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Taming the Swings: Cognitive Therapy of Bipolar Disorder 

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Cory F. Newman, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Among the dozens of articles, chapters and books that Dr. Newman has published on cognitive therapy, he is the principal author of the leading book for practitioners, Bipolar Disorder: A Cognitive Therapy Approach. Dr. Newman is highly active as a therapist and was named one of the city’s “Best Therapists” by Philadephia Magazine. He is also a recipient of the Earl Bond award for outstanding mentoring and training of Psychiatry residents and Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. Dr. Newman is a popular and experienced international lecturer. He has presented countless workshops on cognitive therapy throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America.

In the current video, Dr. Newman discusses the critical issues that must be addressed when working with Bipolar patients – including the many losses that most bipolar patients suffer (e.g., educational opportunities and relationships), grief, and stigma. He teaches viewers how to work with the grossly hyper-positive thoughts and self-contemptuous thoughts that commonly coexist in bipolar patients. Comorbidity, suicidality, and how to help patients find purpose and meaning in suffering are addressed.

Emphasis is placed on teaching patients to recognize early symptoms of a mood episode (prodromes) so they can take appropriate action to avert or mitigate the oncoming period of acute illness. How to address the patient’s objections to medication, their desire to feel “high” (i.e., manic or hypomanic), and inter-episode symptoms also receive attention. Lifestyle changes to reduce the frequency of episodes are discussed as are ways to help patients reduce the amplitude of mood swings.

Dr. Newman teaches techniques to help patients reduce their impulsivity and counteract distractibility and disorganization. The use of behavioral experiments and reverse role-playing are described. Dr. Newman also summarizes the latest research concerning the efficacy of cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder.

This video contains extended clips of Dr. Newman demonstrating his therapeutic techniques.



1) Viewers will be able to teach bipolar patients how to recognize the difference between “normal good moods” and the onset of mania or hypomania.

2) Viewers will be able to use cognitive therapy techniques to address patients’ concerns about medication.

3) Viewers will be able to describe an important misconception that is frequently maintained by family members of bipolar patients.

4) Viewers will be able to summarize the state of empirical evidence concerning the efficacy of cognitive therapy with bipolar patients.

This program is appropriate for a broad range of mental health professionals including psychologists, social workers, and counselors. It assumes familiarity with the basic principles of cognitive behavior therapy but does not assume expertise in CBT or Bipolar Disorder.

CE credit: 3.5 hours

Dr. Newman does not receive funding from any corporate or private entities.

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