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What Is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

People enjoying an outpatient therapy session.

When someone is suffering from a mental health disorder or mental health issues, different treatment options are available. One such option is outpatient mental health treatment. To help determine if this treatment option would benefit someone requires learning more about it and the differences from inpatient mental health treatment. 

What Is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?

Outpatient mental health treatment is a form of therapy and counseling that allows individuals to receive treatment without having to stay in a hospital or facility. It typically consists of scheduled visits at the same location, lasting anywhere from a few hours for individual sessions to multiple hours per day for group treatments. 

In general, outpatient services help manage symptoms related to mental illnesses while offering flexibility for the person to maintain employment, care for their children, or take care of other responsibilities. 

What Mental Health Conditions Are Treated? 

Outpatient mental health treatment is typically used to help individuals with a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. It can also be used to help those suffering from chronic pain or coping with losses due to grief or divorce.

The Process for Receiving Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Outpatient mental health treatment typically begins with a diagnosis and assessment. The provider may refer the individual to specific forms of therapy or counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

Once the type of treatment is determined, regular sessions are scheduled for varying lengths of an hour or more. Other treatments can include medication if needed. During these sessions, individuals receive support in order to manage symptoms related to their mental health condition(s). 

Depending on the individual’s needs, family members and friends may also be involved in certain aspects of treatment. Caregivers typically meet regularly with patients to discuss progress toward reaching specified goals. This is referred to as case management.

What Treatments Are Provided?

Outpatient mental health treatments can include a variety of counseling or therapies, such as: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on helping individuals become aware of and challenge patterns of thoughts that contribute to troubling behaviors. 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is an evidence-based treatment intended to increase emotion regulation and decrease impulsivity. 
  • Solution-Focused Therapy: Therapy with goal setting and problem-solving for rapid results. 
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy: A structured form of psychotherapy that emphasizes communication skills development to improve interpersonal relationships. 
  • Family Therapy/Family Counseling: Focuses on improving family dynamics to promote better communication, support, and individual well-being. 
  • Group Therapies: Encourages building interactions between individuals with similar struggles. Examples may include stress management groups or peer support groups. 
  • Medication Therapy: Medication can also be prescribed when appropriate depending upon the individual’s diagnosis and symptoms. 
  • Brain Spotting: A trauma-focused therapy that has individuals focus on a point chosen by their therapist while discussing past traumas. By doing so, individuals learn how to manage and control their emotions associated with those experiences to take away their power over them.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Inpatient mental health treatment also referred to as residential care or inpatient hospitalization, is typically reserved for more advanced cases of severe mood and anxiety disorders. Additionally, individuals needing involuntary hospitalization due to self-harm or other destructive behaviors also require inpatient treatments to receive more intensive therapies, medical supervision, and 24/7 monitoring. 

Outpatient mental health treatment can be suitable for individuals with minor to moderate symptoms and do not require 24/7 monitoring. It allows individuals more flexibility compared to residential care since they do not remain at the location overnight. Outpatient mental health treatment programs often have similar treatments for people while allowing them to continue living at home with family support. 

Which Type of Mental Health Treatment Is Best for Me?

The best type of mental health treatment will depend on a variety of factors, such as symptoms and diagnosis. Individuals with mild to moderate mental illnesses tend to benefit more from outpatient care, whereas those with severe conditions typically require inpatient treatments. 

It can be beneficial for an individual’s primary care doctor or therapist to coordinate their mental healthcare needs by exploring each option to help the person decide. Ultimately, it is vital that each person make their own decision about what type of treatment works for them and can help them achieve better health and well-being.


Outpatient mental health treatment provides flexibility for individuals seeking help managing their mental health conditions. It is beneficial to receive support from experienced counselors and therapists who can provide evidence-based treatments such as CBT, DBT, family systems therapy/family counseling, and group therapies. 

A qualified doctor may also prescribe medication depending on the individual’s diagnosis and symptoms. It is essential to determine what level of care is needed to help the person improve their mental health. 

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment in Beautiful Pompano Beach, FL 

When searching for outpatient mental health treatment in Pompano Beach, FL, you can count on DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward. We offer personalized treatment programs tailored to your specific needs. For further information, contact us today.

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