home | faq | registered students log-in | join our mailing list | e-mail us | to order

The Painted Ponies:
Bipolar Disorder in Children, Adolescents and Adults

Kate Amatruda MFT, CST-T, BCETS

This course meets the qualifications for 10 hours of training


This course meets the qualifications for 10 hours of continuing education, and may be taken in two parts of 5 hours units each.

Part I: Children and Adolescents,includes treatment with play therapy, and qualifies for 5 non-contact training hours for the Association for Play Therapy (Provider # 02-711)

Part II focuses on adult treatment.


By the time Sophie was 10, she had been kicked out of seven schools and seen four therapists. Her family suffered as she struggled with temper tantrums, mood swings, night terrors, oppositional behavior, social problems, and psychotic episodes. One week after her 11th birthday Sophie attempted suicide.


Gary was the "teenager from hell", according to his family. His rages had escalated to the point at which the police were frequently called. Was Gary bipolar, an addict, or just out-of-control?


Eva is 43 years old, has been hospitalized numerous times and made many suicide attempts. Her father was bipolar (or manic-depressive) and committed suicide when he was in his sixties. Eva refuses to take her medication.

Alan is a successful attorney, aged 57, who enjoys adventures in nature. Recently he had been prescribed quinacrine for a parasite he had picked up in the rain forest. Within two weeks of taking the recommended dosage, Alan was having a complete manic episode, with religious ideation, racing thoughts, grandiosity, and insomnia. Alan was brought to the local hospital, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.


Kerry. age 16, came to therapy, irate with her mother. "She never listens to me! She never gives me any freedom. One minute she's real nice, then she is screaming at me, and grounding me. I think my mother is bipolar!"


There is no doubt that the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is very common today. People who in the 'old days' (10 years ago) were considered normal mothers of teenagers, or borderlines, or having ADD, or of having a bad reaction to a medication, are now considered bipolar. It is our job as therapists to become educated about what bipolar disorder looks and feels like, so that we can educate our patients, their families, and, at times, their physicians and psychiatrists as to the differential diagnosis involved in bipolar disorder.


This course will follow the treatment of Sophie, Gary and Eva and their families and look at how the assessment of bipolar disorder was made.


We will explore how bipolar disorder impacts the lives of children, adolescents and adults with this illness, as well as their families.

Different treatment options based upon the client, such as play therapy, supportive therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, medication will be discussed.

Differential diagnosis, medication, heredity, countertransference , nature and nurture, body and soul and the importance of acknowledging the wholeness in each other will be explored in the cases presented and in the links.  


This course meets the qualifications for 10 hours of continuing education, and may be taken in two parts of 5 hours units each.

Part I: Children and Adolescents,includes treatment with play therapy, and qualifies for APT continuing education, for 5 non-contact training hours.

Part II focuses on adult treatment.

You may take either part separately, or both sections for 10 ceus.


is approved by the:

The Association for Play Therapy (#02-117)
Board of Registered Nursing (#13620)
California Board of Behavioral Science (#1540)
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling (BAP #753)

NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#478)
National Association of Social Workers (#886382116)
National Board for Certified Counselors (#6055)
Ohio Counselor, Social Work and Marriage and Family CPE (#RCST090402)
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#52526)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#CS3473)

maintains responsibility for the program.

Learning Objectives:

This course will allow the student to:

1. recognize the symptoms involved in the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis.

2. identify the concepts of diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in pediatric, adolescent and adult populations.

3. know the difference between bipolar disorder and other illnesses; be able to complete a differential diagnosis.

4. understand the concept of bipolar disorder as a life long condition necessitating psychotherapy, medication and psychoeducation.

5. explore countertransference issues regarding bipolar disorder;

6. understand the high risk of suicide in people with bipolar disorder.

7. understand and choose between different treatment options based upon the client (play therapy, supportive therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, medication, etc.).



Table of contents

To order


e-mail us!

Frequently Asked Questions



© 2000 - 2010 www.psychceu.com all rights reserved.