Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy

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Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) or simply social rhythm therapy is a type of behavioral therapy used to treat the disruption in circadian rhythms that is related to bipolar disorder. IPSRT provides a biopsychosocial model for bipolar disorder and recognizes that the illness cannot be fully treated with medication alone, although it is biologically based. It postulates that stressful events, disruptions in circadian rhythms and personal relationships, and conflicts arising out of difficulty in social adjustment often lead to relapses.

The idea was developed by Ellen Frank, PhD at the University of Pittsburgh who published a book on her theories: Treating Bipolar Disorder, a Clinician's Guide Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy. She found that solving interpersonal problems and maintaining regular daily rhythms in activities such as sleeping, waking, eating, and exercise can increase quality of life, reduce symptoms, and help prevent relapse. In most cases, the patients continue to receive medications.


  • Frank, Ellen; David J. Kupfer; Michael E. Thase; Alan G. Mallinger; Holly A. Swartz; Andrea M. Fagiolini; Victoria Grochocinski; Patricia Houck; John Scott; Wesley Thompson; Timothy Monk (September 2005). "Two-Year Outcomes for Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy in Individuals With Bipolar I Disorder". Archives of General Psychiatry. 62 (9): 996–1004. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.9.996. PMID 16143731.
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy: managing the chaos of bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry, Volume 48, Issue 6, Pages 593-604 E. Frank
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy proven to be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder
  • News Medical - Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy is helpful to many people with bipolar disorder

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