Psychotherapy, often referred to as talk therapy, is a major component of treatment of bipolar disorder and other mental conditions.

It can help people with bipolar disorder and their loved ones in a number of ways, including:

  • learning more about the illness
  • gaining a deeper perspective on the effects of bipolar disorder
  • managing the effects on people close to the patient

How does psychotherapy fit into your treatment?

Psychotherapy often plays an important role in the overall management of bipolar disorder. It’s almost always used in conjunction with other therapies, including medication and lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.

How does psychotherapy work?

There are a number of different types of psychotherapy, each focused on a distinct area or purpose. In general, this method of treatment attempts to improve people’s understanding of their own situation, thoughts, and behavior or their relationships with others.

Psychotherapy can be done one-on-one with a therapist or with groups of people who have similar issues or conditions. Psychotherapy involves discussing these issues. The patient is normally expected to do most of the talking.

The different types of psychotherapy include:

  • Single: This therapy involves a patient and therapist in a one-on-one private setting, often in the therapist’s office.
  • Group: Group therapy involves several people with similar conditions, or who are going through the same ordeal, such as the loss of a loved one or divorce.
  • Couples: Couples therapy involves a patient and their romantic partner. This therapy helps resolve issues in a relationship. If one partner has bipolar disorder, it can help the couple better understand how to handle the diagnosis together.
  • Family: Family therapy involves family members of someone with bipolar disorder or another condition. This type of therapy helps an entire family cope with an array of ordeals or issues.

Who can benefit from psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy can be used on people from a variety of age groups and backgrounds. Different types of psychotherapy are available to best suit a person’s needs.

Psychotherapy is offered by a number of entities, including hospitals and private offices. It’s commonly available to employees as part of a benefits package. In this case, it’s often referred to as an employee assistance program (EAP).

What are the side effects of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy doesn’t directly cause physical side effects. However, people who use psychotherapy should be willing to discuss their issues openly.


Psychotherapy is a widely available treatment that focuses on helping people understand their thoughts, behaviors, and relationships, and how these impact their mental health and overall life.