Family-focused treatment for bipolar disorder in adults and youth.
Morris CD., Miklowitz DJ., Waxmonsky JA.
Levels of familial expressed emotion during an acute episode are consistently associated with rates of recurrence among bipolar patients. This article briefly reviews the evidence for expressed emotion (EE) as a prognostic indicator and then illustrates family-focused treatment (FFT) with adults and adolescents suffering from bipolar disorder. FFT is a time-limited, modularized treatment consisting of psychoeducation, communication enhancement training, and problem-solving skills. Controlled trials indicate that FFT is an efficacious adjunct to pharmacotherapy for patients with bipolar disorder. We describe its recent application to early onset bipolar patients and include a clinical vignette.