Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy: a means of improving depression and preventing relapse in bipolar disorder

J Clin Psychol. 2007 May;63(5):463-73. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20371.


Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) was designed to directly address the major pathways to recurrence in bipolar disorder, namely medication nonadherence, stressful life events, and disruptions in social rhythms. The efficacy of IPSRT has been supported by two large studies examining it in conjunction with pharmacotherapy in patients with bipolar illness. In this article, the author discusses the advantages of IPSRT as both an acute intervention and a prophylactic treatment for bipolar depression. The author outlines the four phases of IPSRT, indicating the appropriate focus and duration for each, and discusses IPSRT as a modular treatment. The article concludes with a case example that further illustrates the basic therapeutic methods and processes of IPSRT.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Bipolar Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Psychotherapy / methods
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Social Behavior