Bipolar Disorder Center

Bipolar Disorder Center

We believe everyone should have access to high quality, high value mental health care. Bipolar Disorder is a chronic mental illness characterized by drastic mood fluctuations, alternating between periods of depressed and elevated mood, often misdiagnosed or diagnosed years after its first presentation, and highly debilitating if not well controlled. At the UT Health Austin Bipolar Disorder Center we offer a tightly coordinated outpatient management using the strongest available scientific evidence for the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Our goal is to reduce the burden in people’s lives of both the illness and its treatment’s side effects while using resources efficiently, aiming to implement high value mental health care.

About Our Program

The Bipolar Disorder Center in the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences at UT Health Austin provides counseling, psychiatric consultation and prevention services that facilitate patients’ life goals and enhance their personal growth and well-being.

The Bipolar Disorder Center operates on a referral basis only and treats patients from 16-75 years old diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Patients undergo a six-week program focused on treating depressive and manic symptoms and aim to enhance function. The patient will work with the clinical team to define a personalized treatment plan.

The clinical team uses an integrative pharmaco/psychotherapeutic approach with elements of the following modalities:

Medication Management

Medication management is a strategy for engaging with patients and caregivers to create a complete, accurate and optimized medication profile. A complete and accurate medication list is the foundation for addressing medication reconciliation and medication management issues.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a time-sensitive, structured, present-oriented psychotherapy directed toward solving current problems and teaching clients skills to modify dysfunctional thinking and behavior. It is based on the cognitive model: the way that individuals perceive a situation is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself.

Mindfulness/Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar Disorder (MBCT)

Part of the group program, MBCT is an evidence-based treatment that develops the cognitive skill, mindfulness, to assist participants in regulating mood and responding to stressful events. We experientially facilitate mindfulness growth while examining individual reactions to depression, anxiety, anger and elevated mood in developing relapse prevention plans.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)

IPSRT is designed to help people improve their moods by understanding and working with their biological and social rhythms.


Psychoeducation is the process of providing mental health education and information.

Relapse Prevention

Consists of a comprehensive relapse prevention plan to aid in preventing a new mood episode.

Mood Journal/Diaries

Mood diaries are daily tracking approaches that enable one to keep track of their moods, feelings and behaviors.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that can help loved ones improve communication and resolve conflicts.

Prepare for Your Appointment

Before your appointment, please read our practice policies and complete the patient reported outcomes. It’s important that this is completed and turned in during your first appointment. The clinical staff here are happy to discuss the details with you and answer any questions you may have before we begin our sessions.

Step 1: We ask health questions

Step 1: We call you to discuss your overall health and personal goals.

Step 2: We meet about your goals

Step 2: Led by doctors, a team of experts meets to discuss your goals.

Step 3: In-Person Clinic Visit

Step 3: You come to the clinic for your in-person appointment.

Step 4: Together we develop a plan

Step 4: We develop a plan together.

What is a Care Team?

A care team is a group of multiple specialists working together to treat your specific needs. Led by nurses and doctors, the team may feature experts like dietitians, physical therapists, social workers, dermatologists or emotional health professionals. We understand that your health can be affected by a variety of factors and our experts are here to help you navigate them.