Enhancing the psychological treatment of bipolar disorder

Enhancing the psychological treatment of bipolar disorder with Wellbeing Plans Workshop will be presented by Dr Kristine Kafer, Clinical Psychologist/Psychology Program Developer, Black Dog Institute at the

The 15th International Mental Health Conference at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise on Wednesday the 27th of August

International Mental Health

Bipolar disorder is an intriguing and disabling psychiatric disorder. It is possibly one of the only psychiatric conditions where sufferers actually crave the return of some of the symptoms. It has one of the highest rates of suicide, with a lifetime risk of 15% (accounting for 12% of all Australian suicides). It is also has high rates of morbidity, rated by the World Health Authority as the 6th leading cause of disability.

The contribution of psychological interventions to lifelong management of the disorder has now been recognised as an essential adjunct to pharmacological intervention. Traditional psychological approaches have included psychoeducation, symptom monitoring and relapse prevention. There is growing awareness that there is significant benefit to widening the scope of intervention to focus on overall wellbeing. This constitutes a shift from focusing on techniques for avoiding illness to developing lifestyle-enriching strategies that will last a lifetime.

This workshop is based on our experiences at the Black Dog Institute Psychology Clinic using Wellbeing Plans to prevent relapse and increase resilience in bipolar disorder. Wellbeing Plans empower clients to take responsibility for the management of the illness and provide a structure from which to learn from any relapses. This also has implications for managing suicidal ideation which is a significant aspect of bipolar disorder. The development of Wellbeing Plans assumes a collaborative approach  involving  health professionals, family and friends.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the role of psychological interventions in treatment of Bipolar disorder
  • Practical skills in developing Wellbeing Plans
  • Understand how Wellbeing Plans complement and can be integrated into current psychological treatment
  • Understand the key components to Wellbeing Plans
  • Work through a format to development a Wellbeing Plan
  • Interactive learning strategies:
  • Small and large group discussion
  • Case studies based on actual clients
  • Experiential exercise developing Wellbeing Plan based on case studies

Who should attend: Mental health professionals

Workshops – Wednesday 27th August

Half day workshops are FREE to the first 100 Full Registration delegates. Delegates MUST register their interest in attending a workshop. Failure to register for a workshop will be acknowledged as the delegate does not wish to attend a workshop and subsequently will not be included.

Bookings can be made via the registration page.


One Comment:

  1. Lyn Pepper-Budge

    Is there an opportunity for someone whose former spouse has Bipolar disorder to talk about the collateral damage? From my experience, being told repeatedly by doctors, lawyers and financial institutions that “I have never seen anything like this before” and that “this is the worst collateral damage I have ever seen” indicates an urgent need for greater education about the realities of Bipolar behaviours and the need to heed the information being given by the sufferer’s spouse to the Psychiatrist. If it would help prevent another family going through the Hell we have done, I will willingly share our experience and the suggestions I have to improve outcomes.

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