Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Bipolar Disorder in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Sheri L. JohnsonEmail author
  • Ben Swerdlow
  • Jennifer Pearlstein
  • Kaja McMaster
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_441


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychological disorder characterized by symptoms of mania. The diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association recognizes three major forms of bipolar disorder, all defined by manic symptoms of varying severity and duration (American Psychiatric Association 2013). Bipolar I disorder is defined by at least one lifetime episode of mania and may include episodes of depression. Bipolar II disorder is characterized by both hypomania and major depressive episodes. Cyclothymic disorder is defined by high and low moods that are present at least 50% of the time for more than 2 years but do not fulfill diagnostic criteria for mania or hypomania. Mania and hypomania, in turn, are defined as an elevated or irritable mood accompanied by an increase in energy that involves three of nine additional symptoms, such as decreased need for sleep, increased goal-directed activity, flight of ideas, and pressured speech (American Psychiatric...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Davenport, Y. B., Ebert, M. H., Adland, M. L., & Goodwin, F. K. (1977). Couples group therapy as an adjunct to lithium maintenance of the manic patient. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 47, 495–502.Google Scholar
  3. Fristad, M. A., Verducci, J. S., Walters, K., & Young, M. E. (2009). Impact of multifamily psychoeducational psychotherapy in treating children aged 8 to 12 years with mood disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66, 1013–1021.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Kleinman, L., et al. (2003). Costs of bipolar disorder. PharmacoEconomics, 21, 601–622.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lam, D., Donaldson, C., Brown, Y., & Malliaris, Y. (2005). Burden and marital and sexual satisfaction in the partners of bipolar patients. Bipolar Disorders, 7, 431–440.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-5618.2005.00240.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. McGuffin, P., Rijsdijk, F., Andrew, M., Sham, P., Katz, R., & Cardno, A. (2003). The heritability of bipolar affective disorder and the genetic relationship to unipolar depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(5), 497–502.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.60.5.497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Merikangas, K. R., Akiskal, H. S., Angst, J., Greenberg, P. E., Hirschfeld, R. M. A., Petukhova, M., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(5), 543–552.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.64.5.543.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Miklowitz, D. J., George, E. L., Richards, J. A., Simoneau, T. L., & Suddath, R. L. (2003). A randomized study of family-focused psychoeducation and pharmacotherapy in the outpatient management of bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 904–912.Google Scholar
  9. Miklowitz, D. J., & Johnson, S. L. (2009). Social and familial factors in the course of bipolar disorder: Basic processes and relevant interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 16(2), 281–296.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2850.2009.01166.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Miklowitz, D. J., Goldstein, M. J., Nuechterlein, K. H., Snyder, K. S., & Doane, J. A. (1986). EE, affective style, lithium compliance, and relapse in recent onset mania. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 22, 628–632.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Miller, I. W., Keitner, G. I., Ryan, C. E., Uebelacker, L. A., Johnson, S. L., & Solomon, D. A. (2008). Family treatment for bipolar disorder: Family impairment by treatment interactions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69(5), 732–740.  https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.v69n0506.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Smoller, J. W., & Finn, C. T. (2003). Family, twin, and adoption studies of bipolar disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics, 123C(1), 48–58.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.20013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Young, M. E., Galvan, T., Reidy, B. L., Pescosolido, M. F., Kim, K. L., Seymour, K., & Dickstein, D. P. (2013). Family functioning deficits in bipolar disorder and ADHD in youth. Journal of Affective Disorders, 150(3), 1096–1102.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheri L. Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ben Swerdlow
    • 1
  • Jennifer Pearlstein
    • 1
  • Kaja McMaster
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  • Allen Sabey
    • 2
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA