There are several types of therapy for bipolar disorder: Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Focused Therapy (FFT), and a special type of therapy called Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), among others that I have articles about on my website devoted to bipolar disorder. .
IPSRT was developed by Ellen Frank, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the Western Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. The focus of this therapy is to help people with bipolar disorder in two ways:
The first way is to help them identify and maintain a regular routine to their day-to-day life. The second way is by helping them solve interpersonal issues and problems that directly impact that routine.
IPSRT is founded upon the belief that deprivation of sleep and interruption of the person's natural body rhythms (called circadian rhythms) can bring out bipolar symptoms – or, if they are already present, can make them worse.
This type of therapy uses techniques borrowed from both Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help people with bipolar disorder maintain their routines.
The therapist first helps the person understand about circadian rhythms and routine, and why it's important in their daily life – along with other bipolar maintenance activities; such as: eating; exercise; sleep; stress reduction; etc. The person is then taught how to track their moods every day.
Once the person has identified their daily routine, the therapist helps them to stay consistent with that routine and to deal with any problems or issues that arise that would affect their routine, such as stressful situations or bipolar symptoms.
An advantage to IPSRT is that it also teaches how to build better and healthier interpersonal relationships by teaching the person the required skills.
Research has shown that when this special type of therapy is used in combination with bipolar medication, people can establish and maintain a daily routine (including monitoring their moods), reduce bipolar symptoms, and have fewer episodes.