Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder

Format: DVD [Closed Captioned]
Running Time: Over 100 minutes
Item #: 4310857
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0367-3
List Price: $99.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $69.95
Copyright: 2009
Availability: In Stock
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APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.

In Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder, Dr. David J. Miklowitz demonstrates a family-oriented approach to working with young clients with this diagnosis. Bipolar disorder manifests itself in drastic emotional highs and lows: People cycle between feeling elated and full of energy to states of severe depression. Diagnosing adolescents with this disorder can be especially difficult.

A family-oriented approach to working with this population involves examining the client's family context and how it affects the disorder, and how the disorder affects the family. Treatment often involves psychoeducation, working with the client's doctor or psychiatrist to adjust medication, and helping resolve family tensions that might exacerbate the client's symptoms through communication and problem-solving skills training.

In this session, Dr. Miklowitz works with a 17-year-old girl with both bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who has a history of self-harm. After assessing her family system and her other supports, Dr. Miklowitz helps the client identify the tools she has available to her for handling the different stages of her bipolar cycle.


This DVD demonstrates a psychoeducational approach to the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in adolescence. Psychoeducation involves not only the provision of information but also addressing patients' affective reactions to this information and their plans to implement lifestyle changes. Dr. Miklowitz begins the session by joining with the client and communicating that he appreciates who she is as a person, separate from the illness. He then helps the client identify key symptoms of bipolar disorder and what familial and social triggers set them off. Finally, he develops a relapse prevention plan—a "toolkit" to use when the client has these prodromal symptoms.

A goal of this DVD session is for the client to gain insight into the ways her bipolar disorder affects her family and social relationships, and in turn how those relationships affect her mood cycling.

This approach may be used with families and patients coping with bipolar I or II disorder in adolescence and adulthood. Dr. Miklowitz's and his colleagues' studies currently focus on clients who are between the ages of 13 and 17 and have had an episode of mood disorder within the past 3 months. Adults can be of any age, although some are disconnected from their families and therefore need to be seen individually.

Clients can have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or dependence, but this approach is generally not for treating clients who are actively abusing substances during treatment, especially if this abuse interferes with treatment sessions. Family treatment may be supplemented with a chemical dependency program

About the Therapist
David J. Miklowitz, PhD, is professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Colorado (Boulder and Health Sciences Center campuses), and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, England. He completed his undergraduate work at Brandeis University and his doctoral and postdoctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research focuses on family environmental factors and family psychoeducational treatments for adult-onset and childhood-onset bipolar disorder.

Dr. Miklowitz received the Joseph Gengerelli Dissertation Award from UCLA in 1986; Young Investigator awards from the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in 1987, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) in 1987; the Research Faculty Award from the University of Colorado in 1998; and the Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD in 2001. He is the recent recipient of the 2005 Mogens Schou Award for Research from the International Society for Bipolar Disorders. He has received funding for his research from the National Institute of Mental Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Robert Sutherland Foundation. He currently holds two major National Institute for Mental Health grants and two private foundation grants.

Dr. Miklowitz has published more than 170 research articles and book chapters on bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and three books, including The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, a bestseller. His articles have appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, the British Journal of Psychiatry, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Biological Psychiatry, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. His book with Michael Goldstein, Bipolar Disorder: A Family-Focused Treatment Approach, won the 1998 Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy. His book The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide is the second best-selling book on bipolar disorder, having sold over 150,000 copies. His latest book is titled The Bipolar Teen: What You Can Do to Help Your Teen and Family.

Suggested Readings
  • Miklowitz, D. J. (2002). The bipolar disorder survival guide. New York: Guilford Publications.
  • Miklowitz, D. J. (in press). Bipolar disorder: A family-focused treatment approach (2nd ed., revised). New York: Guilford Publications.
  • Miklowitz, D. J., Biuckians, A., & Richards, J. A. (2006). Early-onset bipolar disorder: A family treatment perspective. Development and Psychopathology, 18 (4), 1247–1265.
  • Miklowitz, D. J., & George, E. L. (2007). The bipolar teen: What you can do to help your child and your family. New York: Guilford Publications.

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