What is a Partial Hospitalization Program and What Does it Mean in Recovery?

Learn more about how Ethos Wellness’ partial hospitalization program can help you achieve your recovery goals.

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A partial hospitalization program, or PHP, is designed for people who need more care than outpatient programs but not full-time hospital care.

In a PHP, patients receive treatment during the day and go home in the evening. This program provides structured therapy without staying in the hospital overnight.

partial hospitalization program

Distinct Features of PHP Compared to Other Treatment Levels

A PHP stands out in several ways from other treatment options:

Time Commitment

In a PHP, patients attend treatment sessions for most of the day, often five days a week. It is more intensive than standard outpatient care, where someone might only visit a few times a week.


Even though a PHP requires a significant time commitment, patients still get to sleep at home. This means they can maintain some daily routines, like family dinners.

Therapy Options

PHP offers a mix of treatments. This can include:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Skill-building sessions
The goal is to provide patients with a range of tools to manage their mental health.

Ideal Candidates for Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides a balanced approach to treatment. However, not everyone is a perfect fit for PHP.

When deciding if a partial hospitalization program is the right treatment option, consider these traits:

Previous Treatment Histories

If other treatments felt like they weren’t quite right, a PHP offers another approach. For instance, maybe someone’s tried outpatient care but felt it wasn’t enough. On the other hand, a full hospital stay might have felt too restrictive.

In this case, a partial hospitalization program could be a middle solution, offering intense support without overnight stays.

Willingness and Motivation for Recovery

Being ready and willing to get better can make a big difference in how well treatment works. If someone’s open to trying new tools and techniques to manage their mental health, a partial hospitalization program can offer many options.

External Support Systems

While a PHP offers daytime support, evenings are spent at home. If individuals have family, friends, or others who support their journey toward better health, it can make their time outside the program more effective. They can help patients practice new skills and coping techniques learned during the day.


A partial hospitalization program isn’t a drop-in type of program. It takes a regular commitment during daytime hours. If someone can adjust their daily routines, like work or school, to fit the program’s schedule, they’ll get the best results.

Need for Structure

Some people do best when they have a structured day. If patients find that regular routines help them stay on track and feel more balanced, the set schedule of a PHP can be a great benefit. It’s like having a school timetable that guides treatment, so people know what to expect.

Mental Health Conditions Addressed by a Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization programs can be a helpful option for various mental health challenges:

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are conditions that affect your everyday feelings. They’re more than just feeling sad or happy sometimes. Examples include depression, where someone feels down for weeks, and bipolar disorder, where a person’s mood changes between very high and very low.1

Anxiety Disorders

If someone often feels very worried or fearful without a clear reason, they might have an anxiety disorder. This condition goes beyond typical worry.
There are various types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, where sudden intense fear strikes, and generalized anxiety disorder, where someone worries excessively about many different things.
A partial hospitalization program offers therapies to help reduce this worry and fear and establish healthy coping mechanisms.2

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders make it hard to relate to others or see the world in typical ways. For instance, borderline personality disorder can make one’s feelings toward others shift quickly, from love to hate. With PHP, they can learn healthier ways to think and interact.3


Trauma means experiencing stressful events or situations that leave a deep emotional scar. Trauma often results from situations like:4
  • A serious accident
  • Abuse
  • A natural disaster

This can include conditions such as PTSD. Our partial hospitalization program helps people work through these feelings. They learn to cope better so past traumas don’t hold as much power over them.

Substance Use Disorders and Dual Diagnosis

Substance use disorders (SUD) are conditions wherein an individual uses drugs or alcohol in harmful ways. If someone has SUD and another mental health issue, like depression, it’s called a “dual diagnosis.”

Without proper treatment, dual diagnosis can further exacerbate symptoms of both the mental health condition and SUD. This can create a harmful pattern of addiction, mental health consequences, and physical damage.
This combination can be challenging. But, our PHP is designed to handle both. It provides therapies that address both substance use and mental health conditions at the same time, thus creating a foundation for sustainable wellness and sobriety.5

Primary Goals and Objectives of Partial Hospitalization Program

The ultimate goal of a PHP is to help patients achieve recovery. Here’s how:

Achieving Stability

In a partial hospitalization program, helping patients find this steady ground is our first goal. Stability means that one’s emotions and thoughts have a balance, and day-to-day life feels less overwhelming.
By providing the right support, tools, and treatment, Ethos Wellness aims to make patients’ lives feel more manageable and less chaotic.

Reducing Acute Symptoms

Some feelings or behaviors can suddenly become very strong. These intense moments can take over and distract from everything else. A PHP aims to calm these feelings and behaviors.
At Ethos Wellness, we use treatments designed to make these strong feelings less frequent and less intense. This helps patients think more clearly.

Fostering Resilience and Coping Skills

Resilience is like a muscle. The more it’s used, the stronger it gets. It’s the ability to bounce back after facing a challenge.
Coping skills are the strategies used to handle difficult moments. In our partial hospitalization program, we teach patients how to increase their resilience and handle challenges better. Over time, with our help, patients learn to face challenges without feeling too stressed.

Enhancing Patient Well-being

Beyond just recovery, partial hospitalization programs also focus on improving patients’ overall well-being.
Here’s what that means:
  • Physical Health: While mental health is a key focus, physical health can’t be overlooked. Activities like exercise or learning about nutrition can be part of the PHP to ensure the body feels as good as the mind.
  • Building Relationships: Connecting with others is vital for well-being. In a partial hospitalization program, group therapies or activities can help patients build or improve social skills and form supportive relationships with peers.
  • Setting Achievable Goals: Setting goals is a good way to enhance motivation. Whether it’s returning to work, starting a new hobby, or rebuilding relationships, PHP staff will help patients set and work towards these goals. Accomplishing goals further improves an individual’s sense of self-worth.
  • Self-Esteem and Confidence: Feeling good about oneself can make a big difference in overall well-being. Through therapy and achievements in the program, patients gain confidence in their abilities and develop a more positive self-image.

Therapeutic Modalities and Treatments in a Partial Hospitalization Program

At Ethos Wellness, we understand that everyone’s journey is unique. In our partial hospitalization program, we use a combination of different therapies to offer the best care.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is about understanding how someone thinks and acts, and then finding ways to make positive changes. Here, we often use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps patients identify and change negative thoughts. CBT aims to shift one’s thoughts to see situations more positively.6

Another type of behavioral therapy is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This method teaches skills to manage strong emotions. For example, if someone feels very upset or overwhelmed, DBT teaches ways to stay calm.

Group Therapy and Educational Groups

Group therapy lets patients meet others going through similar challenges. It’s a safe space to share, learn, and support each other.
We also have psychoeducational groups where patients can learn more about mental health in a classroom-like setting. By understanding more about yourself and how your mind works, you can make better choices in life.

Family Therapy

At Ethos, we offer family therapy sessions where families come together to talk, understand each other better, and grow together.

Holistic Approaches

Holistic therapies are about treating not just the mind, but also the body and spirit. Meditation is one type of holistic treatment. It’s a quiet time people set aside to focus their minds. It’s a break from the rush of everyday life and helps people feel peaceful.

Personalizing Recovery Paths in a Partial Hospitalization Program

At Ethos Wellness, we believe in the power of personalized plans. They’re built around you, for you, and with you. It’s based on where you are now, where you want to go, and the best way to get there. Each plan is unique, created to fit your needs and situation.
Before patients enroll in our program, we ask questions, listen to your answers, and then create a plan that’s designed for them. This makes the recovery journey more focused and can lead to better outcomes.

Adapting to Changing Needs and Progress

As treatment moves forward, things change. Maybe you’re doing really well in one area and need more help in another, or maybe a new challenge pops up. Your individualized treatment plan isn’t set in stone. It’s flexible.
If something isn’t working or if there’s a change in your situation, the plan can be adjusted. This ensures that you always have the support and tools you need.

Collaboration between Patient and Care Team

Your treatment plan isn’t something that’s given to you with no say. It’s a joint effort. You work together with your care team. They bring their expertise and experience, and you bring your knowledge about yourself.

By working together, a plan is formed that respects your choices and uses the best treatments available.

10 Ways to Maximize the Benefits of a Partial Hospitalization Program

Being proactive in your journey can help you get the most out of the program. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Active Participation in Therapy Sessions

Being present in therapy is more than just showing up. It means being involved, asking questions, and sharing feelings. When patients are active in their sessions, they can learn new skills faster. This helps handle challenges in better ways.
Remember, therapy is a safe space. By taking part fully, patients make the most of this safe space to grow.

2. Building a Supportive Network

It’s comforting to know you’re not alone. Having people around who understand your journey can be helpful. This could be other people in the PHP, friends, or family.
When you have a supportive network, it becomes easier to share your successes and talk about things that worry you. The more connected you feel, the stronger you can be in your recovery.

3. Setting Personal Goals for Recovery

Goals give direction. Think about what you want to achieve during your time in PHP. Maybe you want to learn better ways to manage stress or to rebuild a relationship.

By setting clear goals, you have a roadmap for where you want to go. With each goal you reach, you can see the progress you’re making.

4. Committing to a Consistent Schedule

Having a regular schedule in a partial hospitalization program helps create a routine. Routines are comfortable. When you know what to expect, it reduces anxiety.
If you attend sessions consistently, your body and mind adjust to this pattern. Over time, this routine can make the process feel more natural and less daunting.

5. Open Communication with Healthcare Providers

Talking openly with your healthcare providers can help in many ways. If they know how you feel, they can adjust your care. Always share your concerns, feelings, and questions. This way, your treatment can be tailored to fit you best.

6. Utilizing Additional Resources and Workshops

Most partial hospitalization programs offer more than just therapy sessions. There might be workshops on stress relief or resources on nutrition.

Make sure to use these, as they provide extra tools for recovery. For example, a workshop on sleep might give you tips for better rest. A resource on nutrition can guide you to eat foods that boost your mood. Taking advantage of these extras can give you an edge in your recovery journey.

7. Keeping a Recovery Journal

Writing down your feelings can be helpful. A journal lets you express your thoughts without judgment. On tough days, it provides an outlet for your emotions.
On better days, it lets you record your progress. Looking back at past entries can show you how much you’ve grown. It can be motivating to see the positive changes over time.

8. Seeking Feedback and Continuously Learning

Feedback is like a mirror; it shows where you stand. In a partial hospitalization program, always ask for feedback. It could be from your therapists, doctors, or peers. Their observations can give you fresh insights.
Attend workshops or seminars when available. They offer new information and tools that can help. Remember, healing is a journey. The more you learn, the more equipped you become.

9. Preparing for the Transition Post-PHP

Moving from PHP back to daily life might feel a bit challenging. It’s like finishing a course and stepping into the real world.
Here are some ways you can plan ahead:
  • Write down your daily routines
  • Set reminders for taking medications
  • Have a list of contacts, like doctors or therapists, ready for any questions 
  • Let close family or friends know about your progress

10. Patience

Recovery and self-improvement take time. It’s okay to have days when progress feels slow or when old challenges seem to resurface. Remember, everyone’s journey in a partial hospitalization program is unique.
Being patient with yourself means recognizing that every day won’t be perfect, but each day contributes to your overall journey. Over time, you’ll see that these small daily efforts lead to significant growth.
partial hospitalization program

How Ethos Wellness Can Help

Feeling lost or overwhelmed by your mental health or substance issues is a natural response. It’s okay to feel this way. But remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.
Ethos Wellness is right here, ready to help. The first step is easy – just get in touch with us. When you reach out, you’re opening a door to understanding and assistance. Sharing your experience allows us to offer the guidance you might be seeking.

Answering Your Questions

We also understand that you might have a lot of questions. Whether you’re curious about our partial hospitalization program, wondering how treatments work, or just thinking about insurance details, Ethos Wellness is here to provide answers. Whatever is on your mind, let us help clear things up.

Contact Ethos Wellness Today

Every big change starts with a simple action. By reaching out, you’re beginning a path to wellness. Contact us today for more information. We’re here to help you heal.

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Questions About Treatment?

Reach out to our Ethos Wellness team today for direction and guidance in your recovery journey. We’re here to provide you with the whole-person, personalized support you need for the sustainable wellness you deserve.