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Clinician and Caregiver Views on Therapy

July 10th, 2012

Medications + Therapy > Medications OR Therapy

Many parents or caregivers of a child with a mood disorder are familiar with this basic mental health 'equation', but we are also familiar with the phrase “Easier said than done”. For a variety of reasons, the therapy piece is often missing or ineffective. Only a few forms of therapy have been proven to be effective in helping our children gain wellness.

A recent study conducted by a team of researchers at Ohio State University under the direction of Mary Fristad, PhD, and in cooperation with The Balanced Mind Parent Network, addresses these challenges.

In Psychosocial Interventions for Youth with Bipolar Disorders: Combining Clinicians’ and Caregivers’ Perspectives, therapist members of the American Psychological Association were surveyed about their experiences in providing therapy to youth with bipolar spectrum disorders. Parents and caregivers of The Balanced Mind Parent Network were separately surveyed to assess their experiences in accessing and utilizing therapy for their children. The findings showed that although Multimodal and Individual Family Psychoeducational, Family Focused and Dialectic Behavioral therapies all have been tested in randomized, controlled trials and found to have demonstrated significant benefits, there are significant barriers that prevent many families from accessing these types of therapy. In fact, only 6 percent of Balanced Mind families surveyed receive family-based therapy, even though it's empirically the most effective form of treatment for youth with bipolar disorder.

To learn more about some of the therapeutic models discussed above, click the following links: A Psychoeducational Approach to Family Therapy: Comparing 3 Different Models, and a chat session with David Miklowitz, PhD, who developed the Family Focused Therapy model.

If your therapist is not familiar or trained int hese forms of therapy, consider discussing this workbook, which presents the first evidence-based psychological treatment for school-age with bipolar disorder or depression.

For guidelines on how to choose a therapist for your child, click here to read my recent article in the Summer, 2012 issue of Bp Magazine.

To subscribe to Bp Magazine at a substantial discount, make a donation of $50 or more to The Balanced Mind Parent Network.

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