What is Interpersonal Psychotherapy?
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited, interpersonally focussed form of psychological therapy in which your social and interpersonal context is contributing to the onset of and/or maintenance of depressive symptoms. It is aimed at:
- Reducing the symptoms of depression
- Improving social adjustment and interpersonal functioning.
IPT has a distinct focus on conflict with another person, life changes that affect you and how you feel about yourself and others, grief and loss, and difficulties in starting or keeping a relationship going.
How does it work?
IPT has three phases. A beginning phase in which the therapist identifies your diagnosis and the interpersonal context in which it presents. A middle phase, were the therapist will use specific strategies to deal with the highlighted issue. And a final phase, were the therapist will aim to reinforce the progress made throughout the course of treatment to reduce a reoccurrence.
IPT will help you identify how you are feeling and behaving in your relationships and attempt to alleviate the dysfunctional problems that arise.
Is it effective?
IPT has been found to be extremely effective in treating acute symptoms of depression and then reducing repeat episodes. Additionally it is extremely effective in improving your social life in that it addresses distinct relationship issues.
IPT has shown to be effective in treating bipolar disorder, bulimia post-partum depression, major depressive disorder, cyclothymia as well as many others.
This form of therapy does however require a lot more effort from the patient than that of cognitive behavioural therapy and is best suited for those who are very willing to improve their mental health.