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Therapy of bipolar disorders

What psychosocial therapies are available?

Psychotherapeutic procedures are frequently employed in the treatment of bipolar illnesses. Often, a combination of medications and a psychotherapy may be necessary and even sensible, in order to obtain the optimal therapy for the patient. Here, varying forms of therapy are applicable, the most common of which are to be provided in a brief review. In addition, you will be able to download more detailed descriptions.

Psychosocial therapies

Psychological individual or group therapies

  • Psychoeducation
    Psychoeducation can be performed as either an individual or a group therapy. It serves to provide the person affected and their families with an extensive explanation concerning the illness and the possibilities for therapy. It can also help the person affected by providing him/her with a helpful concept of the illness, improving their judgment of the illness, promoting their necessity to continue taking their medications further and by generally strengthening a healthy way of life.Download
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
    This thereby handles a short and intensive therapy, the goal of which is to change the thought and behavioural patterns. In people with psychoses, it results in a reduction of the delusions and an improvement in the depressive symptoms, as well as also serving for the treatment of additional, "comorbid", psychiatric disturbances like, for example, phobias.Download
  • Rhythm therapy
    Most of the processes of life function according to a "biological clock". For people afflicted with bipolar illnesses this clock is frequently "misaligned", so that a chaotic way of life dominates, which may lead to a renewed development of the illness. The consciousness for routine procedures should be developed and a day/night structure should be formed. This regulation has a mood stabilising effect.Download
  • Psychoanalysis
    Psychoanalysis serves to find the basis for your most difficult and painful emotions and experiences. It serves to help provide you with more self-sufficiency, and enables you to make more rational and fundamental decisions concerning life. In people with psychoses, these forms of psychotherapy help one to overcome such special problems as fear, depression, stress, problems with interrelationships, etc.Download
  • Addiction therapy
    Addiction therapies are especially important for people with psychoses and problems involving addiction since, without an abstinence from this addiction, it is hardly possible or entirely impossible to heal the psychosis. Addiction therapies are offered in an integrated form that is concomitantly adapted to the other therapies of the psychosis. The addiction therapy serves to intensify the motivation for abstinence and thereby serves to promote the abstinence. Aside from specific interventions related to addiction therapy, psychoeducation, cognitive behavioural therapy, family interventions or self-help groups can also be effective in the course of the treatment of an addiction.
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Biological therapies

  • Sleep deprivation therapy
    Sleep deprivation is employed in cases of severe bipolar depression; here, the sleep deprivation represents a true alternative. About 50 to 60% of those affected demonstrate a substantial improvement in their symptoms. Nevertheless, the success of this therapy frequently only persists for a short time. For this reason, sleep deprivation should always be carried out together with a medicinal therapy using mood stabilisers.Download

Other therapies

  • Family therapy
    The family therapy serves to break down conflicts in your family and to consequently reduce stress, to inform your family about the illness and to thereby inform them well about the interrelated modes of behaviour, as well as to provide advice concerning problems or mediating techniques for coping with crisis situations. At best, family interventions should be initiated as early as possible and carried out routinely in order to help to delay or even to avoid the occurrence of relapses.Download
  • Ergotherapy
    Ergotherapy is made up of both occupational therapy (OT) and work therapy (WT) together. Therapeutic goals include the treatment of psychopathological symptoms, which result in the loss of behavioural competency, increasing the competency for accomplishing daily activities and sensible leisure time planning, as well as maintaining or re-establishing the capabilities and skills that are relevant for professional life. In contrast to ergotherapy, work therapy involves actually working as a preparation for beginning or re-entering professional life.Download
  • Sociotherapy
    Especially for those who are afflicted with psychoses, an important component of the psychiatric management is to be admitted to an initial system of care including a coordination of resources in the psychiatric-psychotherapeutic field, as well as in the fields of general medicine and rehabilitation. This is the purpose of sociotherapy. Download

Types of psychosocial therapies

  • Social competency training (SCT)
    “Social competence” designates the options for action of each individual to transform their “social skills” into an actual behavioural pattern. With SCT, one evaluates one’s own behavioural patterns, learns alternative behaviours, which serve to improve interpersonal contacts and increase the security with which one interacts with other people. For people with a psychosis, this is especially important, since many of them suffer from social and/or interpersonal fears.Download
  • Metacognitive training (MCT)
    Metacognition can logically be translated as “thinking about thinking”. In the course of eight training units (modules) the participants are confronted with cognitive problems or one-sided styles of solving a problem presented in an entertaining form, which individually or all together favour the full development of problematic convictions extending as far as to delusions.Download
  • Art therapy
    Art therapy is a non-verbal therapy, whereby, with the aid of various artistic materials, the natural skills of the individual can be employed to express “inner images”, feelings, needs, expectations and experiences in order to bring about self-regulation and healing.Download
  • Dancing and movement therapy
    All movement therapy procedures have in common the assumption that through movement they initiate a general mobilization. This is supposed to lead to positive changes in the behaviour and the physical functions.
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  • CogPack
    CogPack is a cognitive training programme with 64 tests and exercises, with various variables involving the different cognitive domains as well as verbal, intellectual and occupationally-related skills and expertise.Download
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