Creating Better Results Than Anyone Since 2003

About Bipolar Advantage

Bipolar Advantage, 1251 Gold Ridge Rd, Sebastopol CA 95472-3943

Bipolar Advantage is now part of the 501(c)3 non-profit Bipolar & Depression Outcomes Research Institute. The navigation links above will take you to a few of the pages there where you can join for free and start taking courses right away!

Tom Wootton started Bipolar Advantage in 2003 because the results being offered for his bipolar condition were unacceptable. What started as small gatherings of local bipolar sufferers grew into an international online program that has helped thousands achieve a better life.

A recent study concluded that out of the 10 most followed sources of information, Bipolar Advantage is the only one producing results the source felt was worth talking about. While other methods focus on trying to create remission (which has been proven to not work), the Bipolar Advantage focus is on learning how to thrive DURING manic and depressive episodes. Those who achieve remission inevitably end up in crisis the next time it happens. Those who learn to thrive never have to worry about their next episode again.

We have many educational programs available, but the first step is our Bipolar IN Order online program. It has consistently created better results than any other treatment option. 

The Bipolar IN Order program began to receive high acclaim in 2008 and attracted many distinguished professionals to the team. Their input helped refine the program by integrating the Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Social, and Career/Financial aspects of health into the program. Meet the team of experts. 

Tom Wootton Founder

Tom Wootton is a passionate agent of change. He is pioneering concepts and challenging our thinking about mental health more than anyone else in the field today. Tom designed and delivered the first Bipolar IN Order workshop in 2003 and after many revisions it remains his signature program. It is now a worldwide on-line program that offers multi-media learning and live internet group sessions.

There are three essential things to understand how Tom Wootton came up with the idea for Bipolar IN Order: his direct experience of bipolar disorder, his spiritual life, and his work life.

Tom has been cycling through extreme manias and deep depressions for over 50 years. His first full manic episode happened at nine years old when his father, who was a pioneer in accelerated learning, gave him books that where designed to help him learn at his own pace. This triggered an intense mania where he was up for three months while moving from fourth to the ninth grade level in all of the different subjects.

This experience began a lifelong fascination with the concept of accelerated learning and it had tremendous impact on Tom's career. He spent many years teaching accelerated learning concepts to high school teachers, college professors, and most importantly corporate trainers.

It was in his capacity as a corporate educator where he learned to teach complex software to everyone from tech savvy programmers to computer novices. Tom would observe their perceptions and solicit feedback for the programmers who would use the insights to create better products. This ability to teach and learn from feedback is the same thing he has done with the Bipolar IN Order program.

It was in the highly competitive world of Silicon Valley where he honed his presentation and facilitation skills. Tom taught technology to companies worldwide including Visa, HP, Cisco, Baan, Ford, Lucent, Sage, Ericsson, British Telecom, NSA, AT&T, Nokia, Siemens, and many more.

Tom's spiritual life was heavily influenced by a lifelong meditation practice. Learning to focus the mind in a disciplined manner helped him develop tremendous willpower, but it was the philosophical underpinnings of his monastic life that led to the insights most relevant to the Bipolar IN Order program. He spent a quarter of his adult life in monastic environments that had a tremendous impact on his philosophy towards bipolar. The Bipolar IN Order program uses advanced Yoga concepts presented in a manner that is accepted by even those with strong spiritual beliefs in another context.

The interplay of those three influences produced a unique insight into the bipolar mind. He had the negative experiences of depression and mania that are part of the disorder, but his early positive experience combined with his spiritual insights resulted in the belief that it could be channeled into an advantage. Combining his teaching background with those insights helped him create a system that produces results far beyond anything before it. While everyone else tried unsuccessfully to make bipolar go away, Tom figured out how to take advantage of the states.

Since 2003, Tom has been pushing the boundaries of what bipolar people are capable of and he has helped improve the lives of patients, families and colleagues alike. He has authored three books: Bipolar in Order in 2010, The Depression Advantage in 2007, and The Bipolar Advantage in 2005. He continues to produce lectures, seminars, and workshops nationwide and his articles are published on WebMD, Psychology Today, PsychCentral, and Huffington Post.

Tom Wootton is a well-loved speaker, delivering intelligent, personal insight with humor and hope. He demonstrates by his own life and the extraordinary successes of those who have taken his courses that anyone living with a mental condition can gain control over their life. His work has inspired confidence in both professionals and those living with these conditions to make the effort and expect better outcomes.

Maureen Duffy, PhD

Maureen Duffy is a professor of counseling and family therapy and a practicing couples and family therapist. She is highly regarded in the marriage and family therapy world and is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, The Family Journal, and The Journal of Systemic Therapies. She is the Co-Editor of The Qualitative Report, a journal dedicated to qualitative research and inquiry. She is also the Co-Editor of the "Family and Health" column in The Family Journal. Maureen is a co-founder of the International Institute for Human Understanding and of Open U - a new adventure in education for anyone interested in increasing their understanding of interpersonal and inter-cultural relations.

She has presented her work at major professional conferences regionally, nationally, and internationally. In 2006, Maureen was an invited speaker at the Oxford University Round Table on the Psychology of the Child. She is the author of numerous publications in family therapy and qualitative research and her current interests are in the areas of positive psychology, applications of neuroscience to clinical work with couples and families, neurofeedback, and group behavior in the workplace.

Maureen is fascinated by how the brain is shaped by what we think and do and by how often we think and do it. She takes very seriously the fact that the brain changes throughout life and that the direction of those changes is influenced by the quality of our relationships, our behaviors, and our thoughts and feelings. Maureen is personally and professionally committed to breaking the link between the diagnosis of a mental illness and the taking on of the traditional identity of a mentally ill person. She believes that mood disorders like bipolar and major depression are brain disorders, not personal identities, and not primary careers. Her work also extends, with humor and compassion, to the parents and friends and families of those diagnosed with mood disorders.

Arsalan Malik, MD Consulting Psychiatrist

Dr. Arsalan Malik is a psychodynamic psychiatrist in private practice in Santa Monica and West LA in addition to his role as Clinical Instructor, UCLA Department Of Psychiatry And Biobehavioral Sciences. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic and Baylor College of Medicine. During that time he served as the on-site chief resident of the Menninger Clinic where he specialized in addressing the complex medical, psychiatric and substance use difficulties of high achieving individuals no longer functioning successfully in the workplace and/or at home. He developed his special interest and expertise in the treatment of mood and co-occurring personality disorders at this time using a comprehensive and integrated, multidisciplinary treatment approach. This comprised psychoanalytically informed hospital psychiatry, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mind Body medicine, and Psychodynamic Individual and Group Therapy. Dr Malik also holds a Clinical Fellowship in Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the Center For Psychoanalytic Studies.

"I follow an evidence-based practice, but also recognize the limitations of the current medical and psychiatric research model to explain complicated mind-brain phenomena. Generalizability of findings from ideal study populations to the individual is also not always apparent. Overall, I have found medications help, but are rarely the only solution for individuals. Psychotherapy seems to have gone from being the rule to being relegated to the backburner as drugs occupy an increasingly pivotal role in patient care. I endeavor to find a middle road paved by plain old psychotherapy, in addition to biological treatment methods including medications, to help my patients find deeper meaning in their lives and their symptoms, and satisfaction in their relationships."

Michael Edelstein, PhD

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)/Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Dr. Edelstein has an in-person and telephone therapy practice in San Francisco. He is the author of Three Minute Therapy, a self-help book for overcoming common emotional and behavioral problems, for which he has been awarded Author of the Year. The book was a Quality Paperback Book Club/Book-of-the-Month Club Selection, a Behavioral Sciences Book Service Book Club Selection, and an Albert Ellis Institute Selection.

In his practice, Dr. Edelstein specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and addictions, and is one of the few practitioners of REBT in the Bay Area. He is also the San Francisco SMART Recovery Professional Advisor.

Dr. Edelstein lectures nationally and internationally, appears on radio and television, and is published in psychological journals. He writes the advice column, "Ask Dr. Mike," which has appeared in the Mensa San Francisco Intelligencer and In the Know.

Dr. Edelstein was a Training Supervisor and Fellow of the Albert Ellis Institute. He holds a diploma in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and is on the Board of Advisors of the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. He is Past President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. He is a Certified Sex Therapist and has served as a Consulting Psychologist for the National Save-A-Life League, Inc., the oldest suicide prevention center in the United States.

REBT/CBT is a modern approach to overcoming emotional and behavioral disturbance. It focuses on the present and helps clients take an active role in their recovery. It helps clients identify the unrealistic beliefs at the core of their psychological problems and gives them powerful tools they can use to change their thinking and dramatically improve their lives.

Len Van Nostrand, M.A., LMFT

Len is the co- founder and owner of Full Spectrum Recovery and Counselling and a Certified Coach Practitioner. Trained and educated as a marriage and family therapist, he has had an established practice for over 20 years, motivated by his passion for offering alternative and customised support and Recovery Coaching for those seeking help with trauma, and substance abuse concerns.

“I believe in the Harm Reduction approach of compassionate pragmatism.  I have a vision to create an environment where the client, in a strong alliance with a change agent, determines what changes they are willing to make and, with support, takes steps to change. I am very heartened that we have had such consistent success by empowering and respecting our clients.”

Len provides insightful and compassionate education and training for problem drinkers who are seeking to abstain or to drink moderately through the very popular DrinkChoice program. His skills in enhancing motivation make him an excellent choice for those engaged in making difficult life changes.

As an effective family crisis Interventionist, Len works with the chemically dependent individual, as well as their family members and loved ones.  He is sought after for his direct, honest, and common sense approach, based on his long-term experience working with the powerful forces of addiction. His compassion for every family he works with is evident.

Len also offers solid direction for parents of "adult children" who are having difficulty “launching” from the home to an independent and healthy lifestyle.  While these parents are deeply concerned for their children, they are often enabling unhealthy behaviours, doing what Len calls “love gone haywire”.  He coaches parents in a non-judgemental way to help them develop a healthier and age-appropriate relationship with their child.

Len has run a weekly educational group on Co-dependency, and enjoys training, public speaking and teaching at local colleges, adult education and in the Santa Barbara community.  He is certified in hypnotherapy, has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. He has received extensive training with William Miller, the brilliant mind behind Motivational Interviewing, an evidence based practice of enhancing motivation to change. Len also helped pioneer the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission's successful "Genesis Process".

Len’s experience:  Founder of Full Spectrum Recovery and Counseling                 ( a progressive Harm Reduction treatment center in Santa Barbara, Fmr. Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Retired Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (17 years), member of SEATA ( Self-Empowerment Addiction Treatment Association) , Certified SMART Recovery Facilitator, Advisory Board for Purple Star Families, consultant/ Advisory Board for The Aftercare Project, dedicated to helping those who are reintegrating after difficult psychedelic experiences, on the Ethnobotanic Council, a member of MAPS and the Harm Reduction Coalition.

To reach Len Van Nostrand,CCP directly:  805.886.1963 or