Bay Area Groups for Bipolar

Readers of this blog who live in the Bay Area may be interested in two groups that are starting this fall. Both of them are led by excellent clinicians and should be valuable to people with bipolar.

Colleague and friend Descartes Li will be leading one of them. He describes the group this way –

The UCSF bipolar psychoeducational group starts on September 19, 2016. It runs for 8 sessions, Mondays 12pm to 115pm. Most commercial insurance accepted. I often describe this group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.” I have attached a flyer and a draft schedule. Please feel free to give/show either to your patients. There is also a monthly support group for alumni of this group.

If the person is not already registered at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, he/she will have to come in for an initial intake and registration before the start date of the group. See attachments for details.

At the same time, the UC Berkeley Cal-Mania Program will be offering an innovative group designed to help people live well with mania.

This is part of a group treatment study offered by the UC Berkeley Cal-Mania Program.

LAUREL (Learning Affective Understanding for a Rich Emotional Life) is a 10-week group teaching skills for increasing daily experiences with positive emotions while maintaining wellness.  This group will be most helpful for people who want to learn skills to experience everyday positives with skillfulness and an awareness that will promote a healthy balance to their emotional life. 

At this time, they are only able to offer this group to people diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder.

The LAUREL group is designed to be a supplement to ongoing treatment.  In other words, they are looking for people who are already working closely with a medical doctor or treatment team and are interested in also attending their group.  They would be happy to talk with treatment providers to ensure that the LAUREL skills do not interfere with your ongoing services. 

The group will start in October 2016 and will meet for 10 weeks (day and time to be determined) in Tolman Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.  There is no cost to participating in the group and they will reimburse you for travel expenses to and from Tolman Hall. 

In addition to the group, there are four research sessions they will ask group members to complete.  First, you will meet with the group therapists to learn more about the group and decide if it will be helpful given your personal goals.  Then, you will complete an interview in the week before the group starts.  After you’ve completed group, you will also complete two additional research interviews (you can choose whether to complete the post-group interviews in person or over the phone).  You will be reimbursed $15/hr + travel for these research sessions. 

If you are interested in learning more about the LAUREL group, please call or email the Emotion and Social Interaction Lab at 510-542-8241 email:

For More Information

UCSF Bipolar Psychoeducational Group