Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

An Intensive Outpatient Program or IOP is a specific type of mental health treatment for eating disorders limited to 3 hours/day that combines several types of individual services, such as psychotherapy, nutrition, and group education/ process classes 3 – 7 days/week, depending on the needs of each individual.

What Is Unique About Central Coast’s Intensive Outpatient Program?

With almost 30 years experience treating eating disorders, Francie White and co-owner Terry White offer specialized expertise that clients can trust. We know that treatment is a time-limited experience in which every day counts, and we work for real, permanent relief from the suffering these disorders cause.

Our IOP offers:

  • Mid-day programs from 11am-2pm with lunch support each day.
  • Afternoon programs from 3-6pm with snack and or dinner support available.
  • Evening programs from 5:30-8:30pm.

It is possible to mix and match to create a program specially tailored to meet each client’s need.

Central Coast IOP Includes:

Individualized Nutrition & Metabolism Rehabilitation:

Our nutrition program considers individual body types, past and current medical evaluation, unique metabolic considerations alongside evaluation of psychological barriers to eating. Our dietitians specializing in nutritional psychology – know how to design nutrition programs that target nutrients needed for brain & nervous system repair, over-all physical stamina, metabolism regeneration and the holistic healing for each body recovering its optimal health. 120-page Nutrition Science & Exercise Workbook included.

Compassionate Meal Support:

Implements each individual nutrition program with prescribed challenges that are compassionate and caring while clients take charge of their lives and their bodies once more. We evaluate each client for supplement needs (we do not sell supplements) to enhance energy levels, brain function and metabolism, along with holistic meal additions if appropriate for optimum health. Meals that are eaten at the center transition from highly structured to intuitive or conscious eating programs (see Eight Keys to Recovery). We offer cooking classes, shopping outings, and mentorship opportunities to help others learn from those further along the path of confident eating.

Meal Planning:

Meal & supplement plans evolve each week through the phase in process. Meals that are eaten at the center transition from highly structured meal plans to intuitive or conscious eating plans as individuals progress. (see Eight Keys to Recovery by Costin & Grabb). We offer cooking classes, shopping outings, and mentorship opportunities to help others learn from those further along the path of confident eating.

Specialized Individual Psychotherapy:

If clients are referred by their own therapist, they have the option to continue to see that therapist throughout their time in IOP or to return to that therapist after completing the IOP.

Individual Nutrition and Metabolism Repair Sessions

with a personalized meal plan created by a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders. The meal plan evolves each week as the client’s needs change. We offer meal planning, cooking classes, and grocery shopping expeditions to help clients move away from the rigid routine of the eating disorder.

Parent Education Sessions

and a parent support group provides information about eating disorders and teaches family members effective and supportive ways of helping their loved one along the path to recovery.

Parent/Partner or Family Therapy Sessions

included in IOP level of care.

Group Education and Process Sessions:

Clients (or parents if minors) choose which groups they wish to attend and formulate their own personal program & schedule.

Yoga & Conscious Movement and Mind/Body Integration Groups
Referral to Medical Doctor and Psychiatrist

included in IOP level of care.

Insurance Authorization:

Clients and family do not have to call insurance companies directly. We do a benefits check for you and report on your coverage for IOP or PHP level of care. We do the authorizing with insurance and have contracts with most major companies.

Rapid Change Becomes Possible With Our Therapeutic Formula That Incorporates 6 Critical Elements

  1. Compassionate Meal Support

    that maximizes metabolism & nutrition rehabilitation, including meal outings and level-specific pragmatics of meal planning. Clients transition from a highly personalized meal plan toward conscious eating (see Eight Keys to Recovery by Carolyn Costin).

  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

    work to replace the distorted mind-control of the eating disorder with new, calming, and more grounded ways of living.

  3. Social-Intimacy Skills

    are learned and practiced in the experiential laboratory of group therapy, which provides a safe environment and a fascinating perspective on how both introverts and extroverts can improve their interpersonal skills. Our primary relationship is to our own buried true Self – a key focus of our program. Our ability to connect to ourselves and authentically relate to others puts the eating disorder out of a job.

  4. Body-Centered Integrative Therapy

    flips body image obsession in ways clients never thought possible. Relaxation exercises, yoga and other conscious movement processes, and the specially designed rehabilitation programs for exercise addiction and exercise resistance fundamentally alter clients’ understanding of their relationship to their bodies. Clients learn that the body is not who we are – rather, we inhabit our bodies. The body is a vehicle for the true Self.

  5. Consciousness Studies

    helps clients access the less visible aspects of human psychology through dreams, myths, the arts, and ancient traditions that focus on being (versus doing), on what gives meaning and purpose to life, and how to experience a rich sense of the present in any given moment. We combine Jungian psychology with the latest advances in neuroscience to better understand who we are and what inspires change.

  6. Body & Soul Group

     exploring the passage out of the body image trap, into a body-inhabiting freedom.  The body is thought to be the medium between nature of the earth and the soul within each human life.  Through the body we connect to the larger presence around us ~ the natural world, the arts and interconnectedness possible to experience as we drop the limited context of objectification of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the questions below for answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding our PHP Program

What is the Difference Between IOP and PHP (or Day Treatment)?

The IOP simply includes fewer daily hours and days per week than PHP. It can vary from 3 to 7 days per week. PHP or Day Treatment requires a minimum of 4 days/week.

What Age Categories Are Offered in IOP?

We offer three tracks for female and male clients from adolescents to 65+:

  • Teen Track: 13-16 years old
  • Young Adult Track: 17-25 years old
  • Adult Track: 16-70 years old

(16/17 year olds can choose teen track)

What if I am referred by a specific therapist whom I wish to continue to see while in the program?

Clients in IOP are encouraged to continue to see their existing therapists, and all existing health care professionals can receive weekly progress if the client so desires.

What types of individual appointments do IOP clients have?
  • 2 individual psychotherapy sessions
  • 1-2 individual sessions with a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders
  • 1 or more meetings with our attending medical doctor and/or psychiatrist
  • 1 family or couples session/week
  • Possible individual yoga, body-mind integration, or exercise sessions
  • Possible individual stress reduction/meditation sessions
What are the hours and days per week of the program? What if I need to modify the hours?

Our program is available 5-6 days/week. Individuals can initially attend 6 days and then gradually step down as they progress in treatment. In Santa Barbara, Day treatment generally begins at 11 am and ends at 7pm. In San Luis Obispo, Day treatment generally begins at 9 am and ends at 4 or 7 pm. The timing can vary depending on individual appointment times and the amount of meal support needed.It is possible to individualize the PHP schedule to accommodate certain outside scheduling demands without interfering with the quality of the experience.

Why are groups important?

Groups function as a teaching environment as well as a laboratory in which to explore vulnerability, take creative risks, communicate more deeply with others, and observe new patterns of social interaction.

Groups encourage breakthroughs to new levels of insight as clients expand their understanding of others. A sense of camaraderie allows for humor and surprising friendships and provides relief from the isolation inevitable in eating & exercise disorders of all types.

Group meal support addresses and breaks down competition about eating that sabotages trust and connections to friends in the outer world.

Sample IOP Schedule

Midday Program

  • Individual Sessions
  • Lunch Group
  • Yoga
  • Family Therapy Sessions

Afternoon Program

  • Individual Sessions
  • Mind/Body Integration Group
  • Dream Group
  • Conscious Movement Group
  • Evening Program
  • Individual Sessions
  • Dinner Support
  • Guide to the Self Process Group
  • Overcoming Overeating Group