What should be considered if someone with depression or bipolar disorder is not doing well with medications alone and wants to learn more about how to manage their condition? Any suggestions?

The Life Goals Self-Management Skills Program ( www.lifegoalscc.com/overview) is definitely an option.  Life Goals is an evidence-based, manual-guided, recovery-oriented intervention for individuals whose lives are impacted by mood disorders and related challenges. In Life Goals, participants and a trained facilitator work individually or in a group to develop a customized Life Goals Curriculum based on the participant’s values, life goals, needs, and priorities. The Curriculum is made up of Modules targeting mood symptoms and common co-occurring challenges such as physical wellness, anxiety, substance use, psychosis, hopelessness and treatment collaboration. The length of time doing Life Goals varies depending on how many Modules are used; each Module is typically done in 1-2 sessions. In each Module, participants develop a personal symptom profile, including early warning signs and triggers; identify the participant’s responses to symptoms; conduct a personal cost-benefit analysis of these responses in view of their values and overall life goals; and develop an action plan.  Life Goals is based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and incorporates elements of motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy, particularly behavioral activation. Life Goals training for clinicians and peer specialists is provided on-line free of charge (see https://smiadviser.org/knowledge_post_fp/how-can-i-or-my-colleagues-get-training-in-life-goals; also https://www.train.org/vha/course/1085751/), and a self-guided version is available (https://www.newharbinger.com/overcoming-bipolar-disorder).

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