Partial hospitalization refers to a comprehensive, short-term, intensive, clinical treatment program. With regard to level of treatment, partial hospitalization is a step below inpatient hospitalization but more concentrated than traditional outpatient care. Clients are generally referred to partial programs when they are experiencing acute psychiatric symptoms that are difficult to manage but that do not require 24-hour care.
Individuals in partial hospitalization programs attend structured programming throughout the day, three to five days a week and return home in the evenings. To ensure client safety, many of the inpatient hospitalization rules apply (i.e. no phones, no shoelaces) to partial hospitalization programs.
There are many advantages to participating in a partial hospitalization program. You are worried that the program may isolate you but the opposite would be true. Many partial programs provide group therapy which would allow you to interact with other people experiencing similar problems. You would also have the opportunity to interact with psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and other mental health practitioners. The goal of many partial hospital programs is the development of skills that help clients better manage their lives and their symptoms.
Consider attending the program. Your doctor thinks it is necessary. I have worked with many clients that had expressed similar concerns about partial programs but who were later glad they attended. Remember that the program is short-term. It has the potential to help you tremendously.
At your next appointment, I would recommend discussing your concerns with your doctor. He or she may provide more information about the program which could give you a better understanding of what to expect. I wish you well. Please take care.