From Susan’s Desk
March 24, 2022
I’m proud to announce the opening of Josselyn’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for teens. This has been a dream of mine since my first day at Josselyn over six years ago that is finally realized. Without the support of Board members Gaillee and Neil Fitzpatrick, I would be still dreaming.
What is an IOP?
An IOP provides short-term, intensive treatment for teens struggling with anxiety and/or depression which is significantly impacting their daily lives. Group therapy teaches coping skills and is the primary treatment, along with psychiatric and family therapy. Group members provide feedback and normalize teen’s experiences and provide a safe space to practice these skills. Teens participate nine hours a week – three hours a day, three days a week – over the course of six to eight weeks. This program is the next step when weekly therapy and medication is not enough. The goals are to return teens to their regular activities and keep them out of higher levels of care, like the hospital, residential or wilderness treatments.
What makes the Josselyn IOP Unique?
- Profit is not our motive. As a non-profit, mission is our motive and so we custom tailor the curriculum and services to each individual teen, instead of taking a cookie cutter approach. While we do have some exclusionary criteria, we say “yes” to more kids than we say “no.” We don’t just run through a standard six-week curriculum; we respond to the needs of the participants each day.
- Josselyn IOP teens are under the care of a psychiatric provider who meets at least weekly with each participant, sometimes bi-weekly. Most other programs only offer a quick 15-minute medication check once during the entire six week IOP experience. Our psychiatric provider stays with the teen after they transition out of the IOP and into the weekly care of a Josselyn therapist.
- When teens graduate from the IOP, we don’t simply hand families a list of outpatient therapists and leave them to figure it out. A Josselyn therapist is identified for each teen and their needs. That therapist has access to progress notes from the IOP experience and is part of the same clinical team so that the transition is seamless. There are no gaps in time or care, reducing the risk of our teens backsliding while families search for an available therapist.
- We accept most forms of insurance and Medicaid. Travel time can be a significant burden for people who need to find a Medicaid provider as this resource is scarce in the Chicagoland region. Our IOP meets this need.
- Weekly family therapy is a requirement. This may be difficult work for our teens and/or their families, but it dramatically improves outcomes for our IOP participants.
- Our Director of IOP Services, Shannon Garrison, LCPC, is one of the most detailed oriented, exacting and quality conscious people I’ve ever met. After spending more than 20 years in a variety of intense adolescent treatment settings, she came to Josselyn and took a year curating the curriculum, carefully hand selecting her treatment teams, and working through all the kinks a new program might have. Shannon and her teams are outstanding and I’m so proud and honored that they are on Team Josselyn.
- One small example of the concierge care they provide is that they personally escort each participant to and from their cars, meet them with a smile and a friendly hello, and do a quick check in with mom or dad. They celebrate every single graduation with the participants and amongst themselves and stop me in the hallway to share another success story. The warmth and enthusiasm are palpable.
- Art therapy and movement therapy are offered weekly which is a secret sauce for those kids who have trouble talking about their feelings.
Josselyn’s IOP is open to youth ages 12 to 18, enrolled in seventh grade through high school. Located at 495 Central Ave in Northfield, it is just up the street from our original outpatient clinic. For more information, please contact Shannon Garrison, LCPC at 224-255-6628 or at [email protected].