What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

 What is a Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program, also referred to as a PHP, is a structured outpatient treatment program for individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders. Patients suited for this kind of program may be experiencing prominent psychiatric symptoms including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or psychosis, or substance use. These are people in need of intensive services, but not in need of 24-hour care. PHPs are generally short-term, comprehensive treatment programs.

Who can benefit?

PHPs offer the highest level of care without hospitalization and can be a first step in treatment or a bridge from inpatient care programs. Partial hospitalization services are best suited for:

  • Patients who have reached a level of stability in their treatment where they can move away from hospitalization.  
  • People who need intensive care, but want to avoid hospitalization, and are not a danger to themselves or others.

A therapist can help determine if a partial hospitalization program is the best type of treatment for you or your loved one.


PHPs offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals to gain the necessary skills for continued personal growth. Treatment begins with an overall assessment of the patient’s needs, strengths, and goals followed by the creation of a custom treatment plan. The main components that make a partial hospitalization program include: 

  • One-on-one therapy
  • Group therapy 
  • Group activities 

Treatment plans vary significantly as they are customized to the patient’s needs. Since family and support individuals are such an integral part of a PHP, these individuals are often part of the treatment planning.

The role of family and support systems

One of the biggest benefits of a partial hospitalization program is that it allows the patient to remain independent and engaged with family, friends and community, cultivating relationships that help the recovery process. Because individuals return home each day, it’s imperative that family and support individuals be present in the treatment process. A PHP encourages socializing and spending time with those closest to you to strengthen and renew these supportive bonds.

Partial hospitalization programs provide a foundation for success

Some patients may be weary of PHPs, as the intensive treatment can take time away from work and other activities. However, receiving partial hospitalization services has strong advantages in the recovery process. In addition to one-on-one and group therapy, PHPs help each participant build the skills needed to better manage their symptoms and their lives.

Alvarado Parkway can help

Alvarado Parkway Institute’s Partial Hospitalization Program offers comprehensive structure and support during daily treatment, which is provided five days a week from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The daily structure is designed to closely monitor, supervise and treat clients through daily support. 

For more information about any of our programs, please reach out via the contact form on our website or call our 24-hour referral and crisis line at 619-485-1432.