Outpatient rehabilitation can be much more successful than inpatient treatment when it is individually targeted to the needs of the addict.
Inpatient or outpatient group therapy programmes in private rehab clinics can be equally helpful when directed by a skilled therapist who knows how to get the group members to be inter-active.
It is not helpful when the group members receiving rehabilitation services are diverse in the nature of their difficulties, with some members suffering from alcohol addiction or drug abuse or eating disorders and other members having problems with Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia or depression or other problems with their behaviour or mental health. Nor is it helpful if the group process is merely a set of one-to-one sessions in a group setting.
Outpatient rehab on a one-to-one basis can be successful only when it is conducted by an experienced therapist. Otherwise the patient will be able to confuse and manipulate the counsellor, who may be too young to have sufficient life skills and personal or professional experience to be able to counter the various psychological games that are played by alcoholics and by addicts of any kind.
A carefully structured outpatient treatment programme must include a variety of therapeutic approaches because not all addicts benefit from the same therapeutic approach, other than through working the Twelve Step programme which is essential to all.
Detox from alcohol or cocaine and heroin or other drugs can be done at home under careful supervision.
Patients suffering from eating disorders can be supervised at mealtimes initially and they benefit from learning to manage their food issues in the community rather than in the ‘nursery’ environment of an inpatient clinic.
The particular advantages of outpatient care on a one-to-one basis are that it is carried out in a real-life setting and that no time is wasted hanging about for anyone else or listening to irrelevant stories.
Patients are able to stay in contact with their offices and homes and the fact that they are in treatment at all can be totally confidential.
Two hour therapeutic sessions twice a day enable the treatment process to be targeted to the individual needs of the patient but not be tiring. There is opportunity to relax and be refreshed between sessions.
The benefit of daily treatment is cumulative. The knowledge and experience of one day is built upon that of another. Distractions through the dysfunctional behaviour of other patients does not occur.
Alcoholic intervention, drug treatment, eating disorder treatment and mental health treatment can all be accomplished successfully in an outpatient rehab centre.
A personal, but still professional, relationship can be built up between the counsellor and the patient. It is essential that the counsellor is a rehabilitation specialist with experience of addictive or compulsive behaviour in themselves and has an understanding of the affects it has upon the family.
The necessary contact with other sufferers from addiction can be found in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and other anonymous fellowships in the community.
All in all, there can be a great many advantages in an individualised outpatient programme over inpatient treatment.