Outpatient rehabilitation, or outpatient rehab, is a program designed to help a patient recover from something. Unlike inpatient rehab, in which individuals live in a facility and get around-the-clock treatment, outpatient rehab allows patients to live at home and come in for treatment a few hours a day or a few hours a week. Outpatient rehab facilities commonly include those designed to provide physical therapy for an injury, treatment for substance abuse and treatment for psychiatric disorders.
People often need outpatient physical therapy when recovering from an accident or injury. Physical therapists will work with patients to help strengthen their knees, back, legs, shoulders and other body parts after an injury. Patients often receive massages and are taught exercises during an appointment and then practice the exercises more once they return home. Depending on the type of injury, a person may be in physical therapy for as little as two weeks or for as long as a year.
It can be difficult for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol to quit on his own. While some patients check into inpatient rehab clinics for several weeks, this option may not be viable for people with limited funds or responsibilities at home. Outpatient rehab is an alternative for these patients. People who attend outpatient rehab can take advantage of different services that centers have to offer, including one-on-one counseling and group talk therapy. Substance abuse is a serious problem and it is recommended that a person seeking addiction help for the first time speak to a counselor about both outpatient and inpatient options before making a choice.
People with anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders may need outpatient rehab to get their conditions under control. Patients may participate in individual talk therapy with a licensed professional to help get to the roots of their problems. Some patients who have been through traumatic events also may benefit from group therapy, where they can meet others who have been through similar situations.
Some patients in psychiatric outpatient rehab also can benefit from having family members come to their therapy sessions on occasion. Family members also can help the patient to make progress at home. If a patient's condition negatively affects other people in the family, then going to therapy sessions can help to rebuild a family bond. If there is a psychiatrist on staff, then anti-anxiety, antidepressant and anti-psychotic medications can be prescribed to patients who need them.