Psychological needs of adolescents in the early phase of bipolar disorder: implications for early intervention


Dr Craig A. Macneil, Early Psychosis Prevention & Intervention Centre, ORYGEN Youth Health, 35 Poplar Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia. Email:


Aim: This paper will describe the rationale for, and importance of, psychological interventions for young people early in the course of bipolar disorder.

Methods: Emerging literature in this field will be discussed in addition to describing specific clinical challenges and opportunities with this population.

Results: In order to be more developmentally appropriate for young people with bipolar disorder, eight aspects of clinical work which may require modification were identified.

Conclusions: The evidence base for the effectiveness of psychological interventions for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder is growing. However, some aspects relating to working with adults with bipolar disorder require modification to be effective in working with young people early in the course of the disorder.