What is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

What is outpatient mental health treatment? Read on to discover the benefits and treatment options at Black Horse Health.

How Can Black Horse Health Help You With Our Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

At Black Horse Health, we know how important it is to find the mental health treatment option that is best suited for your individual healing and recovery.

Our team of skilled and compassionate specialists have over 100 years of combined experience, and we are committed to helping you or your loved one get the outpatient mental health treatment you need for sustainable healing and recovery.

With holistic and evidence-based treatment programs including dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-based therapies, and yoga and meditation, we will create a treatment plan that best meets your unique set of symptoms.

Read On and Reach Out for Unrelenting Support

Learn more about our outpatient mental health treatment center, other treatment opportunities, and how our Black Horse Health team of specialists can help you heal in this comprehensive article.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for more information or to begin your path to wellness today.

Evidence-Based Trauma Treatment

What is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

If you or a loved one are looking for mental health help, you may be wondering – what is outpatient mental health treatment? Outpatient treatment provides individuals assistance in addressing mental health concerns during the day while being able to return home at night.1

The frequency of these appointments can vary depending on the severity of the individual’s condition, the type of treatment, and the healthcare provider’s recommendation. Treatments can range from once-a-week therapy sessions to more intensive programs.

What Therapies Are Offered?

Outpatient treatment can encompass a variety of therapeutic modalities, including but not limited to:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medication management
  • Educational sessions that teach coping strategies
  • Outpatient detox

What Treatment Approaches are Utilized?

Most outpatient treatment programs use a combination of evidence-based practices with alternative approaches to treat the whole person. Some of the alternative approaches include meditation or art therapy.

The evidence-based approaches may consist of:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This treatment focuses on identifying and changing dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This is a form of CBT that focuses on emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This specialized therapy is often used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?: Benefits and Drawbacks

Outpatient treatment can be an effective option for stable individuals to live at home. This form of treatment allows them to manage their daily responsibilities while receiving treatment.

However, it may not be suitable for those experiencing severe symptoms or those who may be a threat of harm to themselves or others. Always consult healthcare providers for a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs.

What Conditions Are Treated with Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

What is outpatient mental health treatment, and how might it address various disorders and symptoms?

Outpatient treatment can be effective for a wide range of mental health conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety Disorders: This may include disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias.2
  • Depressive Disorders: This can include major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder.
  • Trauma-Related Disorders: Trauma-related disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder.
  • Personality Disorders: Examples of personality disorders that outpatient care can help with include borderline personality disorder or avoidant personality disorder.
  • Bipolar Disorders: Outpatient treatment is often used for ongoing management, especially during stability or less severe symptoms.
  • Substance Use Disorders: This may include alcohol use disorder and drug use disorders like opioid use disorder.
  • Eating Disorders: These include disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Outpatient treatment is often combined with medical monitoring.
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Medication management and behavioral therapy are often conducted on an outpatient basis.
  • Sleep Disorders: Insomnia can sometimes be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).

Some individuals may start with inpatient treatment and then transition to outpatient care as their condition improves. Others may use outpatient services for maintenance and ongoing support.

How Evidence-Based Approaches Are Included in Mental Health Treatment

Outpatient mental health treatment often relies on evidence-based approaches to address individual needs. Evidence-based treatment means utilizing the best available research to make decisions about patient care.3

The goal is to provide interventions scientifically shown to be effective in treating specific conditions or symptoms. Here’s how evidence-based approaches are used in outpatient mental health treatment:

Assessment and Diagnosis

The first step in outpatient treatment is a comprehensive assessment. This is used to diagnose the individual’s condition.

This assessment is often conducted using standardized tests and interviews that have been validated for clinical use. Accurate diagnosis is crucial for selecting the most effective treatment approach.

Treatment Planning

Based on the diagnosis and the needs of the individual, clinicians will then create a treatment plan. The treatment plan is tailored to the individual but is informed by evidence-based guidelines for treating the diagnosed condition.


During outpatient treatment, these practices involve regular assessment to check the effectiveness of treatment. Tools such as symptom rating scales can be used to track progress. This allows clinicians to adjust the treatment plan as necessary.

Interdisciplinary Approach

In many cases, a team of healthcare providers is involved in treatment. Each of these professionals will use evidence-based methods within their area of expertise. They will coordinate care to provide the best approach for each person.

Patient Involvement

Open discussions between clinicians and clients about treatment and expected outcomes are a hallmark of outpatient care.

By including evidence-based therapies, outpatient mental health treatment aims to offer practical and effective treatments that meet individual needs.

The Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

What is outpatient mental health treatment, and what does it offer? Outpatient mental health treatment provides several advantages for those who need help with substance use or mental health disorders.

The key benefits of outpatient treatment include:

Flexibility in Scheduling

Outpatient therapy allows for flexible scheduling. Many programs have appointments available during weekdays, evenings, and even weekends. This makes it easier for individuals to fit treatment into their existing schedules.

Minimal Disruption to Daily Life

Since outpatient treatment does not require overnight stays, individuals can continue to attend regular commitments. Being at home also allows individuals to maintain family relationships and responsibilities. This can lead to more support and be beneficial for mental health.

Lower Costs

Outpatient care is often less expensive than inpatient care. This can make it a more accessible option for many people. Many insurance plans offer better coverage for outpatient services compared to inpatient.

Real-World Application

Individuals can immediately apply the skills they learn in therapy to real-life situations. This can provide them with opportunities for real-time feedback and adjustment.

Client Autonomy

The outpatient setting often empowers individuals to participate more actively in their treatment. This helps to foster skills like self-management and self-efficacy. The greater flexibility also means that clients have more say in the treatments they wish to pursue.

The Role of Medication and Therapy in Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Therapy and medication play distinct yet complementary roles in outpatient mental health treatment. Together, they offer an approach to mental health care that addresses different aspects of an individual’s well-being.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy plays a central role in outpatient mental health treatment. It offers a structured environment where individuals can work with professionals to address emotional and psychological challenges.

Therapy sessions help clients:

  • Explore their feelings
  • Practice coping strategies
  • Set goals for improvement

The collaborative process in therapy provides the tools and guidance needed for individuals to achieve better mental well-being.

Group Therapy

In outpatient mental health treatment, group therapy brings together individuals facing similar challenges. These people often share experiences and can offer mutual support.

Group therapy sessions provide a safe space for individuals to:

  • Learn from each other
  • Practice social skills
  • Develop new coping strategies

The collective dynamic fosters a sense of belonging and understanding. This helps individuals feel less isolated in their journey towards improved wellness.

Medication Management

In an outpatient setting, medication management ensures that individuals receive the right medicines at the proper doses for their needs. This process provides optimal therapeutic benefits while minimizing side effects.

Each of these components offers a unique set of benefits. Therapy and medication can be used alone or together. The combination of approaches is often determined through the individual’s treatment plan.

The Role of Mental Health Professionals in Treatment

The role of a therapist in outpatient mental health treatment is crucial and multifaceted. They are the guiding force throughout the therapy journey, starting from the very first meeting.4

Mental health professionals create a personalized treatment plan by collaborating with the individual. This plan outlines what therapies might be used to help set achievable goals.

What Happens During Therapy Sessions?

During therapy sessions, the therapist’s role is to guide the planned treatments and exercises. They help the individual develop skills and tools aimed to help the person improve their mental health.

As the individual progresses, the therapist will help determine the next steps. The mental health professional also works with the individual to create an aftercare plan to continue using the skills learned in treatment.

Mental health professionals and therapists play a central role in outpatient mental health treatment. From assessment to treatment and beyond, they guide every step.

How the Duration of Treatment Varies

The length of time a person might spend in outpatient mental health treatment can vary depending on the individual’s specific needs and the seriousness of their condition. For some people dealing with mild symptoms, a few weeks or months of outpatient therapy might be enough to see improvements.

However, those dealing with a more severe or complex mental health condition might need to be in treatment for several months or even years. It’s all about finding the right plan that works for you.

How to Know If Outpatient Care Is Not a Good Fit

Recognizing when outpatient mental health treatment is not enough is crucial for ensuring you get the necessary care. At Black Horse Health, we know that everyone’s individual circumstances, goals, and experiences are different, and with that, some people may not benefit from outpatient treatment.

Here are some signs that might suggest a person needs a higher level of care:

Worsening Symptoms

If you notice that your symptoms are getting worse instead of better, then you may need more intensive care. This could include more severe depression, anxiety, or other emotional difficulties that aren’t improving.

Lack of Progress

A lack of progress may be shown if you’ve been in outpatient treatment for a while but aren’t making meaningful progress toward your goals. This could be a sign that you need more intensive intervention.

Increasing Risk

If you find yourself in situations that put you or others at risk, you may need a more secure and monitored setting than outpatient care can offer.

Difficulty in Daily Functioning

If your mental health condition makes it hard to function in your daily life, this might be a sign for changing the level of care you’re receiving.

Frequent Crises

If you’re experiencing frequent emotional or mental health crises that require immediate intervention, this is an indicator that outpatient treatment may not be enough.

If you notice any of these signs, consult your healthcare provider for an assessment. They can determine if a more intensive treatment, such as partial hospitalization or inpatient care, is your next step.

what is outpatient mental health treatment

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment With Black Horse Health

The programs at Black Horse Health are focused on your needs and meeting you where you’re at in your journey. Our professionally trained and compassionate staff provides the tools and skills to live a more fulfilling life.

What We Focus On

Our focus is on the whole person. Not only do we provide evidence-based treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, but we also focus on holistic approaches.

Our programs offer:

  • Yoga
  • Aqua therapy
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Art therapy
  • Trauma-focused care
  • Dual diagnosis treatment

Get in Touch Today

By focusing on your specific needs and allowing you to set your own pace, Black Horse Health’s outpatient mental health treatment is an essential stepping stone to a healthier, more balanced life.

Find the help you deserve today. Reach out to our caring team for a holistic and comprehensive assessment of your health.