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Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) is a special form of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) that was developed specifically for helping individuals with Bipolar Disorder. Although it can be offered to a person who is in the midst of an active Bipolar mood episode (Depressive, Hypomanic, Manic or Mixed Episode), it is more common for it to be started once a recent episode has stabilized, for its main purpose is to prevent further episodes from occurring.

IPSRT uses the same approach and techniques as IPT, but also addresses those factors that are known to lead to recurrence of Bipolar mood episodes, including improper use of medications, experiencing stressful life events, and disruptions in a person's social rhythms.

Regarding social rhythms, these include the basic elements of one's daily routine, such as sleep, meals, and various physical, leisure and work activities. What is important is the timing and regularity of these activities, and also the amount of stimulation they produce. Maintaining regular and stable social rhythms is important for keeping moods stable in Bipolar Disorder [ref], and so one of the main goals of IPSRT is to increase the regularity of patients' lives and their vigilance with respect to maintaining that stability.

IPSRT will also address the person's concerns and reservations about taking their medications, as well as their sense of loss that comes from having a chronic mental health condition. By addressing interpersonal problem areas, IPSRT also attempts to reduce the number and severity of life stressors that the person is likely to experience.