Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy and bipolar disorder

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy is a type of interpersonal therapy designed specifically for bipolar disorder. Its effectiveness has mostly been studied in adults, as part of longer-term treatment to prevent future episodes.

This therapy aims to help you to improve relationships and develop a balanced lifestyle. In adults interpersonal and social rhythm therapy typically involves around 40 sessions over 2 years. The therapy focuses on:

  • managing problems in relationships with other people, such as losses, disagreements, or adapting when your relationships with other people change (e.g. how your relationship with your parents can change as you get older)
  • developing a balanced life style and daily routines (social rhythm), such as your sleep-wake cycle, work-life balance and daily routines.

Additionally, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy includes psychoeducation about bipolar disorder.  It is likely that as part of the therapy there will be some sessions involving your family.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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