Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician's Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician's Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician's Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician's Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Synopsis

This innovative manual presents a powerful approach for helping people manage bipolar illness and protect against the recurrence of manic or depressive episodes. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy focuses on stabilizing moods by improving medication adherence, building coping skills and relationship satisfaction, and shoring up the regularity of daily rhythms or routines. Each phase of this flexible, evidence-based treatment is vividly detailed, from screening, assessment, and case conceptualization through acute therapy, maintenance treatment, and periodic booster sessions. Among the special features are reproducible assessment tools and a chapter on how to overcome specific treatment challenges.

Excerpt

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) was conceived in a single day; actually, in a single flash of recognition on July 14, 1990. For the previous 10 years I had been working on a long-term maintenance treatment study testing the prophylactic value of interpersonal psychotherapy for individuals with recurrent unipolar depression. In preparation for the study, I, a committed cognitive therapist, had learned Klerman, Weissman, Rounsaville, and Chevron's (1984) interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and had been amazed by the power of this deceptively simple approach to the treatment of depression. There's no zealot like a convert. By 1989 I had become a convert to IPT.

As part of our study, our research group was conducting family psychoeducational workshops in an effort to recruit the family members of our study participants as adjunct members of the treatment team. We believed that if family members truly understood that depression was a real and potentially fatal medical illness, if they could see more clearly how patients suffered, if they understood the purpose of the study we were conducting and how what we learned might eventually benefit their family member, then they could be partners in the treatment and research enterprise. This was a fairly radical idea in psychiatry at the time, but it was just that radical idea that appealed to the members of the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (NDMDA; now the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance).

On that fateful July 14th, which happened to be my 46th birthday, the NDMDA had invited me to speak at its national convention about family involvement in treatment. Because of the flight schedule, I had to fly into Chicago early in the morning even though my talk wasn't scheduled until after lunch. Like most other clinicians who did little direct work with patients who had bipolar disorder, I had thought that bipolar disorder was a problem solved. It took only 5 hours at the NDMDA convention to see how wrong I was!

I began my day by going to see a performance of a group called the New York Mental Health Players. Their performance consisted of a series of vignettes illustrating problems in the life of patients with bipolar disorder. Following each of these vignettes . . .

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