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What is cognitive behavior therapy for bipolar disorder?

John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
In the treatment of bipolar disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on specific strategies and exercises that help patients engage in more accurate thinking. It takes particular aim at pessimistic predictions, all-or-none conclusions (such as "I'm totally worthless"), and the common tendency to jump to conclusions (such as "I just know I won't get that job"). CBT techniques are shown to be highly effective in improving critical thinking and combating overly negative thinking.
Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

More About this Book

Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

After receiving a bipolar diagnosis, you need clear answers. Bipolar 101 is a straightforward guide to understanding bipolar disorder. It includes all the information you need to control your...
Sheri Van Dijk
Psychiatry
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on how you think and act and the connection between your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. CBT is used to treat bipolar disorder because it has been proven effective in the treatment of unipolar depression and preventing relapse of unipolar depression; because it is also successfully used to treat other mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders (which often co-occur with bipolar disorder); and because it is a structured approach that focuses on teaching people skills.

In the studies that have been conducted on using CBT to treat bipolar disorder, there has been a significant reduction in relapse rate, fewer hospitalizations, fewer days spent in a bipolar episode, improved compliance with medications, and improved functioning in psychosocial roles. Although CBT has been demonstrated effective, its effectiveness in alleviating mania has not been established.
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder: Using DBT to Regain Control of Your Emotions and Your Life (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

More About this Book

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder: Using DBT to Regain Control of Your Emotions and Your Life (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Even if you've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it's likely that you've been living with it for a long time. You've probably already developed your own ways of coping with recurring...
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often prescribed for people with bipolar disorder to help them understand their illness, change negative thought patterns, and learn new behaviors and coping skills. CBT is conducted with a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker. Your psychiatrist will stay in contact with this therapist to check on your progress. Other cognitive therapies include family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psychoeducation to help you learn more about bipolar disorder, the symptoms, risk factors, causes, and treatments.
Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often prescribed for people with bipolar disorder to help them understand their illness and also change negative thought patterns and learn coping skills. CBT is done with a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker. Your psychiatrist will stay in contact with this therapist to check on your progress in changing negative behaviors. Other therapies include family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psychoeducation to help you learn more about bipolar disorder, the symptoms, risk factors, causes, and treatments.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Cognitive behavior therapy is a little like spring cleaning -- out with the bad and in with the good. In cognitive behavior therapy, you learn what makes you behave or act in a certain way that affects your functioning or well-being. And once you find out why you act the way you do, you can replace the negative behaviors with positive ones, or at least learn coping mechanisms. You can also learn what situations trigger negative feelings and thoughts or behaviors so you can avoid them or learn how to deal with them constructively.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.