The role of the supporter

There are many reasons involving a supporter in ERP Online might be a good idea, but we have also flagged up some potential difficulties which you may also want to consider when making this decision. You might have other reasons that you can add to these lists.

Reasons to involve a supporter

  • Supporters can spot subtle changes in your behaviour that you may not be aware of
  • You can discuss the importance of any changes you notice with your supporter
  • Supporters are often in a position to help you to implement the strategies that are developed through ERP
  • Your Supporter may be a very valuable source of practical and emotional support throughout the ERP process
  • You have a friend / relative who is very keen to help you

Reasons involving a supporter may be difficult

  • Many people do not have a supporter who they feel close to or who they feel they can trust to help them cope with their mental health problems. ERP Online is designed to be used either with or without a supporter
  • Confidentiality: You may not want to share all aspects of your bipolar experiences with another person. This is fine. You don’t have to do this as you can choose which bits of ERP Online you ask the supporter to get involved in. You are always in control of any information about yourself
  • An over- keen supporter. Some supporters are so keen to help you identify triggers and early warning signs that they start to monitor your behaviour very closely, or raise concerns about minor changes in behaviour. This can be very frustrating. However, it can be overcome with clear communication and we have included tips on how to manage this if it occurs
  • Critical or hostile supporters: People are generally critical of behaviour that they believe is under the individual's control. Supporters who do not understand the nature of Bipolar experiences may feel that mood changes and behaviours are controllable by the individual and therefore they should just "try harder". For example depressive symptoms such as lack of motivation can be seen as signs of laziness rather than a feature of the illness. Education regarding Bipolar Disorder can be very helpful if this problem arises, and we have included some recommendations for reading