UCSF Psychoeducation Group for Bipolar Spring 2016

UCSF Group Psycho-Education for Bipolar Disorder

The Adult Psychiatry Clinic at UCSF has released the schedules of their Group Psycho-Education for Bipolar Disorder for January 2016. This activity under the Bipolar Disorder Program of the Department of Psychiatry is aimed at providing a community resource for individuals with bipolar disorder, mental health professionals and psychiatrists. Headed by Dr. Descartes Li, the program director, it is designed to augment the treatment of bipolar disorder and to help fill the needs due to the increased number of referrals from the community.

Dr. Li describes the group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.” Potential members for this group are individuals who are undergoing treatment and must be referred by their treating psychiatrist. Some of the topics covered in the sessions are:

  • Self Awareness and Mood Charting
  • Medications: How to Get the Most (and Least) out of Your Meds
  • Sleep Management
  • Communication Skills and Stigma
  • Psychotherapy of Bipolar Disorder

The first meeting starts on January 25th 2015.  It runs for eight sessions, Mondays, from 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm at the UCSF Parnassus Campus.

Please take note that there is a fee for these sessions however insurance may cover most or all of the expenses involved. For more information, you may contact Dr. Li at 415 476-7448.

Please refer to the calendar of activities below for more details.

UCSF Group Psycho-Education for Bipolar

DBT for Bipolar Group

DBT for Bipolar Jenifer CulverWe are very happy to pass this information on about a great group for people with bipolar being offered in the bay area by an expert in the psychosocial treatments for bipolar: Dr. Jenifer Culver.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder in Los Altos, CA. The Next group begins September 2015.

This group focuses on teaching DBT skills tailored for individuals with bipolar disorder. Group members will learn skills to better manage moods and emotions. This group is broken into three 14-week modules focused on improving emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Mindfulness skills are a central focus of all three modules and are repeated in each group. This group is intended to complement individual therapy and medication treatments. New groups begin every 14 weeks.

This group is facilitated by Jenifer Culver, Ph.D. Dr. Culver has been treating individuals with bipolar disorder individually and in groups for over 15 years.

She has worked at the Stanford University Bipolar Disorders Clinic since 2003, and she has conducted this DBT group for Bipolar Disorder at Stanford continuously for the past 12 years. She is now shifting into full time private practice and continues to offer this group in her private practice in Los Altos.

  • Dates/Times: Thursday afternoons, Los Altos/Palo Alto area
  • Format: Didactics, discussion, mindfulness practice, homework, and mood monitoring
  • Fee: Intake: $215, weekly sessions: $100
  • Next group begins: September 2015

Duration: Each module includes 14 sessions lasting 90 minutes. Group members sign up for one module at a time and may continue with subsequent modules as desired.

In the Emotion Regulation module, group members learn greater awareness of emotional responses, how to distinguish between emotions and moods, and how to use emotional experience as valuable information in making decisions and communicating with others. The group discusses the role that emotions play in interpersonal interactions, and participants will learn skills to reduce emotional vulnerability, increase positive emotions, and be non-mindful of worries.

In the Distress Tolerance module, group members learn how to manage anxiety and distress and cope more effectively when faced with high stress or crisis situations. Some of the skills taught include relaxation, self-soothing, distraction, improving the moment, self-compassion, and radical acceptance.

In the Interpersonal Effectiveness module group members learn how to formulate and prioritize specific goals in interpersonal interactions. They are then coached in factors that increase effectiveness at achieving these goals. Participants will learn skills for expressing themselves assertively (vs. passively or aggressively). Group members learn a system for negotiating their wants and presenting their point of view to build strong relationships and self-respect.

Mindfulness skills are repeated in each module. Participants will be taught how to increase awareness of the present moment without judgment. Group members will participate in weekly mindfulness exercises to increase awareness of the present with the goal of increasing awareness of self and others. Mindfulness skills also focus on becoming more aware of mood state, mood triggers, and early warning signals so group members can make appropriate adjustments for relapse prevention.

For more information, please contact –

Dr. Jenifer Culver: (650) 468- 4010.  j.culver@comcast.net. www.bipolartherapy.net

UCSF Bipolar Group

Bipolar GroupThe UCSF bipolar psychoeducational group starts on September 14, 2015. This group is lead by bay area bipolar expert Descartes Li, MD. 

It runs for 8 sessions, Mondays 12pm to 115pm. Most commercial insurance is accepted.

Dr. Li describes this group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.”

For regular readers of this blog it might be more of an intermediate level group.

People who have attended it in the past have said it was helpful, especially the opportunity to meet with other people who were wrestling with bipolar.

LOCATION:     UCSF Parnassus Campus – 401 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA



Some topics covered in Bipolar Disorder Group Sessions

  • Self Awareness and Mood Charting
  • Medications:  How to Get the Most (and Least) out of Your Meds
  • Sleep Management
  • Communication Skills and Stigma
  • Psychotherapy of Bipolar Disorder

The group focuses on common challenges faced by individuals with bipolar disorder with an emphasis on learning specific information about bipolar disorder.   The style is supportive, while maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect. The group runs twice a year so if you miss this one will let you know about the next.

Unless you already have a psychiatrist at UCSF, potential members must be referred by their treating psychiatrist. (Your psychiatrist would need to contact Doctor Li).

There is a monthly support group for alumni of this group which many people find very helpful.

If you are not already registered at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, you will have to come in for an initial intake and registration before the start date of the group.