Bipolar disorder is characterized by frequent recurrences, often related to noncompliance with drug treatment, stressful life events, and disruptions in social rhythms. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) was designed to directly address these problem areas. This article discusses the circadian basis of IPSRT and the importance of stable daily routines in the maintenance of the euthymic state, as well as the two large controlled trials which empirically support this intervention. The authors discuss the advantages of IPSRT as an acute intervention, as well as a prophylactic treatment for both bipolar I and II disorder. Using a case example, the authors describe how IPSRT is implemented in a clinical setting, detailing the therapeutic methods and processes involved.
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