Interpersonal Therapy – IPT

Interpersonal Therapy

High stressed lives, constant changes, money issues, career changes, parenthood, even the loss of a family pet can all be factors that can lead to serious bouts of depression. Human beings are creatures of habit and naturally reject change. Change can be confusing, hard to adapt to and cause discord between not only ourselves but the way we see other people as well. Of course, medication can be helpful but sometimes therapy or even a combination can be very beneficial to dealing with themes issues.

What is Interpersonal Therapy ?

Interpersonal Therapy or IPT is one form of therapy that has been used quite effectively for decades, it was developed by Dr. Gerald Klerman and Dr. Myra Weissman of the New Haven-Boston Collaborative Depression Research Project, in 1969. The basic principle of Interpersonal Therapy maintains that the way people interact and communicate has a direct affect on their mental health. Interpersonal Therapy concentrates on four (4) basic problem areas, such as:

– Unresolved Grief: such as, abnormal grieving periods
– Role Disputes: when the individual and a important person in their life disagree on what that individuals role in the relationship is.
– Role Transitions: that result from circumstances such as, retirement or divorce. Any circumstance that changes the traditional role the individual is used to filling.
– Interpersonal Deficit: a specific problem area such as, feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy and self-esteem issues, that affect a person’s ability to form or maintain a healthy relationship.

How does Interpersonal Therapy work ?

Interpersonal Therapy has both short-term and long-term therapy options. The short-term therapy goals are to rapidly reduce symptoms and improve social adjustment. The long-term goals are to enable those who suffer from depression to adjust and to continue progressing towards recovery and to reduce the number of episodes. The short term treatment of a depressive episode is typically, weekly sessions for approximately 2-4 months depending on severity and maintenance treatment can be either weekly or big-weekly sessions for an indeterminate amount of time.

Developed primarily for depression in adults, twenty years of studies have determined that a modified version of IPT can also be effective treatment for other disorders such as, substance abuse and bulimia. It has also been used in couples therapy, as well.