Individual-Family Psychoeducational Psychotherapy (IF-PEP)

Individual-Family Psychoeducational Psychotherapy (IF-PEP) has been tested in three randomized clinical trials (RCT) and one case series for children with bipolar spectrum disorder.  Two studies are nearly complete, results will be available in late 2014. Completed studies indicate consumer satisfaction with, and improved family interactions following IF-PEP. While mood severity declined somewhat in both studies, replication in a larger sample is needed.

IF-PEP consists of 20 “scripted” 45-50 minute sessions, and 4 “in-the-bank” sessions. Session content is similar to that of MF-PEP, and alternate between child sessions (with parents joining at the beginning and end of the session) and parent-only sessions. Some families will not require all 20 sessions; for example, if school issues are not significant, those sessions can be eliminated. If the child does not have a sibling (or there are no pressing sibling issues), that session can be eliminated. Several child sessions are devoted to “Healthy Habits”, that is, a focus on diet, exercise and sleep hygiene. Parents and children are sent home with weekly projects that extend the learning of the day and provide opportunities for parents and children to work together, with the intention of enhancing their interactions.

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