Bipolar Disorder Program

The Bipolar Disorder Program is a community resource for individuals with bipolar disorder, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals. Due to the large numbers of referrals, the program is designed to fill community needs and serve as an augmentation to treatment that is often not available in the community.  Ideally, persons interested in our services should already be in ongoing treatment with an outside clinician. The program is also an important educational site for UCSF trainees and staff. Descartes Li, MD, is the program director.


Psychiatric Evaluations and Consultations

Referred individuals are seen by an evaluation team that usually consists of psychiatric residents under the direct supervision of an attending psychiatrist. These consultations are 90 minutes in length. We will then send diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations back to the referring psychiatrist.  We may also make referral recommendations within Langley Porter or to the community.

Group Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

These groups are time-limited, psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral in format. There are nine (9) sessions. These are some examples of the following topics that are reviewed: Relapse Prevention and Mood Charting, Getting the Right Medications for Bipolar Disorder, Sleep Regulation, and How to Communicate with Loved Ones. There are two groups per year, one begins in January and the other begins in September.

Monthly Support Group

The Bipolar Disorder Monthly Support Group meets once a month for 75 minutes and offers ongoing support for individuals with bipolar disorder who have completed the nine (9) sessions weekly group (see above). The focus is on practical aspects of managing bipolar disorder and maximizing one’s potential. The group generally meets on the fourth Monday afternoon of each month. Members must be at least 18 years old and must have a primary psychiatrist. 

How to Make an Appointment

Individuals may refer themselves or be referred by their clinician. For an appointment please call our intake and referral service at 415-476-7500 or 800-723-7140 (toll free).

If you have an appointment with Dr. Li, please complete the pre-appointment questionnaire (PDF or Word) and bring it to your appointment (please complete this form before every visit). If this is your first visit you do not need to complete the form.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health Publications on Bipolar Disorder



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