LLU Behavioral Medicine Child Intensive Outpatient Program

Child Intensive Outpatient Program

row of kids

The child intensive outpatient program (IOP) is designed for children experiencing behavioral problems, family conflicts, and school-related difficulties. The program is intended for children who need more than outpatient visits with a psychiatrist or therapist, yet are not appropriate for psychiatric hospitalization. 

The program is geared to help the whole family, allowing group time specifically for children, parents, as well as children and parents together. Treatment is provided in a group format but is tailored to individual family needs and meets from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. twice a week.

Program philosophy 

The child IOP is structured for youth, ages 8 to 13, whose behavior is interfering with their ability to be safe, happy, and successful. Underlying issues related to hostile and defiant behaviors are explored along with academic and other school problems. The goal is to educate, support, and redirect children away from maladaptive behavior patterns. Program staff recognize the importance of parent education and family involvement in helping and guiding children, so family members are encouraged to participate in their child's treatment.

Program components 

Children's therapy group 
(Begins at 3:00 p.m.)
Twice weekly, children have an opportunity to discuss the individual reasons they have for entering the program. Children are guided and counseled in the areas of anger management, social and communication skills, and conflict resolution.

Parent education group 
(Parents attend 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)
One evening a week, parents have an opportunity to sharpen their communication and discipline skills. Parents are educated on family roles, family patterns, and limit setting. They learn effective ways to handle frustration, guilt, apathy, and feelings of being overwhelmed. During this group time, children will be attending their own problem solving group.

Multifamily group 
(Parents attend 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)
A second evening, children and their families work together to solve family problems, identify dysfunctional patterns, and improve communication.

School strategies
Children learn techniques to assist them with schoolwork and homework, as well as, ways to improve interactions with both peers and teachers. 

Art therapy
Expression of feelings is often made easier through the use of art. Children engage in creative endeavors guided by the clinical therapist and activities specialist.

Cooperative skills group
Children participate in activities where they build teamwork, increase self awareness, and develop problem solving strategies.

Expressive media group
Children learn to utilize various art media and physical activities as a way to explore and express their feelings.

Reasons for admission* boy and girl smiling

  • Family conflicts
  • Low motivation
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Poor self images
  • Oppositional defiant behaviors
  • Rage episodes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Grief and loss
  • Self destructive behaviors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Poor attention span

Treatment team members

  • Program director
  • Family therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Activities specialist
  • Case manager
  • Supervised by child psychiatrist/medical director

* If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. You may feel there is no one to turn to for help. Our program offers a safe environment where families can learn the skills they need to bring stability to the whole family.

Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center
1710 Barton Road
Redlands, CA 92373