managing their mental health.

Check-Out and Reflection

The day concludes with a check-out session, allowing patients to reflect on their experiences and progress throughout the day. This reflective time helps individuals consolidate their learning and set intentions for the evening.

Return Home

One of the distinguishing features of a PHP is that patients return home at the end of each day. This allows them to practice the skills learned in the program within the context of their daily lives while receiving ongoing support from their loved ones.

The Life Adjustment Team’s Partial Hospitalization Program

If you or a loved one are searching for a partial hospitalization program in Los Angeles and would like to learn more, contact The Life Adjustment Team today.

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4551 Glencoe Avenue, Suite 255
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

The Life Adjustment Team provides effective in-home structure and support systems that empower patients to live stable, active and productive lives using evidence-based treatment concepts for successful rehabilitation and recovery.

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