Show Summary Details
Page of

Current State of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Bipolar Disorder 

Current State of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Bipolar Disorder
Chapter:
Current State of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Bipolar Disorder
Author(s):

Lisa O’Donnell

and David Miklowitz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190908096.003.0014
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 April 2021

Bipolar disorder is characterized by recurrent mood episodes and severe functional impairments. Earlier onsets of bipolar disorder are associated with a more severe course of the illness. Treatment guidelines across age groups include pharmacotherapy plus bipolar disorder–specific psychotherapies. Evidence supporting the use of adjunctive psychotherapies is strongest for long-term maintenance of bipolar disorder, including relapse prevention and restoring function and quality of life, for youths and adults with bipolar disorder. When given in combination with pharmacotherapy, family-focused treatment (FFT) and group psychoeducation (including functional remediation methods) have the strongest support among adults. Individual psychotherapies (interpersonal and social rhythm therapy [IPSRT] and cognitive-behavioral therapy [CBT]) are associated with improvements in clinical functioning similar to intensive psychoeducational or supportive therapies. For adolescent bipolar patients there is evidence for FFT and dialectical behavior therapy in stabilizing symptoms and enhancing quality of life, whereas in younger-age patients (i.e., ages 7–14), there is evidence for multifamily group formats that combine psychoeducation with CBT strategies. Finally, there is preliminary evidence that FFT, multifamily psychoeducation, and IPSRT have effects on symptom control in youths at high risk for bipolar disorder. Future research directions include identifying mechanisms of change in current psychotherapies, establishing best-practice treatments for more severe forms of bipolar disorder, examining clinically significant outcomes (e.g., suicidal behaviors, school dropout, unemployment), and developing technology-driven treatment strategies.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.