Creating a Schedule That Works with Your Outpatient Treatment


Outpatient treatment programs are especially helpful for those who have work and home responsibilities. Typical programs involve 1 or 2 group therapy sessions a week, and intensive outpatient programs involve around 10 to 20 hours of counseling or group therapy spread across 3 days during the week. There are several benefits to outpatient therapy: reduced cost due to not having room and board, ability to attend school and work while receiving treatment, easy access to friends and family for support, and ability to practice strategies learned in treatment in the “real world”. However, there are some challenges that outpatient therapy brings as well: lack of 24-hour care, easier access to substances, potentially heightened relapse risk if the home environment is not stable or is stressful, and lack of full support for individuals experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Maximizing your schedule to work with your treatment will give you higher chances of success both in and out of treatment.

The following are some tips to optimizing your time at rehab in addition to your life at home and work/school:

  • Remember why you are there. Although some days may seem stressful or hectic, remember that therapy is helping you get back on track and does take some patience.
  • Make time for yourself. Allow yourself at least 10, 15, or 30 minutes each day to reflect and journal your thoughts and feelings. Go for a walk, read a nice book, or pick up a healthy hobby to express yourself and stay focused on recovery.
  • Do some advance preparation for therapy. Make note of anything that has recently been causing you anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety or anything that’s making it difficult for you to live sober. Know when your meetings are in advance, and be prepared to discuss at each meeting to maximize your time.
  • Create a detailed itinerary to help keep you on track. Psych Central notes that because of the structure of outpatient programs, patients can have more privacy and anonymity. Make sure you hold yourself accountable by detailing your day of what needs to get done and sticking to it.

Outpatient programs aren’t for everyone. If you are concerned about stressors, triggers, not having the right support, not having a stable and stress-free home environment, withdrawing safely and more, inpatient or residential treatment programs may be best for you. Speak with your treatment center to determine the best option to fit your needs.

If you are seeking a world-renowned substance abuse treatment center, call us today at 888-743-0490. Simple Recovery provides you with the resources that you need to focus on your recovery and overcome addiction. We will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit through a variety of methods. Take control over your life today. Call us for a consultation.