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Learn About Different Types of Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Read about the different forms of therapy that have been found to be effective for bipolar disorder, which is a condition typically characterized by episodes of depression and mania or hypomania. Here is an excerpt from the full article on the NAMI blog:

“Episodes can be triggered by significant life events, severe family conflicts, and situations that disrupt sleep/wake rhythms. This is why it’s problematic when treatment is presented as mostly pharmacological. Those with BD function better when they receive medication management from a therapist and regular psychotherapy sessions.

Family-focused therapy (FFT) involves both the person with BD and their parents, spouse, or other family members. Sessions focus on education about condition, its causes, and warning signs of new episodes, as well as communication and problem-solving skills, especially to address family conflicts.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is an individual therapy in which the person with BD keeps daily records of their sleep and wake times, activities, and the effects of changes in those routines on their mood … the person and their therapist identify one or more interpersonal problem areas and discuss potential solutions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on the relationship between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It teaches people to identify negative assumptions and thought patterns, challenge themselves to rehearse more adaptive ways of thinking, and monitor their activity levels.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) involves both individual and group therapy, and teaches mindfulness and acceptance skills. It also teaches distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Group psychoeducation involves people with BD (and sometimes their family members) led by a facilitator to tell their story and get support and suggestions from people who have had similar experiences.

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