Family Therapy

Family therapy is a class of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. This type of therapy is often used to help manage bipolar disorder.

It can be used to help limit the stress of bipolar disorder, both on the person with the condition and their friends and family.

Psychotherapy is commonly used along with other treatments, such as medications. Together, these treatments help people with bipolar disorder manage their condition.

In general, talk therapy helps patients:

  • learn more about their illness
  • become more aware of its effect on themselves and the people around them
  • learn healthy ways to deal with their illness

How does family therapy fit into your treatment?

Bipolar disorder can strain the person who has the condition, as well as their family and friends. Family therapy is designed to help loved ones cope with a broad spectrum of problems, including mental illness in a family member.

How does family therapy work?

Family therapy not only focuses on the problems a family is facing. It also focuses on how its members communicate, interact, and deal with complications. The overall goals are to improve communication between the members, identify and counter unhealthy interactions, and find coping mechanisms.

If a family member has a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, the therapy will educate family members on how best to help their loved one.

Who can benefit from family therapy?

Family therapy is focused on families and their particular issues.

What are the side effects?

Talk therapy doesn’t have direct physical side effects. However, it usually involves discussing the patient’s issues in front of the therapist, and possibly a number of other people. In the case of family therapy, this means the patient could be talking about personal topics with relatives.

Psychotherapy is widely available through hospitals and private mental health practices. Many employers offer therapy through their employee assistance programs.


An illness like bipolar disorder not only affects the person who has it, but their loved ones as well. Family therapy can help a family dealing with bipolar disorder learn to better cope with the condition.