Social Rhythm Therapy (SRT)

Social Rhythm Therapy has been researched and found to be beneficial in bringing some stability in mood, for those suffering from Bipolar Mood Disorder. The therapy emphasises key areas of focus to bring about these outcomes:-

-a regular daily routine that does not diverge too much from day to day

-dealing with stress as it arises

-having stability in personal relationships

-obtaining adequate sleep

-monitoring mood variations

-compliance with prescribed medications

-identifying early warning signs of change in mood

-and engagement of relatives

A comprehensive program has been developed to incorporate these main principles of SRT and additionally be complimented by existing therapies that are offered within our service. The SRT program is facilitated by the Mental Health Nurse for those that have a current Psychiatrist’s Mental Health Care Plan and a diagnoses of Bi Polar Mood Disorder. Another role of the Mental Health Nurse is to ensure all pathology investigations are completed regularly to monitor serum levels and systems within the body that may be affected by use of mood stabaliser medication. There is a small weekly charge associated with this specialised therapy and will be outlined prior to commencement. There are 3 main phases to the therapy which include:-

  1. Assessment
  2. Therapy
  3. Evaluation and planning for the future.



 In addition to the SRT offered to patients at the clinic, there are regular seminars held on Bipolar Mood Disorder. These day long sessions (2 in all) are co-facilitated by the Psychiatrist and Mental Health Nurse. The first day is for patients only and the second is for patients and one of their relatives / carer. The patient does not have to complete this session prior to commencing the SRT. The seminar is conducted on a weekend day and then a month later the second session is held, which includes the relative / carer.

A Bipolar Carer’s Group has been running since early 2009 to provide support for those who are supporting the patient with Bipolar Mood Disorder. The group moto is “ Learning from others experience”. The 2 hour long meetings are held on a Saturday and are bi-monthly. These groups are facilitated by the Mental Health Nurses.

What can you expect?

The assessment is comprehensive and is spanned over 3 sessions. You will be asked to bring along a relative or carer on the last session to gather additional information and to explain the SRT. Assessment tools that are completed are the Becks Depression Inventory (BDI), Life Skills profile-32 (LSP-32), Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS), Hamilton’s Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and Young’s Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). Some scales will be self rated by the patient and some will be completed by the Mental Health Nurse from information you or your relative have provided. These ratings are considered your base line rating and will be compared at the end of the therapy. 

The therapy spans up to 16 sessions and is best done on a weekly basis to facilitate a consistent flow. Each session varies from 45 minutes up to one hour and is performed by the Mental Health Nurse. Most sessions will be worked through on the computer and is very user friendly (point and click with the mouse). Main areas of focus include; Psychoeducation, identifying vicious cycles in your life, learning to deal with feelings and thoughts, problem solving skills and setting realistic goals. Other sessions use the structures that have been incorporated into the SRT including; monitoring mood fluctuations on a mood chart, surveying sleep patterns and ensuring adequate sleep, organising a daily routine that can mostly remain constant and surveying the life of the illness.

The final phase of SRT includes re-rating the outcome scales and identifying your personal strengths to enable moving forward in a proactive manner and maintaining stability.



 Bipolar Groups

Please ask your psychiatrist or Mental Health Nurse about Bipolar Self Support Groups available locally.

All content is copyright of Mednet.net Pty Ltd 1996. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.