What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

What is a partial hospitalization program (PHP)? Harmony Health Group can provide that answer. Put simply, different people have different situations. No two recovery journeys are the same. What works for one person might not work for another.

In this article, you will learn:

● What is a partial hospitalization program (PHP)?
● How is PHP different from other treatment options?
● Who benefits most from PHP?
● What are the advantages of PHP?
● How can I determine if PHP is right for me?

What Is A Partial Hospitalization Program?

Recovery programs have different levels. Each level comes with variable restrictions and advantages. Organized from most restrictive to least, the different treatment options are:

● Residential inpatient programs
● Partial hospitalization programs
● Intensive outpatient programs
● Outpatient programs
● Aftercare

Residential Inpatient Programs

Residential inpatient programs require someone to stay overnight. This means that a person lives at a healthcare facility. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. The average length of a stay falls between 3 and 10 days.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

PHP represents a step down in care from residential treatment. Someone enrolled in PHP sleeps in their own bedroom. They commute to a treatment center daily. Each day of therapy usually lasts between 4 and 6 hours.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs are a tier down from PHP. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) require a person in treatment to commute. A person will attend IOP 3 or 4 days per week. Roughly, this totals to about 12 hours of treatment. Outpatient (OP) programs include weekly (or less often) meetings with an individual counselor, doctor, or therapist.


Aftercare is the least restrictive form of treatment. It gives a person the most freedom, but also the most responsibility. Aftercare allows a person to put recovery tactics into daily practice. It includes 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Or faith-based options like Celebrate Recovery. Anything someone intentionally does to pursue recovery can count as aftercare.

How Is PHP Different From Other Treatment Options?

PHP doesn’t require overnight stays at a treatment center. This is why we refer to it as “partial” hospitalization. Most people in PHP receive about 20 hours of treatment each week. But unlike residential treatment, those in PHP get to return home each day.

PHP treatment is highly regimented and scheduled. Those in recovery need structure and routine. Structure and routine help a person gain control of individual moments. When compounded, those moments turn into hours. Those hours become days. And so forth. Residing at home allows a person the opportunity to take this individual control home with them.

Who Benefits Most From PHP?

No two recovery journeys are the same. One person’s treatment needs differ from yours. When investigating treatment options, speak to your service provider. To determine if PHP is right for you, keep the following items in mind:

● Be honest with yourself about your current thoughts
● What other problems (medical or otherwise) exist in your life?
● What kind of home environment do you have?

Be Honest With Yourself About Your Current Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts. Ask yourself, “what’s really going on in my mind?” PHP involves investment. It requires a daily commute. Furthermore, it demands multiple hours out of your day. You’d do well to think of it like a full-time job. To succeed in PHP, you must devote yourself to it.

On the flipside, if you’re having thoughts of imminently harming yourself or others, PHP is not right for you. Contact your treatment provider immediately.

What Other Problems Exist In Your Life?

Mental illnesses don’t occur in a vacuum. Neither do substance use disorders (SUDs). Most often, these ailments stem from other problems in our lives. In PHP you can receive care for both mental illnesses and SUDs. But you’ll also learn practical strategies. Things like communication skills and metacognition (thinking about your thoughts). Journaling can be effective in treating addiction and improving mental health. In PHP, you can learn how to address root causes of life’s problems.

What Kind Of Home Environment Do You Have?

To do your best in PHP, take a look at your home environment. A stable home environment helps your recovery process. It can ensure that your recovery will continue after your PHP ends. PHP can help you put proper boundaries around your home environment. Your home ought to be a place where you can get adequate rest. Somewhere that gives you energy. Speak with your treatment provider for more specifics.

What Are The Advantages Of PHP?

From its inception, a central aim of PHP was to allow people to recover in their own homes. To remain in their own communities. In commuting to treatment, you learn about healing. In returning home, you can heal your life. Your therapist and counselor can show you how to heal. But you must do it.

Researchers didn’t design PHP to separate you from your life. They designed it to show you routine, structure, and balance. You can’t balance the entire world. But you can balance yourself. In therapy, you learn. You put in work. Then, you return home. And that’s where the real work begins.

How Can I Determine If PHP Is Right For Me?

What is a partial hospitalization program? It’s a nonresidential 20-hour-per-week commitment. 5 days a week for several hours a day. At the end of the day, you get to go back home. Sit at your own table. Recline on your own sofa. Sleep in your own bed. The next day, you get to wake up. Partake in your morning routine. Reflect on what you learned the previous day. Implement some of the practical tips you learned. Try something new and see what works for you. PHP isn’t magic. But it does offer a return on investment. You get out of it what you put in. This is your recovery journey. You have the power to turn your life into something amazing.

If you still have questions about Harmony Health Group’s partial hospitalization program, call us now. Speak to a treatment provider today to determine if PHP is right for you.