I offer CBT therapy for Bipolar Disorder in my New York City office (virtual and in person). I have extensive experience helping clients with Bipolar Disorder to balance their mental health needs with the demands of a busy lifestyle. Treatment for Bipolar Affective Disorder requires a skilled therapist who can adjust therapy sessions based on the varying needs of the client from week to week.
The CBT therapy I offer is catered to the needs of people with a variety of mood disorders, including Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.
In order to better manage mood fluctuations, I focus on the following general therapeutic goals with my clients:
(1) To develop greater mood stability and a range of options for reacting to stressors.
Clients learn stress management techniques and develop a deeper awareness of personal triggers and the behavioral and cognitive options available to them.
(2) To “get out in front of changes in mood” by actively monitoring mood fluctuations and learning how to adjust effectively.
A more expanded version of my focus now follows…..
Five Ways Psychotherapy Will Help with Bipolar Symptoms
I help clients to create a toolbox of coping mechanisms for managing their Bipolar diagnosis.
My clients who find success in therapy with managing symptoms of Bipolar Affective Disorder usually attend weekly therapy sessions and are often, but not always, on medication. Here are five main areas of focus that I help clients with various manifestations of Bipolar Disorder to improve.
1. The primary way to manage manic, hypomanic and depressive symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder is to get in front of your symptoms.
This involves helping you to have the perspective to understand when you need to make changes to either fend off or accommodate fluctuations in your mood. Very often, this involves changing your routines, enlisting the support of others and processing painful thoughts and feelings successfully. Managing sleep is usually a part of this therapeutic goal of getting in front of symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. This is where I excel as a clinical psychologist. Clients have reported positive effects of this therapeutic goal.
2. Therapy for Bipolar Disorder involves deepening your understanding between thoughts, feelings and behaviors, as well as altering belief systems and irrational ideas that control personal choices and the interpretation of events.
This Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach enhances your ability to step back and better frame decisions made by you and the people in your life.
3. Stress management is a huge part of managing Bipolar Disorder and related conditions.
It appears that episodes of mania, hypomania and depression are often triggered by reactions to stress. I am careful here with my words. It’s not stress itself, but your reaction to stress. I help New Yorkers by teaching them stress management techniques.
4. Successful therapy for Bipolar Disorder includes helping you to establish a social rhythm.
That is, we will organize your relationships and daily routines so that you feel more personal predictability and a greater sense of control. We will analyze your interpersonal relations to gain greater perspective and behavioral options for managing the interface between your social, work, family and romantic relationships and fluctuations in your mood.
5. Compliance with therapy and the cadence established translates into success in managing stress and Bipolar symptoms.
In addition to a strong therapeutic bond with your psychologist, the greatest predictor of therapeutic success with managing Bipolar Affective Disorder is compliance with treatment.
More on Compliance with Therapy and Routines
A commitment to treatment is extremely important for people with certain manifestations of Bipolar Disorder.
Given that changes in mood heavily influence behavior and choices, compliance with both psychotherapy sessions and daily routines is directly connected to success with managing symptoms of Bipolar Affective Disorder. Of course, this does not apply to everyone, but when someone experiences a significantly depressed mood and feels like withdrawing into an idle state, there might be less motivation to attend a therapy session. Similarly, when manic or hypomanic symptoms are present, or when there is strong relief from a high or low, it might feel like there is no need for therapy. This problem with noncompliance in psychotherapy can sabotage progress.
I believe my success in treating people with Bipolar Disorder starts with the strong therapeutic relationship that I build with my clients. Having an experienced psychologist in your corner who serves as a collaborator, an ally, a coach, an analyst and a motivator can lend itself to a powerful therapeutic experience.
My patients tend to report a positive impact from the work we do, and the rhythm of the therapy really matters.
Bipolar Disorder and the Fast-Paced New York City Lifestyle
I am keenly aware that many New Yorkers are highly ambitious and intelligent. They also tend to be over-scheduled and live in extremes.
It is certainly not easy to manage disruptive mood fluctuations AND juggle a demanding job, relationship obligations, a busy family life and/or a commitment to your passions and hobbies. CBT therapy will help you to find as much balance as is possible given all of your obligations. When you’re in the throes of a depressive, manic or hypomanic episode, something has to temporarily give.
As a psychologist in New York City for over 20 years, I am an expert at helping clients manage the derailment of obligations and relationships caused by Bipolar symptoms.
Psychotherapy is a space to process your wishes, dreams, obligations, stress and fears…and their intersection with mood fluctuations.
Bipolar Disorder and the Presence of Other Emotional Challenges
CBT Therapy for Bipolar symptoms also takes into account the presence of other influences on your mind and body. Some people with intense or moderate mood fluctuations are also grappling with addiction, obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (Adult ADD) and other psychological challenges.
Psychotherapy takes into account all of these factors. I have helped hundreds of clients in my private practice with various forms of Bipolar Disorder over the past 17+ years and in hospitals and clinics before my practice.
I would be happy to help you if you’re ready for the commitment. Please feel free to reach out with any questions ([email protected]).
All the best!
Dr. KLearn More
There are many great benefits of Telehealth, but it’s important to choose the right CBT psychologist for online therapy. The key to caring for your mental health via a video screen is to choose a therapist who has the experience to create a similar therapeutic benefit online as you would receive in person.
This is not an easy accomplishment. It takes the right therapist to build a strong therapeutic relationship via online therapy. People underestimate this skill’s importance in creating change.
I have sincerely enjoyed providing telehealth services to clients as we all adjust to life under quarantined conditions.
The Benefits of Telehealth Services
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for everyone. I am currently working with clients to reduce coronavirus anxiety, improve relationships and marriages, process depression, grief and loss, manage new rules and conditions created by confined conditions, develop new habits, explore career changes, eliminate panic attacks, improve sleep and many more challenges.
Online therapy can be a powerful experience, especially when the timing is just right. That is, you’re ready to make changes.
Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy online will give you practical tools to get through the quarantine and beyond. I offer Enhanced CBT to my clients, which is a unique version of online therapy involving altering unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior, enhancing mindfulness skills and preparing you with concrete strategies to use in the face of emotional challenges.
CBT is more suitable for online therapy than many other forms of therapy because it is collaborative, practical and directly applicable. While other psychologists may focus on overanalyzing your past and the therapeutic relationship, I am in the present with you as a collaborator for personal change.
The Quarantine as an Opportunity to Care for Your Mental Health on a New Level
Given how life has temporarily changed for all of us, the quarantine represents a unique time to create new habits and patterns of thinking. I can help you to jumpstart a mental health initiative. Many things are hard to start under quarantine. Most of us have found that our expectations for personal change have been met with disappointment during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s very hard to cope, let alone make dramatic changes. Many people report feeling shame and self-critical thinking given how hard it is to begin a new habit while under quarantine.
This is where therapy online can help. We can work together to clear obstacles preventing you from beginning new personal initiatives. We can help you to reduce anxiety, stress, shame and more.
Please reach out if you have any questions.
Stay safe and healthy!
Dr. KLearn More