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Adapting interpersonal and social rhythm therapy to the developmental needs of adolescents with bipolar disorder


Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is a manual-based adjunctive psychotherapy specific to the treatment of bipolar disorder. This paper reviews the theoretical rationale and empirical evidence for the efficacy of IPSRT in combination with pharmacotherapy for adults with bipolar I disorder. We then provide an overview of the developmental modifications being made to IPSRT to increase its relevance to adolescents with bipolar disorder.To protect confidentiality, case examples are composites of several different adolescents receiving IPSRT. Patients' real names were not used in this report. The authors are grateful to Elizabeth McCauley and Carolyn McCarty for their thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this article. We also thank Laura Mufson for her sage advice regarding the developmental adaptations being made to IPSRT to be more relevant to adolescents with bipolar disorder. This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD) Grants MH70570 (S.H.) and MH29618 (E.F.) and General Clinical Research Center Grant M01-RR00037.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Stefanie A. Hlastala, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, 4800 Sandpoint Way, NE, Mailstop W-3636, Seattle, WA 98103; E-mail:
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Development and Psychopathology
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