Virtuous Circle Counselling

woman with bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder Therapy at Virtuous Circle Counselling

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a complex mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings, including episodes of extreme highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). These episodes can cause significant distress and disruption in an individual’s life, affecting relationships, job or school performance, and overall well-being. While medication is a common and often necessary treatment for bipolar disorder, therapy plays a crucial role in managing the symptoms, addressing underlying issues, and improving overall quality of life. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of bipolar disorder therapy and how it can help individuals affected by this condition. We will also discuss the specialized treatment options available at Virtuous Circle Counselling, a leading provider of Calgary counselling services.

Bipolar disorder therapy typically involves a combination of evidence-based therapeutic approaches tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by individuals with this condition. Psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT), and family-focused therapy (FFT) are among the most common and effective methods for treating bipolar disorder. Each approach plays a unique role in helping manage symptoms, build coping strategies, and develop healthy routines for emotional and psychological well-being.

Seeking therapy for bipolar disorder can provide a wide array of benefits. It can help individuals recognize the early warning signs of mood episodes and develop strategies to manage or even prevent these episodes from occurring. Furthermore, therapy can strengthen healthy communication skills and relationships with others, thereby reducing potential triggers and stressors in the client’s life. It also provides a supportive and confidential setting where individuals can explore their emotions and experiences without judgement.

Here at Virtuous Circle Counselling, our team of highly trained and experienced therapists recognizes the challenges faced by those with bipolar disorder and is committed to providing the best possible care, resources, and support for our clients. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options tailored to each client’s unique needs and goals, focusing on enhancing their well-being and creating a happier, healthier life. Continue reading to delve deeper into bipolar disorder therapy and how Virtuous Circle Counselling can provide the appropriate support for success in symptom management and overall well-being.

Common Therapeutic Approaches for Bipolar Disorder

Various evidence-based therapy approaches have proven effective for individuals with bipolar disorder. Some of the most common approaches include:

  1. Psychoeducation: This approach aims to provide clients with in-depth knowledge about bipolar disorder, its symptoms, and management strategies. An informed understanding of the condition can help individuals recognize early warning signs, adhere to treatment plans, and cope more effectively with the challenges associated with bipolar disorder.
  2. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on identifying and modifying distorted thought patterns and behaviours that exacerbate mood episodes. It encourages clients to become aware of their thinking patterns and teaches them how to challenge and change negative thoughts, leading to enhanced mood stability and better symptom management.
  3. Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT): IPSRT combines the principles of interpersonal therapy with a focus on establishing regular daily routines and healthy sleep patterns. This approach helps clients manage mood swings by addressing interpersonal issues and creating a consistent routine that supports emotional stability.
  4. Family-Focused Therapy (FFT): FFT provides education, support, and skill-building to both individuals with bipolar disorder and their families. This approach aims to improve communication, reduce stress, and strengthen family relationships, ultimately creating a more supportive environment for the affected individual.

Integrating Medication Management and Therapy

In many cases, individuals with bipolar disorder require a combination of medication and therapy to achieve optimal symptom management. Medication, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, can help regulate mood swings and alleviate symptoms. However, medication alone may not be sufficient for comprehensive symptom management and long-term stability.

Therapy enhances the effectiveness of medication by providing the tools and strategies necessary for individuals to cope with their symptoms, manage stressors, and build a support system. Therapists at Virtuous Circle Counselling collaborate with clients, their families, and any other involved mental health professionals to create a cohesive, integrated treatment plan. This integrative approach aims to foster the best possible outcomes for clients with bipolar disorder.

The Role of Therapy in Relapse Prevention and Crisis Management

One of the most significant benefits of therapy for individuals with bipolar disorder is its role in preventing relapses and helping clients navigate times of crisis. Therapists can teach clients how to:

  1. Identify early warning signs: By recognizing the triggers of mood episodes, clients can learn to take action before symptoms escalate, leading to better long-term management of their condition.
  2. Develop coping strategies: Clients can learn various techniques to help them manage stress and prevent potential mood episodes. Examples include mindfulness practices, healthy sleep hygiene, and maintaining a consistent daily routine.
  3. Create a crisis management plan: A crisis management plan outlines practical steps to take when a mood episode occurs or worsens, providing clients and their families with guidance on communicating with healthcare providers, accessing support, and ensuring safety during a crisis.
  4. Build a strong support network: Therapy can help clients to create and maintain a network of trusted friends, family members, and mental health professionals who can offer support, encouragement, and assistance, particularly during times of crisis.

How Virtuous Circle Counselling Supports Clients in their Bipolar Disorder Therapy Journey

At Virtuous Circle Counselling, we are dedicated to providing exceptional care, tailored to the unique needs of our clients with bipolar disorder. Our experienced therapists offer:

  1. Customized treatment plans: We create individualized plans using evidence-based therapeutic techniques designed to address each client’s specific challenges.
  2. Flexibility in scheduling: We understand the importance of accessibility to quality mental health services and offer flexible appointment options to accommodate busy schedules and evolving needs.
  3. A compassionate, non-judgmental environment: Our therapists are committed to creating a safe, supportive, and nurturing space for clients to explore their feelings and share their experiences openly.
  4. Collaboration with other professionals: We work closely with psychiatrists, general practitioners, and other healthcare providers as required, ensuring that our clients receive collaborative, comprehensive care.


Bipolar disorder therapy plays a crucial role in managing symptoms, improving the quality of life, and supporting individuals as they navigate the challenges associated with this complex mental health condition. By opting for therapy at Virtuous Circle Counselling in Calgary, individuals with bipolar disorder can receive tailored, compassionate care featuring evidence-based therapeutic approaches and integrated treatment plans. Our team of highly-trained therapists is committed to helping clients achieve stability and improved well-being, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives and forge healthy relationships. Engaging with therapy, in conjunction with medication management and counselling in Calgary, provides the tools and support necessary to effectively manage bipolar disorder and build a brighter, more stable future.

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We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.