What to Expect From Outpatient Mental Health Programs

Man in blue button up sits comfortably in a chair while looking over to his psychiatrist.

Taking the first steps toward improved mental well-being can be a daunting task. Yet, it is also one that takes incredible courage and strength.

If you’ve recently decided to start an outpatient mental health program, you’re likely wondering what you might expect from treatment.

At Branches Arlington, an outpatient-only behavioral health center in Arlington, Texas, we believe in empowering people in pursuit of improved mental wellness. To that end, we’ve compiled this educational resource to equip you with the knowledge you need to confidently start a mental health outpatient program.

What is Outpatient Care?

Before jumping into what to expect from an outpatient program, we must first understand what the term “outpatient” refers to.

Outpatient care is any type of behavioral health treatment that enables patients to receive mental health care without being admitted to a hospital or without requiring a long-term stay in a supervised medical facility. This type of care is typically reserved for people who do not require 24-hour access to care and can safely receive treatment at a medical office on a weekly basis.

Outpatient care, therefore, is an umbrella term for a wide range of mental health programs and services. It can also help address a wide variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, addiction and more. This type of care is popular due to its flexibility and convenience.

Options for outpatient treatment

As mentioned, there is a wide variety of outpatient treatment options. This includes: 

  • Psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy)
  • Psychopharmacology (medication management)
  • Psychological Counseling
  • Psychoeducational programming
  • Recreational therapy

What Kind of Therapy is Offered on an Outpatient Basis?

There are three primary therapeutic modalities offered on an outpatient basis. They include: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy typically consists of one-on-one time with a therapist or counselor who guides individuals through the process, listens and offers suggestions on how to improve.

Group Therapy

Group therapy, as the name suggests, involves participating in therapy sessions with other patients affected by similar conditions or dealing with similar concerns. In group therapy, patients are able to listen and gain support from others, share perspectives and even challenge each other to think differently. The peer support gained in these environments can make positive impacts on one’s mental health journey.

Family Therapy

Family therapy can play an instrumental role in mental health recovery and maintenance. Mental health conditions do not affect only the person living with one, but also those around them. Furthermore, family therapy enables patients to work through and resolve potential conflict while also improving communication and building support systems.

At Branches Arlington, we believe that family involvement in mental health treatment can be an incredibly impactful experience capable of enacting lasting change of the patient’s mental health and family dynamics.

Benefits of Outpatient Care

Now that you better understand what to expect from outpatient programs, you may be wondering whether this type of program is actually worth it. There are many benefits to participating in an outpatient program. These include: 


Outpatient care is most often a more cost-effective option than inpatient care. Since patients do not need to stay overnight in a hospital or medical facility, they can save on the cost of room and board.

Flexibility and convenience

Outpatient care is a flexible and convenient option for individuals who have busy schedules or do not need intensive care.

Individualized treatment plans

Outpatient care enables patients to receive personalized care from their mental health provider.

At Branches Arlington, for example, we base each of our patient’s outpatient treatment plan on their assessment results. 

Recovery Starts Here

Understanding the different components of an outpatient program may seem overwhelming, but we are here to help. 

Branches Arlington is an outpatient-only psychiatric treatment center for adults located in Arlington, Texas. Our assessment team works with you to figure out the problem at hand and what treatment approach is most beneficial to your individual circumstances.

Recovery starts here. Reach out to 817-404-2207 to get started on your path to a brighter tomorrow.

If you think you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.