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Intensive Outpatient Therapy

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Akron Children’s Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology offers inpatient and outpatient treatment for teens experiencing psychiatric symptoms. In addition to our inpatient unit, we offer 2 levels of intensive mental health treatment in an outpatient setting for teens whose symptoms are severe enough to warrant additional services beyond traditional therapy.

Our outpatient programs (IOP) are designed to help teens stay in their homes, keep them out of the inpatient unit, or help them transition from inpatient care back into their communities. Placement is determined by level of functioning, and teens can step through our programs based on their treatment needs. 

IOP offers intensive services for teens with moderate to significant impairment who are able to attend school but are experiencing problem behaviors with impaired functioning in some areas of their daily lives. A clinician assesses parents and teens to determine if the program is appropriate and follows eligible teens through the program.

IOP offers family-centered, intensive services through a structured program of group therapy and case management. Teens attend 3 sessions a week, and the average length of stay is 4-6 weeks.

Because IOP focuses on group therapy, teens are required to have an outpatient therapist and are encouraged to continue individual therapy while going through IOP.

IOP provides a healing experience for families. We teach parents and teens how to change problem behaviors, improve relationships and cope with stressful situations. New skills are reinforced through education and training, group sessions, and expressive therapy groups.

Program Times

• 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Please note days may vary due to holidays.

• Multi-family skills group meets 5:15 to 7 p.m. on Mondays. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) focuses on short- term stabilization to help at-risk teens improve functioning, develop healthy coping skills and stabilize mood.

Our multidisciplinary team includes licensed mental health therapists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. Our program uses evidence-based therapy and skill-training exercises to increase self- awareness of thoughts, feelings and behaviors, enabling teens to make healthier choices. Family education and therapy are also essential parts of our program. 

  • Teens must be between ages 12-18 and still in school.
  • Teens and parents/legal guardians must seek treatment voluntarily.
  • Parents/legal guardians must agree to participate in their teen’s individual treatment plan.
  • Teens must be committed to safety for themselves and others while in the program.
  • Teens must participate in all program sessions and cannot choose to attend only certain sessions, such as individual psychiatric services.
  • PHP and IOP are not for teens with a primary diagnosis of eating disorders, substance abuse disorders or significant behavior disorders. 

After-Hours Crisis


If you feel your teen is in immediate crisis and out of control, we encourage you to call 911.

If your teen is in crisis and at risk of harming himself or others but is not out of control, you can call Akron Children’s Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) at 330-543-7472 or bring your child to the Akron Children’s ER.

PIRC offers round-the-clock mental health assessments by phone and may direct families to the ER for evaluation. Akron Children’s has a Behavioral Health ER unit dedicated to patients with emotional and behavioral health issues that is equipped with a calming, secure environment and staff trained to de-escalate behavior, and stabilize and assess patients in crisis.