Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is a therapy in which attention is paid to the daily structure and creating an adequate balance. Important elements are: a regular sleep pattern, plenty of daily activities, good meals and social contacts.
Social rhythm means: the pattern of daily activities, social contacts, relaxation, effort, sleep, etc. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy assumes that the daily rhythm, the degree of interaction with others and sufficient balance in activities and relaxation affect a person’s mood. Research has shown that problems related to sleeping, eating and activities have a major impact on mood disorders, such as mania and depression. Finding a good balance is therefore extra important for people who are sensitive to (heavy) mood swings.
The goal of the therapy is thus to find a rhythm that fits the patient and has a good effect on his or her mood.
IPSRT is suitable for patients with a bipolar disorder, which has not yet been stabilized.
The therapy starts with an individual interview, followed by a series of periodic group meetings.
IPSRT aims to find an appropriate rhythm and optimal balance with the ultimate goal: achieving increased mood stability. A stable social rhythm reduces the chance of a relapse in manic and/or depressive episodes.
- During the therapy, the patient is asked to keep a kind of diary, so the therapist can easily see, together with the patient, his or her rhythm. For example, if people sleep too much, work irregular, are too busy or just bored, this can have a major impact on the mood. The patient can also be requested to keep a record of his or her mood throughout the day.