Partial Hospitalization Program

The Partial Hospitalization and the Intensive Outpatient programs at MedStar Harbor Hospital provide comprehensive outpatient psychiatric services to our patients and the community. We offer a variety of programs, each tailored to meet the needs of each individual. The goal of each program is to reduce psychiatric symptoms and to prevent an inpatient hospital stay.

Our programs are staffed by an experienced, dedicated team of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, case managers, and therapists from various disciplines. The team supports patients through treatment for various disorders, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Patients who struggle with addiction in addition to a behavioral or mental health condition may also be eligible.

Each patient's treatment includes diagnostic and medical evaluation, group psychotherapy, multidisciplinary group modalities, and, if necessary, medication therapy. Family outreach is also an integral part of our programs.

Our programs are designed for adults 18 years and older. In order to participate in either program, individuals must have achieved a level of stability that will allow them to fully engage in all therapeutic activities. Because these programs do not include a residential component, participants must be capable of living independently, or have secured other housing arrangements. All of our programs are voluntary.

About the Partial Hospitalization Program

The Partial Hospital Program (P.H.P.) is very structured and patient-care oriented with a multidisciplinary team approach. The short-term program treats patients with acute psychiatric symptoms who require significant support, while enabling them to stay in the community and avoid inpatient care. Patients receive treatment for 6.5 hours a day, up to five days a week.

Each patient's treatment needs are reviewed shortly after admission, and an individualized treatment plan is developed. Daily group-oriented programs focus on symptom management, stabilization, psychoeducation, and coping skills.

The length of each patient’s participation in the program will vary based on the individual’s response to treatment, with a maximum of 30 treatment days per admission. Discharge plans are made for each patient in conjunction with the referral source. Every effort is made to help the patient quickly return to work or secure an appropriate, structured activity in the community.

About the Intensive Outpatient Program

The Intensive Outpatient Program (I.O.P.) offers more therapy than is available in a typical outpatient setting, but involves less contact than the P.H.P. This program helps patients stabilize their symptoms and quickly return to work or their community. Patients receive four hours of treatment per day, three to five times per week. As with the P.H.P., all patients receive individual treatment and early discharge planning.

What are the Benefits of Group Psychotherapy?

Both the Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient programs provide the most intense level of non-residential, non-inpatient care available to patients in the MedStar Health system. Individuals who have completed inpatient or residential treatment for a behavioral health disorder can benefit from the structured level of step-down support as they transition to a more independent lifestyle.

Group therapy is a fundamental component of treatment. Led by a trained therapist, group therapy provides individuals the opportunity to share their insights, learn from the experiences of others, and give and receive support from individuals who are dealing with similar challenges.

Sessions are scheduled daily and have a maximum of 10 participants per session. Each group session provides unique opportunities for learning, sharing, and support.

Some of our daily therapy sessions include:

  • Behavior Modification: Review your weekend activities and how behaviors and symptoms were managed to identify successful coping strategies and areas for improvement/modification. We will also help you identify goals for the upcoming week.
  • Coping with Feelings: Gives you the chance to learn more about your feelings and how they relate to your symptoms.
  • Conflict Resolution: Designed to teach patients interpersonal skills, problem-solving, mediation techniques, and communication strategies to effectively manage their social functioning without harm or aggression toward themselves or others.
  • Medication and Illness Education: Offers education about medications, including benefits and side effects. Provides the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Mood Management: Learn about the impact of thoughts on mood and different cognitive strategies to address mood symptoms.
  • Relapse Prevention: Discussion of ways to prevent relapse.
  • Self Esteem: Learn how thoughts contribute to self esteem and how to increase self esteem.
  • Solution Focused Group: Will help you learn how to come up with skills to solve problems in your life. This includes skills to improve communication, boundaries, and mediation techniques.
  • Supportive Group Therapy: Gives you the opportunity to better understand how you are feeling and to “open up.” “Heart talk” is encouraged. This is a peer to peer support group.
  • Symptom Management: Gives you a chance to learn how to decrease your symptoms and reduce the stress that comes with your illness. Patients will learn coping skills to address issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, and other illness symptoms.
  • Weekend Relapse Prevention: For a lot of people, weekends can be difficult due to less structure and being around friends and family. This group allows us to discuss our weekend plans and ways to prevent symptoms or relapse.

How MedStar Harbor Supports Your Recovery

Our expert team of psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, clinical counselors, and support staff provide comprehensive, compassionate care. We work closely with patients and their loved ones to develop tailored care plans that foster healing for our patients and their families. An individual’s experience with the Partial Hospitalization or Intensive Outpatient program will be personalized and designed to meet the specific strengths, needs, and treatment goals of each patient.

Group therapy sessions are an important element of treatment. Group therapy provides a safe and structured environment in which individuals can practice productive communication and other skills that may be essential to continued recovery.

Individual and family sessions may also play an important role in a comprehensive treatment plan for some patients. One-on-one interactions between patients and therapists provide opportunities for individuals to process successes and setbacks in their recovery, as well as address issues or concerns they may be uncomfortable or unwilling to share in group setting. Individual sessions are conducted on a case by case basis.

Family members and close friends are often affected by their loved one’s struggles, and can play an important role in recovery. P.H.P. and I.O.P. participants will work with our staff to identify comprehensive discharge and/or continuing care plans. These plans ensure that upon successful completion of the program, individuals leave with a thorough plan that identifies professional referrals and other resources that will support continued recovery.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment with a behavioral health specialist or for more information, please call 



MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225