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Encore’s Partial Hospitalization Program: Individualized, Integrated, Holistic Care

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Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) therapy session

Encore’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) offers space, time, and expert support for patients who need a high level of care on an outpatient basis for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

A partial hospitalization program is a good fit for patients who:

  • Need structured support after completing residential treatment or a detox program.
  • Cannot be away from home but are still in need of intensive treatment.


The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines PHP as “20 or more hours of service a week” for people who do not require 24-hour care. It encompasses services that meet the complex needs of people with substance use and co-occurring disorders.


The PHP process will start with each patient completing an assessment to determine their needs, and to determine if Encore’s PHP level of care is the best program for that patient’s concerns. . Following the assessment,  each patient will create  a treatment plan with their primary therapist to specifically address their substance abuse and mental health needs. The length of drug and alcohol addiction treatment at the PHP level of care varies depending on each patient’s diagnosis, previous treatment history, and treatment plan. Some patients require only a couple of weeks in PHP while others may need a month or more to reach a level of stabilization necessary to transition to a lower level of care, such as the Intensive Outpatient Program. Throughout a patient’s time in PHP, the clinical team meets regularly to discuss the patient’s progress and to determine if adjustments to the treatment plan, services, or schedule are needed.


What Does PHP Look Like at Encore?

Patients come for treatment five days a week, for six hours a day. The Encore PHP program is designed to address co-occurring disorders such as those related to substance abuse, behavioral or process addictions,  trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health or behavioral challenges.


Group Therapy

We limit the number of patients in the program, usually no more than 10, to enable the group members to build trust and intimacy and allow for the clinical team to best serve patients. Many patients form deep and lasting friendships, offering support while they are in the program and as they move on to their lives in recovery.


Each week of treatment is dedicated to a different topic, such as relationships, family of origin, integrity and honesty, identity, dealing with difficult emotions, recovery, and relapse prevention. We incorporate psychoeducation as well, giving patients information about what substance use disorder is, how it works in the brain and the body, relapse signs, relapse prevention, and family systems.


In the morning group session, the topic of the week is integrated into the activity, lesson, or experience. With a focus on integrated, holistic treatment, our treatment team uses a variety of therapy styles to focus, energize, and engage patients.


An hour-long lunch break gives patients time to recharge and run errands. Our office is in the heart of bustling Ballston in northern Virginia, so patients can step out the door and find a variety of restaurants, shopping, and businesses, allowing them to choose a restorative lunch with a book or with a friend or family member, the chance to get errands done, or browsing stores.


The afternoon group therapy session is dedicated to reviewing any materials, topics, or activities from the morning session and then focusing on topics, skills, and planning specific to those early in recovery, who need more individualized recommendations and support and additional therapies to support stabilization.


Because the treatment team coordinates treatment daily for the PHP group as a whole as well as for each individual PHP patient, clinical support can be provided during the day as they arise. For example, a patient’s primary therapist might coordinate with the therapist facilitating the group about a concern of a patient that can be further addressed during the afternoon session. This tailored collaboration allows the Encore treatment team to provide effective, targeted treatment to thoroughly support each patient’s needs.


Encore’s group counseling incorporates art therapy, movement, mindfulness, psychodrama, group activities or games, all of which are supported during and after by the clinical team.  At the end of the week, gender-specific groups convene to wrap up work on that week’s topic and/or process issues patients bring to the group for discussion.


Individual Services

Each Partial Hospitalization Program patient has at least one individual session each week with a primary therapist who is responsible for working with the patient to achieve goals identified for that individual in a personal treatment plan. Each patient also has a weekly meeting with a recovery coach who helps them navigate life in recovery. Additionally, patients meet regularly with a registered dietitian for nutritional counseling, and weekly with a psychiatric nurse practitioner who assesses, prescribes, and adjusts medications as needed. The nurse practitioner also provides options for holistic care when it would be a good option and treatment method for that patient’s experience. As needed, patients in PHP can also work with skilled academic and career coaches to focus on their academic, vocational, and professional goals.


Completion of the PHP level of care

As a patient progresses through PHP, patients work with their treatment team to determine next steps, which may include participation in Encore’s Intensive Outpatient Program or General Outpatient Program.

Encore’s end goal for all patients, including PHP patients, is to provide an integrated and comprehensive experience for their drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The services and support that Encore ensures to all patients and families will  enable each individual to build their strengths, resource, and confidence and set goals that will be the foundation for a healthy, productive recovery.

Suffering is hard

Getting help shouldn’t be.

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