Types of Services

Outpatient Services

The patient goes to a facility or office for treatment. Outpatient treatment is usually best suited for those with:

  • Mild to moderate symptoms.
  • A solid support system.
  • The ability to function outside of the treatment environment.

Specific services offered on an outpatient basis can include:

  • Therapy/counseling (individual or group)

    Typically, individual therapy appointments occur on a weekly basis, with appointments lasting 45-60 minutes. Group therapy often takes place for 1-2 hours weekly.

    There are a wide variety of different types of therapy (referred to as treatment modalities).

    Types of therapy that have been used most commonly by students include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relational Therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

    Some therapy/counseling providers accept insurance while others do not. For therapists who only accept private pay (no insurance), the cost of services can be $150+ per hour. Some providers may offer sliding-scale services--where the cost of services is discounted for private pay clients; the scale offered is usually based on client income.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

    An IOP is a part-time yet strict treatment program designed to accommodate work and daily life with treatment.

    A typical IOP program offers facilitated treatment (individual and group therapy) a few days a week, for a few hours on those days. For example, a program may take place three days a week, for three hours each day.

    Common treatment issues addressed in IOP level of care include (but are not limited to) substance abuse and eating disorders.

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

    PHPS provide the most intensive level of non-residential, non-inpatient care that is available. PHPs are time-limited, medically supervised programs that offer comprehensive, therapeutically intensive, coordinated, and structured clinical services. Partial hospitalization programs are available at least five days per week but may also offer half-day, weekend, or evening hours.

    PHP level services may be used to support an individual leaving inpatient or residential care.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment, which may also referred to as residential treatment, takes place in a residential facility on a 24/7 basis. This level of care is best suited for those who need constant medical supervision as well as those with relatively severe, long-term symptoms who have not shown significant progress after outpatient mental health intervention.

Generally, residential treatment programs last one month or longer.

Psychiatric Hospitalization

Psychiatric hospitalization treatment typically consists of stabilization, close monitoring, medication, administration of fluids and nutrition, and other necessary emergency care.

Individuals may be voluntarily or involuntarily hospitalized (often referred to as a '5150'). A person may be involuntarily hospitalized when they either are gravely disabled or are a danger to themselves or others.

Inpatient hospitalizations generally last 3-7 days, based on medical need.


Medications can be used to treat the symptoms of mental illness, usually along with regular therapy.

Medications commonly used for mental health treatment include:

  • Antidepressants:
    Antidepressants treat the symptoms of depression, but in some cases they may also be prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. Common types of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • Anti-anxiety medications:
    Anti-anxiety medications can help people who suffer from generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or panic attacks. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed. However, these drugs are only meant to be used in the short-term, and long-term use can lead to dependence and addiction. For this reason, there are other non-habit forming anti-anxiety medications that may be prescribed in place of benzodiazepines.
  • Mood stabilizers:
    Mood stabilizers are commonly prescribed for people with Bipolar Disorder, or mood swings, in order to lessen the intensity of mood swings or reduce frequency.
  • Antipsychotics:
    Antipsychotics are typically prescribed to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and may sometimes be prescribed to individuals with bipolar disorder who are exhibiting psychotic symptoms (often during a manic episode).

12 Step Programs and Support Groups

Support groups (different from group psychotherapy) and 12-step programs may complement therapies and/or medication for those who may have completed clinical services but would benefit from ongoing support, including:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Gambling, shopping, video gaming, and other behavioral addictions.
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Eating disorders

Twelve-step programs use an approach built on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Participants often work with a sponsor to complete the 12 steps, and the sponsor is available to help the person with other issues they may be struggling with during recovery, including cravings.

Many programs have a spiritual component, but they do not require participants to be religious. Participants choose a “higher power” that they can use to help guide them through the recovery process. This higher power can be whatever the participant wants: God, music, or nature.

It is important to be aware that they do not provide medical supervision or offer professional therapy.

Tele-therapy, Tele-mental Health

Tele-therapy is a rapidly growing treatment option.

Tele-therapy is defined as any type of communication with a client via a third party platform where advice is given virtually without being in person or face-to-face. Communication platforms may include phone, Skype, Facetime, Google hangouts, Zoom, text, or email.

For students who wish to remain engaged with a previous treatment provider from home once they arrive at USF, Tele-therapy can be a useful option.

In addition, if a student is seeking specialized therapy not available locally, tele-therapy may provide treatment options for them.

Check your insurance plan for coverage options.