A woman and her psychiatrist sit in a comfortable office speaking to one anotoherMental health treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person has unique needs and requires a personalized treatment plan to address their specific challenges. For some, inpatient programs may be necessary, while others may benefit from a less intensive level of care, such as partial hospitalization (PHPs). Often, PHPs, sometimes called day programs, can function as an in-between step from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment, to ease the transitionary period back into normal life. This transition can set patients up for long-term success when it comes to managing their mental health and ongoing treatment.

What is Partial Hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization, also known as PHP, is a structured mental health program that provides intensive treatment during the day while allowing individuals to return home in the evenings. It is often used as a step-down from inpatient treatment or as an alternative to inpatient care for those who do not require 24-hour supervision.

PHP typically involves daily therapy sessions, medication management, and other therapeutic activities, such as group therapy and educational workshops. It is designed to provide a supportive and structured environment for individuals to work on their mental health challenges while still being able to maintain some level of independence.

Understanding the mental health continuum of care

Before diving into the specifics of partial hospitalization, it’s important to understand the concept of the mental health continuum of care. This refers to the range of services and treatments available for individuals with mental health disorders, from the least intensive to the most intensive.

At one end of the continuum is outpatient care, which typically involves weekly therapy sessions and medication management. On the other end is inpatient treatment, which involves 24-hour care in a hospital setting. Partial hospitalization falls somewhere in the middle, providing a more intensive level of care than outpatient treatment but less intensive than inpatient programs.

The Benefits of Partial Hospitalization

There can be many benefits to enrolling in a PHP. PHPs, or day programs, are often designed with a person’s outside commitments, such as work or school or family care in mind, so that they can fit better within the holistic picture of your life. They can also be more affordable than inpatient or residential stays, depending on your insurance coverage. More benefits of these mental health programs include:

Short-term programming

One of the main benefits of partial hospitalization is that it provides short-term mental health treatment. While inpatient programs can last for weeks or even months, PHP typically lasts for a few weeks to a few months. This makes it a more accessible option for those who cannot commit to a longer treatment program, or may not need long-term programming.

Flexibility and independence

Unlike inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization allows individuals to return home in the evenings. This provides a sense of flexibility and independence that can be beneficial for those who are transitioning back into their daily lives after a period of intensive treatment. It also allows individuals to continue working or attending school while receiving treatment.


PHPs can be less expensive than residential programs because partial hospitalization programs do not require 24-hour supervision and accommodation costs associated with residential programs. Since individuals in PHPs return home in the evenings, the facilities do not have to provide round-the-clock care and accommodation, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of the program. Additionally, PHPs are often structured to fit within a person’s daily life, allowing them to continue with work or school commitments, which can also contribute to the cost-effectiveness of PHPs compared to residential programs.

Requirements for Partial Hospitalization

Not everyone is a good candidate for partial hospitalization. This level of care is typically recommended for individuals who:

  • Have completed an inpatient program and require continued support
  • Need a higher level of care than traditional outpatient treatment
  • Have a supportive home environment
  • Are medically stable and do not require 24-hour supervision
  • Are motivated to work on their mental health challenges

What to expect in a partial hospitalization program

Partial hospitalization programs vary, but most include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other therapeutic activities. The specific treatment plan will depend on the individual’s needs and goals.

In addition to therapy and medication management, PHP may also include educational workshops, life skills training and recreational activities. These activities are designed to help individuals develop coping skills, improve communication and relationships and learn how to manage their mental health challenges in their daily lives.

The Role of Partial Hospitalization in the Continuum of Care

Partial hospitalization is a critical component in the comprehensive spectrum of care options available for individuals seeking mental health treatment. By serving as a transitional program between inpatient and outpatient treatment, it effectively fills the gap in the treatment continuum. This innovative form of care offers a higher level of support and supervision compared to traditional outpatient services, thus ensuring that individuals receive the necessary therapeutic interventions and monitoring they need to effectively manage their mental health. Despite the structure and support provided in partial hospitalization, individuals also have the opportunity to maintain a degree of autonomy and independence, which can be empowering as they work towards their recovery goals.

At Arbour Hospital, we are committed to the mental health goals of our patients, and strive to provide support for all patients, from those navigating between PHPs and residential programs, to those embarking on their mental health journey for the first time. You can call today at 833-675-2687 to learn more about our programs, or schedule an assessment for our partial hospitalization program with us online.


About Arbour Hospital

Arbour Hospital is a behavioral health center that offers services to adults and adolescents alike as a way to achieve long-term wellness and sobriety. We treat primary psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. We also constantly strive to meet the needs of our communities with treatment that address individualized behavioral health needs.

Located in Jamaica Plain, MA, we’re a fully licensed and accredited center that provides exceptional care. Our team of professionals provide patients and their families with high-quality care and service excellence across a continuum of specialized behavioral health services. Some of our services include our adult psychiatric, adult substance abuse and adolescent partial hospitalization program.

Our facility has a patient-focused approach to behavioral healthcare. To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 1-833-322-2687.