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Intensive Outpatient (IOP) For Teens in California

Intensive Outpatient For Teens

After-School Programs

The decision to enroll your child in an intensive outpatient program can be challenging and emotional. Finding a program that aligns with your child’s needs and your family’s expectations can be daunting, and can provide more questions than answers. To make this process easier, we’ve compiled a guide to Evolve’s intensive outpatient programs. Below, you’ll learn about what we offer and how it can help your teen through their mental health or substance use challenges. 

What is Intensive Outpatient Program Like for Teens?

Program Hours:

Monday – Thursday, 4pm to 7pm

Services Included:

Minimum of 3 clinical hours/day, 3-4 days/week


Bi-weekly or monthly psychiatric evaluation. Our full-time, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists are dedicated to exclusively treating Evolve clients.

Individual & Family Therapy

One 50-minute individual therapy session a week. One family therapy session a week.

Multi-Family Group

One multi-family group weekly. In these group sessions, families can learn from one another, recognize they’re not alone, and get support from others going through similar experiences.

Group Therapy

A variety of evidence-based therapy groups each day help adolescents develop and explore interpersonal relationships and work on specific treatment goals.

DBT Skills Training

One 90-minute adherent DBT Skills Training group weekly. Our group sessions adhere to the structure and teaching methods developed by DBT founder, Marsha Linehan and use a curriculum that includes key skills from each of the four DBT modules.

Experiential Therapy

One experiential therapy group per week help teens increase self-awareness, practice skills, and explore new ways of expressing themselves. Therapies include: Art or Music.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is an evidence-based treatment designed to treat emotional dysregulation, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, self-harm, and other mental health and/or behavioral issues. It is a structured, skills-based approach that helps people reach their goals and create a life that is experienced as worth living. DBT at Evolve includes adherent DBT Skills Training groups four times weekly.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective at treating depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. CBT’s core principle is that thoughts lead to behaviors. According to CBT, individuals carry certain beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. This leads them to think automatically in distressing situations. Many of these automatic thoughts are negative, maladaptive, or generally unhelpful. The therapist’s job is to help the client replace these cognitive distortions with more accurate and helpful thinking patterns. CBT at Evolve includes concrete tools for clients and parents.


Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational Interviewing is an evidenced-based practice that combines a person-centered approach and goal-oriented skills. The goal is to understand a client’s personal goals and priorities in life and help them increase their internal motivation for change.

IOP (intensive outpatient care) is a non-residential approach to mental health and substance abuse treatment. This form of treatment gives teens access to life-changing care without taking them away from school, friends, family, and other responsibilities.

IOPs combine group therapy sessions, individual counseling, educational workshops, and more, equipping teens with the tools they need to heal and adapt. Treatment sessions happen often throughout the week and last several hours each. 

While an IOP is a time commitment, the transformative effects of this type of treatment make it all worthwhile. In each session, teens get guidance and coping strategies for their specific challenges, process their hangups and struggles in therapy, and get support from peers.

We have in-person IOP locations throughout California as well as a virtual program for California based teens. 


An IOP is a middle ground between outpatient care and 24/7 residential treatment. These programs cater to the unique needs and circumstances of teens with substance abuse and mental health issues on a schedule that fits into their day-to-day life. Here are some of the top benefits of an IOP for teens:  

  1. Flexibility: IOPs offer treatment while allowing individuals to maintain daily responsibilities.
  2. Comprehensive Care: An IOP takes a holistic approach to treatment, combining group therapy, individual counseling, and specialized treatments.
  3. Supportive Environment: During treatment, teens connect with peers facing similar challenges in an accountability-focused setting.
  4. Cost-Effective: An IOP can be more affordable than inpatient programs while still making a lasting difference in a teen’s life.
  5. Tailored Treatment: Our team uses personalized treatment plans to address unique needs and challenges.
Evolve Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) support adolescents 12-17 years old who need clinical support to maintain stability, but do not require 24/7 supervision. The IOP level of care, also referred to as an “after school program,” includes 3 hours of programming, four days a week. IOP for teens is often an ideal approach for those who can reasonably maintain day-to-day activities but need more support than weekly counseling sessions with an outpatient individual therapist. Teens at this level of care are able to live at home and attend school but need extra support for their mental health, substance use, and behavioral issues. 
An intensive outpatient program is a great way to transition from higher levels of care such as inpatient, residential or PHP as a way to reconnect with the community while continuing to receive intensive therapeutic support and half days of supervision. These programs also benefit those who require more structure and support than provided in weekly outpatient therapy or intensive outpatient treatment.
Intensive Outpatient Program may be necessary in the following situations: ​
Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, or Substance Use:​

If a teen is experiencing suicidal ideation, engaging in occasional self-harm that does not require medical attention, or struggling to maintain sobriety. Teens should be largely able to keep themselves safe without significant monitoring on nights and weekends.

Disrupted Daily Life:

If a teen is unable to maintain healthy relationships, or has significant problems when functioning in their family, peer group, and/or community and have increased difficulty maintaining daily responsibilities. If a teen is refusing to go to school or their academic performance is declining due to their mental health, substance use, or behavioral issues. 

Locations Offering Intensive Outpatient

Our locations afford teens every opportunity to relax and refocus on life with a combination of individual, group, and family therapies, as well as a variety of mindfulness practices and innovative experiential therapies.​

Hope Has a Home at Evolve

Contact our admissions team today to learn more or to schedule a free assessment!

Experienced, Professional Staff

Our staff is handpicked to provide the highest level of care available. On-site staff includes a Clinical Program Director, Primary Therapists, a Facility Manager, and highly trained Counselors or Recovery Coaches. Our counseling staff is made up of experienced clinicians, masters-level interns, and certified recovery coaches who bring a diverse and eclectic background to the treatment experience. All these people bring a diverse and eclectic background to the treatment experience. Everyone on our team is passionate about working with teens and the entire staff are involved with their treatment.  

Individualized Programs

Our teens receive solution-focused and evidence-based therapy. Everything we do is geared toward changing behavior and finding the right combination of treatment and support. Since no two teenagers are alike, no two treatment plans are alike. During the admissions process, we conduct a thorough assessment, establish a baseline, and create an Individual Treatment Plan for each client based on their specific needs and goals.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Our IOP participants attend sessions several days a week for a few hours each day. By meeting frequently for several hours per session, we maximize the benefits of care and leave a lasting impact in a relatively short time.

IOP treatment includes a combination of group therapy, individual counseling, educational workshops, and other therapeutic interventions. With this combination, IOP for teens addresses a wide range of mental health and addiction issues.

IOPs are usually more cost-effective than inpatient programs, making them a more accessible option for families on a tighter budget.

IOPs are often best suited for teens who don’t need 24/7 supervision but will still benefit from intensive treatment. For more information about whether our IOP is right for your teen, contact us today.

IOP treatment at Evolve usually lasts at least a month. At the start of treatment, we work with each family to find the best schedule for their teen.

Our IOP highly prioritizes client confidentiality and privacy, and our staff keeps information shared during therapy sessions strictly confidential. 

Our IOP starts after school, making it a flexible option for teens and families. We believe that maintaining structure in life is always worthwhile during treatment, so our sessions never conflict with your teen’s school day.

Our IOPs teach teens the skills they need for long-lasting recovery. We focus on relapse prevention strategies, emotional support, processing and healing in therapy, and much more. In addition, all the teens in our program gain a network of peers who understand the struggle and champion each other throughout treatment, celebrating victories along the way.

If you’re looking for a program that has what your teen needs, contact us today. We’re ready to answer any questions you have about treatment and give you the details on all Evolve’s Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program has to offer your teen.

Learn More About Intensive Outpatient