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Am J Psychother. 1993 Winter;47(1):113-26.

Living with mania: a study of outpatient group psychotherapy for bipolar patients.

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Bethesda PsycHealth System, Denver, CO.


This article describes an outpatient group psychotherapy with fourteen bipolar patients. Contrary to previous pessimistic reports in the literature, the author demonstrates that group therapy with these patients is both feasible and beneficial, and that it contributes to an ameloriation of the natural course of this illness. Group psychotherapy, with its enhancement of medication compliance, effective challenge of denial mechanisms, and facilitation of increased awareness of internal and external stressors, can thus be an effective tool in the therapeutic armamentarium against the ravages of bipolar illness. Significant themes arising in the group, common defensive operations, and therapeutic techniques are discussed. In addition, phases of recovery and group development are reviewed in the context of relevant interventions. Treating bipolars in group therapy is a fascinating and rewarding experience, full of potential gains in understanding and influencing the course of this complicated illness.

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