Intensive Outpatient Program For Teens In Wake Forest, Raleigh & Durham, NC

With IOP teens are able to access additional support from peers and professionals to help them reach treatment goals.

Intensive outpatient allows teens to continue working with their outpatient providers while accessing additional support. IOP treatment is two hours per day, three days per week. Our clinical team maintains weekly contact with outpatient therapists and parents in order to create a collaborative approach to reaching treatment goals. As a result of this targeted, collaborative treatment effort, teens are able to consolidate gains in a variety of contexts.

Our IOP is offered in-person during after-school hours. We work with teens age 13-18 who are struggling with intense mental health and/or emotional issues. IOP offers DBT-informed group therapy and skills training, as well as process-oriented discussion. The program is designed to serve as an adjunct to ongoing outpatient therapy and psychiatric services.

Intensive Outpatient Program Overview

Our intensive outpatient program was created with the goal of providing services to teens who need a higher level of support than weekly outpatient therapy and less support than a partial hospitalization program. The teens we help are usually struggling with symptoms of one or more of the following:

  • depression
  • intense anxiety
  • self-harm
  • OCD
  • trauma
  • severe ADHD
  • mood dysregulation

Our in-person groups are meant to function as an adjunct to outpatient therapy and psychiatry. This six-hour-per-week group therapy program gives teens the space to dig deeper into therapeutic concepts and put ideas into practice with support from their peers.

IOP Schedule

Our IOP runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM. The group curriculum for IOP allows teens to explore core concepts from evidence-based treatment models, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

We learn these concepts in various groups throughout the week:

  • Tuesday: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Identity Group
  • Wednesday: Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Teen Talk
  • Thursday: Skills Review, Cope Ahead, and Creative Expression

Each group session is followed by a snack break, providing time for reflection and informal discussion.

Starting May 20th, our IOP services will also be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. This expanded schedule offers additional opportunities for teens to engage in therapeutic activities and individual therapy appointments.

What Happens In IOP?

Intensive outpatient consists of weekly group therapy for teens, which should align with what they’re exploring with their outpatient therapist. To this end, our clinical staff will reach out weekly to parents and to outpatient therapists to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding your teen’s treatment plan.

In these weekly contacts, we can get a sense of what everyone is seeing from their different perspectives. With that information, both the outpatient therapist and our clinical staff can make appropriate and complementary treatment plan updates that reflect our patients’ needs.

IOP Group Counseling

During intensive outpatient treatment, our teens engage in different therapeutic groups to maximize effectiveness and empower the teenagers in attendance. Some of the group therapies we use are listed here:

  • Creative Expression Groups Patients use creative means of expression to promote self-exploration, self-awareness, and emotional growth. Creative expression groups can range from creating your safe place which challenges the patients to reflect on things that make them feel safe to creating your mental illness creature which allows the patients to use art to express how they experience their mental health rather than words!
  • Challenge Groups Patients will be assigned difficult collaborative tasks that require use of learned coping skills to challenge them to practice, explore, and strengthen their effectiveness with various coping skills in a variety of different activities. Challenge groups can include time management activities that focus on teamwork, managing stress, and communication.
  • Behavior Chain Analysis Groups Patients will learn to recognize contributing factors to behaviors in order to increase insight to changes they can make. They may also engage in activities in order to practice and explore their understanding of the concept. 
  • Emotion Regulation Groups Patients will learn DBT-informed Emotion Regulation skills in order to understand the function of emotions, the action urge that accompanies each emotion, and when to follow or oppose these urges. They may also engage in activities that aid in practicing, exploring, and strengthening their understanding of the concept.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Groups Patients will learn DBT-informed interpersonal effectiveness skills to build and maintain healthy relationships, develop assertiveness and boundary-setting skills, as well as effectively obtain goals in interpersonal encounters. Patients engage in various activities to practice and explore their understanding of the concept.

Where Do Patients Come From?


We are conveniently located in Wake Forest North Carolina near Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill North Carolina.

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Start Your Journey with Teen Mental Health Outpatient Treatment in Wake Forest

At Bright Path, we foster a nurturing and inclusive environment through our specialized mental health outpatient program for adolescents age 13-18. Designed for teens, this approach equips them with essential skills and empowers them toward a more promising future. Our unique treatment allows teenagers to benefit from comprehensive mental health care while maintaining the comfort of living at home. Proudly serving Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest, and the broader Chapel Hill area, our convenient Triangle location is here for you. If you or your teen are facing challenges, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re committed to helping you.

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