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What is psychotherapy for bipolar disorder?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Psychotherapy is just a fancy term for talk therapy. It involves sessions where you talk to a therapist about your feelings, thoughts, and mood changes to help control your symptoms and change your behavior. In other words, the goal is not just to chat, but to find solutions and strategies that work for you, and that you are likely to follow consistently. You can have psychotherapy sessions alone or with members of your family and friends. You can also participate in group psychotherapy sessions with other people who are struggling with bipolar disorder.

There is now good evidence that psychotherapy is of particular value for people with bipolar disorder. Most of the research has been done in the maintenance phase of the disorder. Approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and family based therapies are of proven value. Psycho-education appears to improve outcomes of the disorder. There are novel attempts to modify these approaches for Internet applications. 

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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.