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Basic Principles of Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy in Bipolar Disorder

Gökben Hızlı Sayar, Eylem Özten, Barış Önen Ünsalver.

Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy is a psychotherapy modality that helps the patient recognize the relationship between disruptions in social rhythms and the onset of previous episodes of psychiatric disorders. It uses psychoeducation and behavioral techniques to maintain social rhythm and sleep/wake regularity. It is closely related to “social zeitgeber theory” that emphasizes the importance that social rhythm regularity may play in synchronization of circadian rhythms in individuals with or at risk for bipolar spectrum disorders. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy have been shown to stabilize social rhythms and enhance course and outcome in bipolar disorder. This review focuses on the theoretical principles and the basic steps of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy as a psychotherapy approach in bipolar disorder. PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar databases were searched without temporal restriction. Search terms included interpersonal social rhythm therapy, bipolar, mood disorders. Abstracts were reviewed for relevance, and randomized controlled trials of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy in bipolar disorder selected. These researches also summarized on the final part of this review.

Key words: bipolar, psychotherapy, social rhythm, circadian rhythm, sleep/wake regularity

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