Bipolar Disorder: Psychosocial Treatment Strategies



Lauren M. Weinstock, PhD
May 3, 2018
- 1 pm
Bipolar Disorders

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Identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 causes of disease burden worldwide, bipolar disorder is a serious, disabling, and highly recurrent illness that is marked by significant functional impairment.

Clinical management of bipolar disorder is complicated by challenges in the accurate identification and diagnosis of the illness, and the need for clinicians to intervene on the level of both major depressive and (hypo) manic episodes, in acute and maintenance phases of care. Treatment can be further complicated by the presence of other disorders that frequently co-occur with bipolar disorder (e.g., anxiety, substance use disorders), and the high risk for suicide encountered among those with the illness.

Guided by the clinical research literature, published treatment guidelines emphasize the role of pharmacotherapy as the first-line treatment option for individuals with bipolar disorder, but also highlight the important role that adjunctive psychosocial interventions play in both the acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

In this webinar, Dr. Weinstock provides an overview of evidence-based psychosocial treatment strategies for bipolar disorder, focusing on common elements as well as unique intervention components that cut across treatment models, in addition to promising new directions of care that are under development. She also provides an overview of factors that complicate initial identification of bipolar disorder, with the goal of expediting time between initial presentation for treatment and the delivery of appropriate care.

At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the challenges frequently encountered in the assessment and diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and their consequences for the delivery of evidence-based care;
  2. Summarize the data supporting the use of adjunctive psychotherapies for bipolar disorder, with a particular focus on polarity-specific indications and outcomes; and
  3. Demonstrate an increased familiarity with the fundamental components of evidence-based psychotherapies for bipolar disorder, as well as emerging models of care currently under investigation.
Presenter(s) Biography

Lauren M. Weinstock, PhD


Dr. Lauren M. Weinstock, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she holds clinical appointments at Butler Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, and the Providence VA Medical Center. She is also a faculty affiliate at the Brown Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights.

Dr. Weinstock’s program of research is focused on the development and evaluation of adjunctive behavioral interventions for bipolar disorder and suicide prevention, particularly around vulnerable transitions in care (e.g., from inpatient to outpatient treatment, across the perinatal period, and from criminal justice to community settings). Complementing this work is research focused on elucidating the continuum between unipolar and bipolar mood disorders, using both statistical and experimental approaches, and studies on the clinical management of bipolar disorder (e.g., diagnostic processes, use of polypharmacy) in routine care.

Dr. Weinstock’s early clinical research training was funded by numerous awards, including pre-doctoral and postdoctoral NIMH National Research Service Awards, an NIMH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award, and a Young Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. More recently, her research has received support from NIMH, the NIH OBSSR, NIJ, the VAHS, and the Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Alternative Treatment Foundation. 

Dr. Weinstock is currently the Co-President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Bipolar Disorders Special Interest Group, is on the editorial board for the journal Behavior Therapy. She has served on several national and international workgroups tasked with generating recommendations concerning effective assessment and treatment of bipolar disorder and suicide risk. 

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