Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Chicago, IL

Photo of Dr. Rae K. Watkins, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Dr. Rae K. Watkins
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60613  (Online Only)
Dr. Watkins is a Clinical Psychologist who's profession experience includes psycho-diagnostic assessment and counseling of children, adolescents and adults in the areas of trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, marital guidance, sexuality, juvenile delinquency and phase of life transitions. Dr. Watkins practices from a client-centered framework, focusing on genuineness and unconditional positive regard for clients, with the belief that all persons are capable of functioning at their full, yet personal, potential. Dr. Watkins has served as an Investigator on clinical trials in the areas of Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
Dr. Watkins is a Clinical Psychologist who's profession experience includes psycho-diagnostic assessment and counseling of children, adolescents and adults in the areas of trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, marital guidance, sexuality, juvenile delinquency and phase of life transitions. Dr. Watkins practices from a client-centered framework, focusing on genuineness and unconditional positive regard for clients, with the belief that all persons are capable of functioning at their full, yet personal, potential. Dr. Watkins has served as an Investigator on clinical trials in the areas of Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
(773) 993-1383 View (773) 993-1383
Photo of Thomas Vittoria, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in Chicago, IL
Thomas Vittoria
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, AMFT
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60614
I have been providing mental and behavioral support to children, adolescents, and adults for over 20 years. I enjoy helping couples (particularly neurodiverse), find common ground and connection. I have extensive experience working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. I also work with folks living with Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and Personality Disorders. I enjoy using play therapy with children to build strength through their understanding of the world. My work with different client needs and strengths keeps me excited, engaged, and active in each journey toward stability and wellness.
I have been providing mental and behavioral support to children, adolescents, and adults for over 20 years. I enjoy helping couples (particularly neurodiverse), find common ground and connection. I have extensive experience working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. I also work with folks living with Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and Personality Disorders. I enjoy using play therapy with children to build strength through their understanding of the world. My work with different client needs and strengths keeps me excited, engaged, and active in each journey toward stability and wellness.
(872) 259-5215 View (872) 259-5215
Photo of Aimee Daramus, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Aimee Daramus
Psychologist, PsyD, LCP
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60601
I've spent my entire professional life working with people who have trauma, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or a psychotic disorder. My clients are fighting a hard fight, and I value being in it with them. I called my web site "Audeo", which is Latin for "I dare", because my typical client needs some courage just to look up a therapist (or *another* therapist) and I respect it. When it was hard for you to show up for therapy, or use your coping skills, or get up today, you have my respect. You might be doing everything right when you don't feel right at all.
I've spent my entire professional life working with people who have trauma, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or a psychotic disorder. My clients are fighting a hard fight, and I value being in it with them. I called my web site "Audeo", which is Latin for "I dare", because my typical client needs some courage just to look up a therapist (or *another* therapist) and I respect it. When it was hard for you to show up for therapy, or use your coping skills, or get up today, you have my respect. You might be doing everything right when you don't feel right at all.
(872) 266-4436 View (872) 266-4436
Photo of Caitlin Ruby Miller, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL
Caitlin Ruby Miller
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, NCC, LPC
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60640
Do you find yourself overwhelmed and overstimulated in a neurotypical world? Utilizing a therapy style uniquely crafted for you, I will work with you to find a sense of purpose, empowerment, and alignment with your deepest self. I specialize in working with clients exploring neurodiversity, "giftedness", burnout, queerness, creativity, ADHD, autism, boundaries, relationships, anxiety, bipolar, and depression. The strength in my approach comes from a balance of experimenting with tangible interventions to improve your daily life as well as insights that empower you to achieve a greater connection to yourself and the world.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed and overstimulated in a neurotypical world? Utilizing a therapy style uniquely crafted for you, I will work with you to find a sense of purpose, empowerment, and alignment with your deepest self. I specialize in working with clients exploring neurodiversity, "giftedness", burnout, queerness, creativity, ADHD, autism, boundaries, relationships, anxiety, bipolar, and depression. The strength in my approach comes from a balance of experimenting with tangible interventions to improve your daily life as well as insights that empower you to achieve a greater connection to yourself and the world.
(312) 646-3784 View (312) 646-3784
Photo of Allison Greven, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Allison Greven
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60601
Allison’s specialties include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and trauma.
Allison Greven (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2014. Prior to joining CCBH, Allison worked as a therapist in a partial and intensive outpatient hospitalization program for adults struggling with mood and anxiety disorders. She has also worked in several community mental health settings serving adults and adolescents with a variety of needs including depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm, ADHD, psychosis, mood instability, attachment trauma and PTSD.
Allison’s specialties include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and trauma.
Allison Greven (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2014. Prior to joining CCBH, Allison worked as a therapist in a partial and intensive outpatient hospitalization program for adults struggling with mood and anxiety disorders. She has also worked in several community mental health settings serving adults and adolescents with a variety of needs including depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm, ADHD, psychosis, mood instability, attachment trauma and PTSD.
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Photo of Manya Treece, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Manya Treece
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60642
I have worked with many clients, including those who struggle with depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, anxiety, grief, relationship issues, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sexual and physical abuse, workplace issues, LGBTQ issues and issues surrounding chronic illness.
My name is Manya, and I am trained in psychodynamic, psychoanalytic psychotherapy. My approach is to form a relationship with each person I see, taking special care to note any patterns in a person's history or present that may be holding them back or causing unnecessary pain or conflict. I take great care to notice how the past is informing the present and to provide the insight needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships, behaviors and feelings.
I have worked with many clients, including those who struggle with depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, anxiety, grief, relationship issues, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sexual and physical abuse, workplace issues, LGBTQ issues and issues surrounding chronic illness.
My name is Manya, and I am trained in psychodynamic, psychoanalytic psychotherapy. My approach is to form a relationship with each person I see, taking special care to note any patterns in a person's history or present that may be holding them back or causing unnecessary pain or conflict. I take great care to notice how the past is informing the present and to provide the insight needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships, behaviors and feelings.
(615) 206-4132 View (615) 206-4132
Photo of Geraldine Taylor-Filer, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Geraldine Taylor-Filer
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60622
Geri has worked with people who are dealing with Dual Diagnosis: depression, addiction, bipolar disorder. She has over 30 years of experience.
Geri has worked with people who are dealing with Dual Diagnosis: depression, addiction, bipolar disorder. She has over 30 years of experience.
(773) 985-2370 View (773) 985-2370
Photo of Emily Zibell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL
Emily Zibell
Licensed Professional Counselor, LCPC, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60657  (Online Only)
I come from working many years in a behavioral health hospital, specializing in adults with mood disorders including: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and adjustment disorders.
I am a firm believer that when undergoing life’s challenges, we owe it to ourselves to be our own best support person we can be. Sometimes that means asking for help. Whether it’s managing the stresses of everyday life, keeping up with ever changing and ongoing societal and systemic concerns, or managing serious mental health distress, I am excited and honored to work with you towards your therapy goals.
I come from working many years in a behavioral health hospital, specializing in adults with mood disorders including: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and adjustment disorders.
I am a firm believer that when undergoing life’s challenges, we owe it to ourselves to be our own best support person we can be. Sometimes that means asking for help. Whether it’s managing the stresses of everyday life, keeping up with ever changing and ongoing societal and systemic concerns, or managing serious mental health distress, I am excited and honored to work with you towards your therapy goals.
(708) 671-6470 View (708) 671-6470
Photo of Sean McMenamin, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Sean McMenamin
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60614
I have experience working with adults who struggled with anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD, substance use, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Sharing one's thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger can seem awkward and bizarre. My goal early on in therapy is to make the experience feel as comfortable as possible by creating a space without judgement and aiming to understand you as a whole person, rather than simply a set of symptoms or a diagnosis. I believe that we all have the capacity to overcome life's many obstacles and live closer to our fullest potential. Although therapy is ultimately very serious, I use humor whenever possible so it doesn't feel like you're talking to a robot.
I have experience working with adults who struggled with anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD, substance use, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Sharing one's thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger can seem awkward and bizarre. My goal early on in therapy is to make the experience feel as comfortable as possible by creating a space without judgement and aiming to understand you as a whole person, rather than simply a set of symptoms or a diagnosis. I believe that we all have the capacity to overcome life's many obstacles and live closer to our fullest potential. Although therapy is ultimately very serious, I use humor whenever possible so it doesn't feel like you're talking to a robot.
(630) 756-5120 View (630) 756-5120
Photo of Sean Paras, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Sean Paras
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CADC, CRSS
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60653
I am a licensed clinical social worker specializing in supporting adults facing diverse challenges like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, personality disorders, and substance use disorders. My focus is on providing comprehensive assistance. Bringing over a decade of experience in the mental health field, my approach is grounded in client-centered therapy, which highlights the importance of meeting individuals where they are.
I am a licensed clinical social worker specializing in supporting adults facing diverse challenges like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, personality disorders, and substance use disorders. My focus is on providing comprehensive assistance. Bringing over a decade of experience in the mental health field, my approach is grounded in client-centered therapy, which highlights the importance of meeting individuals where they are.
(872) 266-4016 View (872) 266-4016
Photo of Barrett Kern, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Barrett Kern
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60601  (Online Only)
My strengths as a therapist are in helping people who are experiencing difficulties related to mood (depression, bipolar disorder), traumatic events (past or recent), anxiety, or psychosis. My therapy style is warm, person-centered, and collaborative but also humorous and active. I am also LGBTQIA+ friendly, gender affirming, and body/sex positive. I enjoy working with members of the kink, BDSM, and ethical non-monogamy communities and strive to make therapy a safe space to explore topics relevant to their lives. I am neurodivergence affirming and competent and try to make accommodations whenever possible to make therapy accessible.
My strengths as a therapist are in helping people who are experiencing difficulties related to mood (depression, bipolar disorder), traumatic events (past or recent), anxiety, or psychosis. My therapy style is warm, person-centered, and collaborative but also humorous and active. I am also LGBTQIA+ friendly, gender affirming, and body/sex positive. I enjoy working with members of the kink, BDSM, and ethical non-monogamy communities and strive to make therapy a safe space to explore topics relevant to their lives. I am neurodivergence affirming and competent and try to make accommodations whenever possible to make therapy accessible.
(872) 242-1292 View (872) 242-1292
Photo of Mimi Seversen, Pre-Licensed Professional in Chicago, IL
Mimi Seversen
Pre-Licensed Professional, MA, LPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60647  (Online Only)
I see clients from a wide array of backgrounds dealing with various issues that have taken a toll on their ability to cope with life’s challenges. My prior experiences have engaged concerns including depression, anxiety, bipolar, challenges regarding health and individuation within family systems, experiences of trauma, violence and abuse. I’ve been honored to sit with people who carry the uniquely isolating weight of being in relationships or in families where alcoholism is present.
I see clients from a wide array of backgrounds dealing with various issues that have taken a toll on their ability to cope with life’s challenges. My prior experiences have engaged concerns including depression, anxiety, bipolar, challenges regarding health and individuation within family systems, experiences of trauma, violence and abuse. I’ve been honored to sit with people who carry the uniquely isolating weight of being in relationships or in families where alcoholism is present.
(847) 961-2776 View (847) 961-2776
Photo of Stacey Griffith, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL
Stacey Griffith
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, MA, LCPC, CCMHC
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60626
Waitlist for new clients
I specialize in trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders (depression, bipolar), and life transitions.
Therapy is not "one-size-fits-all." I believe each person is the real expert on themselves, and a therapist facilitates change as a supportive partner in the process. Whether your current concerns have to do with anxiety or mood changes, due to major life changes, are trauma-related, or you just need someone to talk about your daily life, I am here to offer the space for you to grow, discover, heal, and succeed.
I specialize in trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders (depression, bipolar), and life transitions.
Therapy is not "one-size-fits-all." I believe each person is the real expert on themselves, and a therapist facilitates change as a supportive partner in the process. Whether your current concerns have to do with anxiety or mood changes, due to major life changes, are trauma-related, or you just need someone to talk about your daily life, I am here to offer the space for you to grow, discover, heal, and succeed.
(224) 263-1176 View (224) 263-1176
Photo of Eugene Shiver, Counselor in Chicago, IL
Eugene Shiver
Counselor, LCPC
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60613
I work often with people living with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and a range of other mental health challenges.
I am actively attuned and engaged with clients and use an integrative approach, drawing when appropriate from a range of lenses (Psychodynamic, Jungian, Internal Family Systems, and Object Relations). While I am trained and experienced in cognitively-based therapies (CBT), I thrive when using depth approaches, because I am passionate about guiding individuals toward new levels self-awareness. The process often results in psychological maturation and improvements in inner life and relationships.
I work often with people living with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and a range of other mental health challenges.
I am actively attuned and engaged with clients and use an integrative approach, drawing when appropriate from a range of lenses (Psychodynamic, Jungian, Internal Family Systems, and Object Relations). While I am trained and experienced in cognitively-based therapies (CBT), I thrive when using depth approaches, because I am passionate about guiding individuals toward new levels self-awareness. The process often results in psychological maturation and improvements in inner life and relationships.
(872) 204-1788 View (872) 204-1788
Photo of Innovative Counseling Partners, PLLC, Counselor in Chicago, IL
Innovative Counseling Partners, PLLC
Counselor, MA, LPC, LCSW
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60616
We have been trained to work with a variety of issues-Depression, Anger, Anxiety (group and individual formats), Bipolar disorder, Trauma, Child and Adolescent work (males and females), Sexual Abuse, Play Therapy, Family therapy, Cultural issues (adapting to the western culture), and Gay/Lesbian family issues.
Our life's work is helping clients achieve a better sense of self and happiness...more recently we've recognized that without good mental health providers, finding this balance in life can be more difficult and stressful. As a result, we tend toward an Integrative approach and help our clients transform into the people they want to be. We see each client as an individual with many parts to their identity. Utilizing a holistic and systemic approach we help clients reintegrate the parts of themselves to function better as individuals and within their systems. Our focus tends toward a systems based approach using behavior methods.
We have been trained to work with a variety of issues-Depression, Anger, Anxiety (group and individual formats), Bipolar disorder, Trauma, Child and Adolescent work (males and females), Sexual Abuse, Play Therapy, Family therapy, Cultural issues (adapting to the western culture), and Gay/Lesbian family issues.
Our life's work is helping clients achieve a better sense of self and happiness...more recently we've recognized that without good mental health providers, finding this balance in life can be more difficult and stressful. As a result, we tend toward an Integrative approach and help our clients transform into the people they want to be. We see each client as an individual with many parts to their identity. Utilizing a holistic and systemic approach we help clients reintegrate the parts of themselves to function better as individuals and within their systems. Our focus tends toward a systems based approach using behavior methods.
(773) 312-3612 View (773) 312-3612
Photo of Ed Rhodes, Counselor in Chicago, IL
Ed Rhodes
Counselor, MA, LCPC
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60601
My areas of expertise include treatment of anxiety and stress disorders including reactions to trauma, unipolar and bipolar mood disorders, substance abuse (abstinence-focused, Harm Reduction and SMART Recovery), mindfulness, existential concerns, relational and identity issues, and creating a safe and confidential space within which to explore personally meaningful issues.
Stories have always fascinated me. They have the power to move us emotionally, to educate and instruct, to entertain us, and to cultivate true compassion and empathy through the act of sharing a story with another. They are also a powerful vehicle for how we perceive, interpret, define and live our lives, yet sometimes it can be easy to forget that we can be the authors of our story, not just a character proceeding along some previously determined narrative.
My areas of expertise include treatment of anxiety and stress disorders including reactions to trauma, unipolar and bipolar mood disorders, substance abuse (abstinence-focused, Harm Reduction and SMART Recovery), mindfulness, existential concerns, relational and identity issues, and creating a safe and confidential space within which to explore personally meaningful issues.
Stories have always fascinated me. They have the power to move us emotionally, to educate and instruct, to entertain us, and to cultivate true compassion and empathy through the act of sharing a story with another. They are also a powerful vehicle for how we perceive, interpret, define and live our lives, yet sometimes it can be easy to forget that we can be the authors of our story, not just a character proceeding along some previously determined narrative.
(312) 313-0272 View (312) 313-0272
Photo of Myrna Abdel-Aziz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL
Myrna Abdel-Aziz
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, NCC, MA
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60613
I've worked to help individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder, relationship conflicts, life transitions, cultural, and self-esteem related issues.
Healing can be a daunting process and I believe no individual should have to go through it alone. The healing journey is unique to each person therefore I strive to create a warm, accepting, and collaborative environment through non-judgment and cultural humility. My main goal is to empower clients to recognize their own resilience despite the obstacles they face. Through a person-centered and diversity affirming lens, I work to create a positive dynamic with each client, meanwhile helping you recognize the impacts that your thoughts and behaviors have on your ability to lead a fulfilling life.
I've worked to help individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder, relationship conflicts, life transitions, cultural, and self-esteem related issues.
Healing can be a daunting process and I believe no individual should have to go through it alone. The healing journey is unique to each person therefore I strive to create a warm, accepting, and collaborative environment through non-judgment and cultural humility. My main goal is to empower clients to recognize their own resilience despite the obstacles they face. Through a person-centered and diversity affirming lens, I work to create a positive dynamic with each client, meanwhile helping you recognize the impacts that your thoughts and behaviors have on your ability to lead a fulfilling life.
(872) 713-9494 View (872) 713-9494
Photo of Brittney Brownfield, Counselor in Chicago, IL
Brittney Brownfield
Counselor, MS, LCPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60601
I enjoy working with people who are ready to explore their mental health, whatever that may be. I have worked with clients of all ages with many different diagnoses: Anxiety, Depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, etc. It takes a lot of bravery to begin therapy and I enjoy providing information and education, teaching coping skills, or just providing a space to talk and explore whatever struggle my client may be encountering. I am also passionate about working with children and helping them grow their understanding of themselves and help their families learn how to best support them.
I enjoy working with people who are ready to explore their mental health, whatever that may be. I have worked with clients of all ages with many different diagnoses: Anxiety, Depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, etc. It takes a lot of bravery to begin therapy and I enjoy providing information and education, teaching coping skills, or just providing a space to talk and explore whatever struggle my client may be encountering. I am also passionate about working with children and helping them grow their understanding of themselves and help their families learn how to best support them.
(312) 535-9128 View (312) 535-9128
Photo of Clint Zavakos, Counselor in Chicago, IL
Clint Zavakos
Counselor, LCPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Chicago, IL 60601
I have worked with clients from diverse backgrounds, supporting them with overcoming issues related to PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, relationship difficulties and addiction.
There are times in life where we all feel overwhelmed. Whether the day to day grind is wearing you down or overwhelming anxiety is making it difficult for you to leave the house, I am here to be on your side. I am a big believer that effective therapy is a collaborative effort between the client and the therapist and that healing is achieved by working together. I take an integrative approach to therapy, where I tailor the therapy to fit the needs of the client. I am also trained in EMDR therapy for trauma treatment and Gottman level 3 certified for couples work.
I have worked with clients from diverse backgrounds, supporting them with overcoming issues related to PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, relationship difficulties and addiction.
There are times in life where we all feel overwhelmed. Whether the day to day grind is wearing you down or overwhelming anxiety is making it difficult for you to leave the house, I am here to be on your side. I am a big believer that effective therapy is a collaborative effort between the client and the therapist and that healing is achieved by working together. I take an integrative approach to therapy, where I tailor the therapy to fit the needs of the client. I am also trained in EMDR therapy for trauma treatment and Gottman level 3 certified for couples work.
(872) 244-6367 View (872) 244-6367
Photo of Jay Callahan, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Jay Callahan
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, PhD, LCSW
Verified Verified
Chicago, IL 60601  (Online Only)
Welcome! Most people are resilient, most of the time, in facing life's problems. But there comes a time when almost everyone needs help. Stressful life events, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and other pressures are sometimes overwhelming. It's a strength to ask for help when you need it. I can help you explore in-depth understanding and insight, or develop strategies to cope with stress and change. I work with adults with depression, anxiety and panic, career and relationship issues, ADHD, bipolar disorder, stress management, grief, and traumatic stress.
Welcome! Most people are resilient, most of the time, in facing life's problems. But there comes a time when almost everyone needs help. Stressful life events, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and other pressures are sometimes overwhelming. It's a strength to ask for help when you need it. I can help you explore in-depth understanding and insight, or develop strategies to cope with stress and change. I work with adults with depression, anxiety and panic, career and relationship issues, ADHD, bipolar disorder, stress management, grief, and traumatic stress.
(312) 313-7831 View (312) 313-7831
Bipolar Disorder Therapists

What is the most successful approach to treating bipolar disorder?

Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, and a number of therapies have been found effective in providing support to patients as they gain the skills to understand and manage the disorder. Family-focused therapy is often helpful for children and teens (the majority of cases develop before age 19); it aims to minimize mood cycling by improving family communication and reducing conflict. It also helps young people navigate the developmental challenges the disorder can create. Cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) and variants such as Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)help patients manage the thoughts and feelings that influence bipolar mood swings as well as develop specific behavioral strategies to counteract them.

What happens in therapy for bipolar disorder?

Because the patterns of mood switching and its triggers differ for each person and can change over time, mood tracking or monitoring becomes a basic way patients learn about the nature of their condition. One of the most common features of therapy is finding a workable method of mood monitoring, in which patients track their daily activities and rate their moods, then use the findings to adjust routines accordingly. Patients learn ways of handling the many stresses that arise in life so that they do not trigger mood swings.

What kinds of problems does therapy help with?

Like many other mental health disorders, BPD is heavily influenced by stress; therapy provides skills for coping with stressors of all kinds. Therapy is extremely important for helping individuals identify the situations that may trigger mood switching, so that mood swings can be prevented. Therapy may especially target recognition of the early stages of mood change so that they can be managed. In addition, therapy helps patients deal with the significant amount of turbulence the disorder can create in relationships and in work life.

What is the goal of therapy for bipolar disorder?

Therapy helps patients set up their lives to maintain stability so that their mood isn’t constantly threatened by daily events. Perhaps the first task of therapy is to educate people about the nature of the disorder. At the same time, a primary goal of therapy is to enhance adherence to drug treatment. Extended periods of mood stability can prompt patients to discontinue medication, triggering relapse, while the early phases of manic episodes can feel so energizing that patients stop medication, ushering in full-blown mania and the altered self-perception that can lead to destructive behaviors. Another major goal of therapy is to understand one’s mood patterns so as to minimize both the frequency and intensity of mood cycling.