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Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Lurie Children's Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a space for children to attend therapy more frequently than traditional outpatient approaches and focus on anxiety, depressive, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Our virtual program runs Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The average length of program participation for most families is four to six weeks. Our program serves children and teens (ages 10 through 16) that require more frequent treatment for psychiatric problems but are able to attend school for all or part of the morning and early afternoon.


Our Approach

We strive to create a safe, collaborative, therapeutic, and fun environment through developmentally-appropriate curriculums to teach each child how to effectively cope with their problems. We utilize evidence-based approaches to individualize treatment and address the needs of each patient, including:

  • Unified protocols for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders in children and adolescents
  • Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Parent training
  • Collaboration with outside providers
  • Collaboration with teachers

We require family involvement through once weekly family sessions and a separate weekly Multifamily Caregiver Education Series. These sessions provide each family with knowledge and effective strategies to support their child and teen.

What We Treat

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) focuses on children with primary difficulties with anxiety and mood concerns (such as depression), and obsessive compulsive disorder

As a reminder, IOP would not be the best fit for children: 

  • Whose current difficulties are largely externalizing (such as, physical aggression towards peers, staff, parents, severe property destruction)
  • Whose developmental functioning would impede their ability to fully participate in a group space with similarly aged peers
  • Currently experiencing symptoms of psychosis

Our Specialists

The multidisciplinary team includes psychologistssocial workers, recreational therapist, and milieu therapists. Team members meet regularly to discuss each child’s progress and refine treatment goals.

If Medication Management is requested during your child’s enrollment in IOP, our team includes a psychiatrist who your child will meet with for a consultation and management regarding medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your child will attend the program Monday through Thursday, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Families are required to have their child at log into program at 3:30 p.m. each day. On Tuesdays, families are required to participate in Multifamily Group, an educational series on various treatment modalities from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, families are required to participate in one family session with their child’s primary clinician to address individualized treatment progress and goals.

Recreation Therapy (RT) is a group-based component of IOP that improves socialization, leisure functioning and community reintegration. Based on the specific needs of the patients, the following programs may be developed and implemented:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Physical fitness/education
  • Team building
  • Leisure education
  • Yoga
  • Relaxation group/techniques
  • Problem solving (learning and use of coping skills/tools)
  • Nutrition
  • Dance and music activities
  • Wellness groups
  • Games and socialization activities
  • Other programs as deemed therapeutic to meet the needs of the patients

IOP is a Monday – Thursday program (unless a holiday is announced). If possible, do not plan your family outings and outpatient appointments on days when your child is expected to be in attendance. If you must miss a day for an important event, please let staff know ahead of time. If there are two missed days, your child will be discharged. If your child reports feeling ill prior to arrival in the morning, take his or her temperature. If it is at 100.5 or above, please call the Program office at 312.227.0840 to report absence for that day. You must receive a return slip from your child’s primary care physician in order to return to the program.

Report all medicines that your child is taking to staff every day at check-in, as well as any allergies to medicines. In IOP, medications will not be administered unless cleared with program staff prior to beginning the program.

IOP includes involvement with family therapy sessions once each week and a multi-family group session once each week. Failure to attend any of these required sessions may result in discharge. We are happy to provide help with work letters or FMLA documents.

Contact Information & Location

The Intensive Outpatient Program is a virtual program.

To contact IOP, please call 312.227.0337.
The fax number for the program is 312.227.9772. 

Printable Parent/Patient Rating Forms

The following electronic forms are for patients currently enrolled in IOP. Only complete these forms if instructed by the IOP team.  

Click the below links to download and print the parent/patient rating forms. 

MyChart

MyChart gives you safe, secure online access to portions of your child's electronic medical record (EMR). MyChart also serves as a secure message center to communicate with your child’s healthcare providers and complete online questionnaires for enrolled programs. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT MYCHART

General Mental Health Resources

Books for Children

Anger & Impulse Control

  • What To Do When Your Temper Flares by Dawn Heubner (for children ages 8-12)

Anxiety, Worry & Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • The Thought That Counts: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jared Kant and Martin Franklin (teenagers)
  • What To Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck by Dawn Heubner (OCD) (for children ages 8-12)
  • What You Must Think of Me: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with Social Anxiety Disorder by Emily Ford and Michael Liebowitz (teenagers)
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Anxiety) (3rd-8th grade)

Depression

  • Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope over Suicide by Quincy Levine and David Brent (teenagers)

Feelings, Self-esteem & Miscellaneous

  • Just As You Are: A Teen’s Guide to Self-Acceptance and Lasting Self-Esteem by Michelle Skeen, PsyD (teens)
  • Next to Nothing: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with an Eating Disorder by Carrie Arnold and B. Timothy Walsh (teenagers and young adults)

Books for Caregivers

  • Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers by Deborah Serani
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids – How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham
  • The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene
  • Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them by Ross W. Greene
  • If Your Adolescent Has an Anxiety Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents by Edna B. Foa and Linda Wasmer Andrews
  • Why Smart Kids Worry and What Parents Can do to Help by Allison Edwards, LPC
  • Start Here: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children and Teens Through Mental Health Challenges by Pier Bryden, MD and Peter Szatmari, MD
  • Proactive Parenting: Help your child conquer self-destructive behaviours and build self-esteem by Mandy Saligari
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • How to Talk so Teens Will Listen & Listen so Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

Hotline/Support Numbers

Related Specialties

Philanthropy

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500