In many regions of the world, February is the month associated with the expression of love. We at IBPF encourage you to embrace yourself this month and practice self-love. Recognize your self-worth by focusing on self-love actions that celebrate you! Read here for helpful examples.

Next month, help us celebrate World Bipolar Day on March 30th. Our vision is to continue to bring awareness and to eliminate social stigma through our social media platforms. Check our website on March 1st for more details.

Warm wishes,
Susan Berger

Sign Up to Watch Our Next Live Webinar
Ketamine, Glutamate, And 
The Future Of Mood Disorders Therapeutics

With Dr. Sanjay Mathew

Wednesday, March 1 at 9am Pacific Time
Register here ( time zone converter at link)

In this webinar, Dr. Sanjay Mathew  will review the history of ketamine for the treatment of serious depressive disorders and other similar treatments in development.

This webinar will be recorded and posted here the following week. 
Check out our other upcoming webinars here

What happens when the therapist who treats bipolar disorder also suffers the same illness? This discussion covered the pros, cons, and dangers of this professional intersection of hurting and healing. Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Daniel Giers, leads you on his personal journey of Bipolar Disorder and treatment and the effects on his graduate school training and his professional work with fellow sufferers. Learn the ins and outs of how personal experience can help or harm the therapeutic connection. 

Tell us what you think! After you've watched the webinar, please take our  follow-up survey.

The information contained in or made available through this webinar cannot replace or substitute for the services of trained professionals in the medical field. We do not recommend any specific treatment, drug, food or supplement. International Bipolar Foundation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or received from International Bipolar Foundation.
Watch our archived webinars  here.

Featured Blogs
What is Family-Focused Therapy and why is it helpful and who does it help?

Each month, an expert from our Scientific Advisory Board will answer your questions about bipolar disorder research and treatment. 

This month's expert: 
David J. Miklowitz, Ph.D.

Question:  What is Family-Focused Therapy and why is it helpful and who does it help?
Family-focused therapy, or FFT, is an outpatient treatment for adults and children/adolescents coping with bipolar disorder (BD).  It is usually given in conjunction with mood stabilizing medications, and is meant for the person with BD and his or her parents, spouse, siblings, or extended relatives.  It is psychoeducational in the sense that people with BD and their relatives learn about the disorder and the early warning signs of new episodes, learn to recognize what are the person's symptoms vs. personality traits, and why taking medications and keeping regular routines are important.  In children and adolescents, the role of academic and family stressors in eliciting moods is emphasized. In later stages of FFT, families learn to cope with stress through communication and problem-solving skills training, such as role-playing ways to listen actively or ask positively for changes in one another's behavior. FFT can be most helpful when families have high criticism and conflict.  FFT can last between 12 and 21 sessions, with weekly sessions at first and then biweekly or monthly.
How is it effective for treating bipolar disorder in adults, adolescents or children?
In several randomized clinical trials, we have found that people with BD who get FFT and medications have better symptom outcomes over 1-2 years than people who get treatments such as brief psychoeducation or individual supportive therapy and medications.  The effects extend to young people with BD and children or adolescents who are at high risk for developing the disorder. People may get better from their symptoms faster, have less severe ongoing symptoms, or have fewer recurrences.  Many people also report a better quality of family relationships after FFT.

About Dr.  Miklowitz
David J. Miklowitz, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute, and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University. His research focuses on family environmental factors and family psychoeducational treatments for adult-onset and childhood-onset bipolar disorder.  His book with Michael Goldstein, Bipolar Disorder: A Family-Focused Treatment Approach (Guilford), won the 1998 Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy. His book "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" has sold over 200,000 copies, and is now out in a second edition.  Read his full biography   here

For more answers from our experts, visit our Sharecare page.


Does your child feel sad or hopeless? Do you feel challenged by your child's behavior and needs? IF SO, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A STUDY OF A SUPPORTIVE INTERVENTION FOR PARENTS OF YOUTH WITH MOOD CHALLENGES. 

Study Involves: 
8 weekly groups plus one check-in session in month 3, provided at no cost 
* One pre-group and two post-group research evaluations
* Participants will receive monetary compensation and free parking passes for research evaluations 
* Diagnostic evaluation for your child or teen, provided at no cost to participants (optional) 

Group provides: 
* Information about youth mood problems and ways to cope with mood swings and difficult behaviors 
* Instruction in mindfulness and meditation to help with parenting stress  

UCLA Semel Institute
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
760 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

For more information, please contact Danielle Denenny, Mindfulness Study Site Supervisor (310) 825-8740 or All calls are confidential. Calling to inquire about the study does not obligate you to participate. 

Mental Health Books
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About International Bipolar Foundation

International Bipolar Foundation is a not for profit organization based in San Diego whose mission  is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education. 

International Bipolar Foundation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or received from International Bipolar Foundation.

Visit us online for more information:

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