CBT-IB: A Bipolar-Specific, All-Around Psychotherapy


CBT-I is a triad of sleep hygiene, standard CBT techniques, and sleep restriction therapy; these elements and a remarkable free app supporting their implementation were recently reviewed in my previous article for Psychiatric Times.

Two important differences in the CBT-IB version: sleep restriction is not allowed to be more than 6.5 hours per night, to prevent induction of manic or mixed states; and a regular bedtime is promoted, not “wait to go to bed until you are sleepy.”

Social rhythm therapy includes helping patients develop those regular schedules, especially a regular bedtime and a regular rise time. The latter can be facilitated with a dawn simulator, a form of chronotherapy that is far easier to use than a light box and very inexpensive.