Group Therapy

Living with Bipolar Disorder Psychotherapy Group

Description:
Group psychotherapy is an effective form of psychotherapy which can be especially helpful for people who live with bipolar disorder. People who live with bipolar disorder frequently feel alone in their experience of living with the condition and with this often come to feel isolated, ashamed and alienated. This psychotherapy group can help reduce a person's sense of isolation and shame by providing an opportunity for the person to identify with and get support and feedback from other group members. The group is designed to help individuals with bipolar disorder more effectively live a healthy life. This psychotherapy group can assist members to more fully accept their diagnosis, explore ways of coping with mood instability, deal with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder and provide information about bipolar disorder. The group can also help members better understand themselves, work through psychological issues and resolve interpersonal difficulties (especially those related to living with bipolar disorder).

The Living with Bipolar Disorder Psychotherapy Group is led by psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Corpuel. The group is designed to have six to eight members. The group is gender inclusive and open to adults 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The group is an ongoing and open group with new members coming in and old members (who have completed therapy) leaving. While a variety of topics may be talked about in this group, the group discussion will primarily concentrate on members' experience of living with bipolar disorder. Potential group members must have a minimum of two individual sessions with Dr. Corpuel in order to assess their appropriateness for group, determine if group is a good fit for group and the member, and prepare the member for group psychotherapy. To schedule a screening session please contact PsychStrategies intake coordinator, Linda Broccolino, at 707 303-3243.

Structure:
The group meets for one and a half hours on Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:45. The group therapy will be divided into three sections: Agenda-taking, discussion and wrap-up. When new members are present, an introduction will take place at the beginning of group.

Group Rules:

  1. Everything talked about in group is confidential and stays in group. Group members may not reveal the names or identities of other group members. Members may talk with people outside the group about their own individual experience in group but may not talk about other group members or reveal any identifying information about other group members. The only confidentiality exceptions are the therapist's exceptions (dangerousness to self/others, reporting of child/elder/dependent abuse and court subpoena).
  2. Group must be a safe environment and group members will use words not physical actions to express themselves.
  3. Significant interactions with other group members outside of group are discouraged. However, if a significant outside interaction with another group member does occur the members must inform the group of the interaction.
  4. Regular attendance is expected in group.
  5. If a group member is going to be absent from group he or she is asked to notify the group of his or her absence with as much advanced notice as possible. Notification can occur in a prior group or by telephoning Dr. Corpuel.
  6. The fee for each group session is $55. (This fee may differ for group members whose insurance plans are contracted with PsychStrategies and Dr. Corpuel.)
  7. Since a group member's place in group cannot be filled by anyone else group members will be charged for missed sessions. Except for medical emergencies and three advanced scheduled vacation days per year group members will be charged for missed sessions from group.
  8. Since insurance companies will not pay for missed sessions group members must pay the full fee of the missed group session.
  9. The amount of the full fee for a group session is $55. This amount may change if there are changes in the group fee or reimbursement rates of a group member's insurance plan. If there is any change in the group fee Dr. Corpuel will discuss this with the group.
  10. Group members are to pay Dr. Corpuel their copays and fees for group sessions in advance by paying for all of the month's sessions before the first group session of each month.
  11. When group members are considering terminating the group they are asked to talk about this decision in group. If a member has decided to leave group he or she must inform the group of the termination at least 3 weeks before termination.

Expectations:
Group members: Members are asked to abide by group rules, be regular in their attendance, be on time for group, turn cell phones off before group, plan group agenda items prior to group, be willing to talk about the experience of living with bipolar disorder, listen to other group members, be as open and honest as possible, take appropriate risks in group, and help make group a safe environment.

Therapist: The therapist is responsible for creating a safe group environment, keeping the time and membership boundaries, helping members better understand and live with bipolar disorder, helping group members better understand themselves, helping members work through their psychological difficulties, and facilitating group members' insight through interpreting the group's "here and now" interactions.