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Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers at NYU Langone’s Mood Disorders Consultation Service offer therapy to manage bipolar disorder in adults. Therapy is designed to help change beliefs or behaviors that lead to negative emotions, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat people with bipolar disorder. There are two aspects to this type of therapy—the cognitive component, which helps to change how a person views a situation, and the behavioral component, which helps to change how a person reacts to the situation.

This short term, problem-focused therapy is typically provided weekly in 1 hour sessions for 12 to 16 weeks. Therapy may last longer for people with more persistent symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be given alone or in combination with medication.

During therapy sessions, a person works with an NYU Langone therapist to learn how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence one another. The therapist explains how to test the reality of thoughts and perceptions and to manage symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help a person with bipolar disorder to recognize inappropriate thought patterns and change his or her behaviors.


Psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, involves meeting with a mental health professional to identify and work through the problems that may contribute to or result from bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy usually takes place one-on-one with an NYU Langone psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker.

Our therapists use a variety of techniques to manage bipolar disorder. These include relationship building between you and the therapist, discussing how the condition affects your daily life, and changing behavior to improve overall mental health.

Psychotherapy is often used in combination with medication to treat people with bipolar disorder. Our specialists provide ongoing care as frequently as necessary.

Our Research and Education in Bipolar Disorder

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.