616 – Advances in Treating the Bipolar Client

Beyond Medication
Chris Aiken

There’s much debate about bipolar disorder—both how to diagnose it and the role of non-pharmacological approaches in its treatment. Recently, however, there have been important advances that can help clinicians more accurately diagnose this condition as well as treatment approaches that go beyond the limited effectiveness of traditional talk therapy. This workshop will focus on the key variables in making an assessment and the latest innovations in treatment. You’ll explore:

  • Client education resources that explain bipolarity as part of a mood spectrum rather than a yes/no diagnosis
  • The common ingredients in five psychotherapy approaches for bipolar disorder that have been shown to be effective, including PsychoEducation, CBT, Social Rhythm Therapy, Family Focused Therapy, and Chronotherapy
  • How Dark Therapy and Chronotherapy have been shown to help bipolar clients develop regular bed and rise times as a central intervention in treatment


Chris Aiken, M.D., is the Director of the Mood Treatment Center and Instructor in Clinical Psychiatry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has published original research on treatment and diagnosis of mood disorders and is the coauthor of Bipolar, Not So Much (WW Norton, 2017). His writing focuses on natural and lifestyle methods that enhance recovery from mood disorders..

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