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Integration of Pharmacotherapy and Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, and Millie C. Astin, PhD

Published: July 31, 2000

Article Abstract

There is no question that pharmacotherapy is the treatment of choice for bipolar disorder. However,an integration of psychotherapeutic techniques with pharmacotherapy has been recommendedby the American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Psychotherapyaims to address risk factors and associated features that are difficult to address with pharmacotherapyalone. The most common psychotherapeutic approaches added to pharmacotherapy forbipolar disorder include psychoeducation, individual cognitive-behavioral therapy, marital and familyinterventions, individual interpersonal therapy, and adjunctive therapies such as those for substanceuse. Each of these approaches is described in detail, and research regarding their efficacy is presented.

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