Our Research

Research Supported by The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research:


Harness Creativity to Help People with Bipolar Disorder

By Professor Greg Murray, Scientific Committee Chair
The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research

“Positive psychology has some very exciting implications for clinicians, researchers and patients connected by an interest in bipolar disorder,” he says. “In psychological treatments, it’s critical to set goals that are positive and meaningful for the patient. Often this means focusing on the goal of a satisfying life, rather than just a reduction of symptoms. A satisfying life for a person with bipolar disorder might include intense emotional experiences and creative expression and without those things life isn’t fulfilling, so our job is to understand those goals and to help someone achieve that.

“Given bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, helping people to optimise their quality of life is very important. Core strengths like creativity give us a springboard for achieving this goal.”

Download: Harness Creativity to Help People with Bipolar Disorder (PDF)


What is Type II Bipolar Disorder?

Download: What is Type II Bipolar Disorder from the Beautiful Minds Lecture Series (PDF)


The Clinical Significance of Creativity in Bipolar Disorder

Greg Murray, Ph.D. – Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia
Sheri L. Johnson, Ph.D. – University of California, Berkeley, United States
Published in Clinical Psychology Review

Clinical implications of the high rates of creativity within bipolar disorder (BD) have not been explored. The aim of this review is to outline these implications by reviewing evidence for the link between creativity and BD, developing a provisional model of mechanisms underpinning the creativity–BD link, describing unique challenges faced by creative-BD populations, and systematically considering evidence-based psychosocial treatments in the light of this review. While more research into the creativity–BD nexus is urgently required, treatment outcomes will benefit from consideration of this commonly occurring phenotype.

Download: The Clinical Significance of Creativity in Bipolar Disorder (PDF)


Bipolar Disorder: An Update For Psychologists

by Professor Greg Murray
MAPS, Head, Psychological Sciences and Statistics
Swinburne University of Technology

We all experience variations in mood and energy. Drops into low motivation and inactivity are quite common, but we also recognise swings into activated, aroused states. For a minority of the population, complex variations in mood and energy are very pronounced, becoming clearly dysfunctional and requiring assistance. Until recently, psychiatry was the discipline that paid most attention to these extreme states, so they are typically framed in medical terms, and for about 30 years have been given the name bipolar disorder (BD). Over the past decade, psychological theories and therapies have profoundly affected the description, explanation and management of BD. The aim of this article is to introduce this growing area of psychological activity.

Download: Bipolar Disorder: An Update for Psycholgists (PDF)