What Are Your Therapy Options for Bipolar Disorder?

There are several therapy options to consider when you have bipolar disorder, and I have tried a few of them and I’ll give my viewpoint on which one works. Your therapy options for bipolar disorder will also be down to personal preference and what is local to you; however, I have included a couple of online therapies which are highly rated.

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Therapy should be used in conjunction with medication to manage bipolar disorder, and the ones I have suggested have the best overall outcome for managing symptoms.

At the moment, what with the pandemic, many people seek therapy, and there are long waiting lists. If you find yourself at the end of an enormous list, consider the online treatments; they start from about £23.00 per week and are available worldwide.

1. Occupational Therapy

therapy options for bipolar disorder, a client and therapist

This is my favourite, and it is all about doing; when you attend occupational therapy, you will find the therapists are keen for you to become active in your life. Rather than sitting back and hoping the medication will do its job. I have attended many occupational therapy sessions, and they are usually in a group environment.

I have enjoyed the content of the course of treatment, and they usually last around about 8 to 12 weeks. You should do practical things during the gap in between sessions, and you gain the most benefit from this by doing them.

It uses a mixture of cognitive behavioural therapy and practical intervention by the teaching of new techniques. It is not just used with mental illness; it can help those in chronic pain, recovery from illness and those with learning disabilities.

2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

I’m currently studying to become a CBT therapist, so I am fond of this therapy. It works by focusing on what you can change now and helps you to develop new thought patterns and behaviours.

I have attended a few CBT sessions over the years, and each time it has helped me get past a barrier in my life. There are two types of sessions that last about 8 to 12 weeks designed for one specific issue, such as a fear-related response to something, or you have the longer courses of treatment that encompass a more in-depth approach.

The most popular is the shorter course, mainly because it is cheaper. Still, from my experience, it works if you only have one issue you are dealing with, such as fear of going outdoors or fear of developing a relationship.

As it is popular, the waiting lists in your area could be long; if this is the case, I recommend you try [AF] Online Therapy; they have great reviews on Trustpilot and work with clients worldwide. Their pricing starts at around £23.00 per week; you will need more than one session for cognitive behavioural therapy to be effective.

3. Counselling

I have found counselling to be useful after particularly traumatic events, and it is used by those experiencing grief, job loss and broken relationships. But it is beneficial for those with bipolar. As we tend to experience many emotions, sometimes these need to be discussed; counselling is perfect.

Known as talking therapy, you will find you are not offered solutions or techniques in managing things by the therapist. Still, instead, they often reflect back on to you, and the beauty is the answer is usually within you all the time. It’s just that it takes counselling to bring it out of you.

Once again, it is a popular service, and with the pandemic, many counsellors are fully booked, which means you should seek counselling online. I recommend [AF] Calmerry for its professional online counselling service.

4. Person-Centred Therapy

person-centred counselling, client lying down on couch and therapist sitting on edge of the couch.

If you are looking for a highly optimistic approach to your therapy, person-centred therapy is the best option. It is based on the client being the best expert in their life, and it will help you by improving your self-esteem and confidence. The basic premise in PCT is you are your own therapist, and you rationally work through what is wrong and put plans into effect to change the outcome; the therapist is the mediator between your negative beliefs and positive beliefs about yourself.

I haven’t tried PCT, but I hear it works really well for those who have been knocked side-ways by a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It can help you come to terms with your condition and give you the confidence to accept it as a lifelong illness.

You will find that you won’t be delving into the past. This is all about the present and improving your current self. Unlike the therapy below, psychotherapy, which focuses predominantly on history.

For this therapy to work, you need to like your therapist; if you don’t, it is not easy for it to work, so make sure you have a good rapport to get the most out of it.

5. Psychotherapy

As already stated, psychotherapy looks back to your past as this is where things begin. It is not helpful if you have suddenly developed a phobia, but it is good in searching for a reason behind your patterns of behaviour.

Psychotherapy usually takes time, and it is a very in-depth approach to looking at the reasons as to why you are the way you are. I have not tried this approach, but I would like to. As for its effectiveness regarding bipolar, it is helpful in coming to terms with your diagnosis as things in your past pinpoint the onset of the disorder.

It is also helpful in understanding why you behave in a certain way and how this could be retrained to more positive behaviour. Admittedly the bipolar mind is chemically wayward, and learning about past behaviours may not help current behaviours. Still, psychotherapy can help you to move forward once you come to terms with your history.

In Conclusion

I hope these outlines of the therapy options for bipolar disorder help you to choose the best one for yourself. I prefer the first two, as they have helped me no end; in fact, I still use the mental tools developed during the sessions to allow me to function daily.


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Lou Farrell

Hi and welcome to Mentriz, where all manner of mental health issues are discussed, from anxiety to bipolar disorder. You can find what you are looking for by using the search function at the top of the screen. All articles are for information purposes and do not replace the advice of a doctor. I hope you find the website helpful and if you have a suggestion, please contact me.

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