Interpersonal Therapy

By geoffMay 29, 2015Glossary

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a type of therapy based on the theory that issues such as depression can cause difficulties in personal relationships and that these problems can in turn worsen the symptoms of depression. Therefore IPT is a short-term therapy, normally lasting 12-16 weeks which attempts to break this cycle and foster much healthier ways that the client can interact with the important people in their lives.

Interpersonal therapy sessions are at first centred on identifying the key areas of improvement and ordering these into when and how they will be addressed. Therefore IPT targets focused issues, aiming to gain results in a short amount of time. Sessions towards the end of the treatment plan will focus on honing in skills the client has learnt and making sure they can apply them to their life after therapy.

IPT is a therapy which can help with the following issues:

  • Poor relationships that the client wants to improve
  • Disputes which have originated with the people in the home or workplace
  • Greif or bereavement
  • Dramatic life changes which changes the client’s relationship role

Dynamic interpersonal therapy

Dynamic interpersonal therapy is similar to IPT but focuses much more on the link between the relationships of the client’s past and the difficulties that they now face. The therapist will help the client to understand how they have felt about past relationships in order to help them cope with their current relationships in a constructive way.


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