Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe mood disorder characterized by episodes of depression and hypomania or mania. Despite its primarily biological roots, the onset and course of the disorder have also been related to psychosocial factors such as early adverse experiences and related maladaptive schemas. Several researchers proposed a schema therapeutic model to treat patients with BD. In this paper, we further develop the theoretical model and elaborate on seven elements that were found effective in the psychosocial interventions with individuals with BD: monitoring mood and early symptoms of relapse, recognizing and management of stressful situations and interpersonal conflicts, creating a relapse prevention plan, stabilizing the sleep/wake cycle and daily routine, encouraging the use of medication, and reducing self-stigma and substance use. Apart from that, we describe the elements of the schema work with patients who suffer from BD. Illustrative clinical cases accompany the theoretical framework. The research of the schema therapy with patients with severe mental illnesses has only recently started developing. The presented paper also aims to encourage further research in this area and highlight potentially beneficial research goals.
© 2022 Ociskova et al.