Is psychodynamic psychotherapy a useful approach in treatment of bipolar disorder? A review of research, actualization of technique and clinical illustrations
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praktyka prywatna
Submission date: 2019-05-03
Final revision date: 2019-08-17
Acceptance date: 2019-08-17
Online publication date: 2021-02-28
Publication date: 2021-02-28
Corresponding author
Lech Kalita   

praktyka prywatna
Psychiatr Pol 2021;55(1):145-170
The author attempts to describe a role of psychodynamic psychotherapy in treatment of bipolar disorder. A general role of psychological interventions in treating this illness is sketched, highlighting the approach of combining psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment as the most common perspective. Recent research data on effectiveness of various psychotherapies in treating BD is presented. Conclusions from review suggest that intervention should be tailored to specifics of BD rather than limited to any single therapeutic modality. A brief review of psychoanalytic concepts regarding BD suggests little practical usefulness of aclassic psychodynamic approach, based on concept of improvement through insight into repressed content. Another, contemporary approach is described, which underlines the need to attune level of work to the psychotic functioning and might be better suited to conclusions from reviewed research. A particular focus is put on concepts of psychoanalytically oriented psychiatrists: Richard Lucas, Riccardo Lombardi and Franco De Masi. On the basis of these concepts changes in technique are introduced to actualize the psychodynamic technique to achieve better fitting to needs of patients suffering from bipolar disorder, which is in most cases characterized by psychotic states. Author’s ideas are illustrated with clinical examples.
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