IPT

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a focused, short-term psychotherapy developed specifically for depression. People play a large part in our lives, even when we tend to think that we face life alone. Although the causes of depression are unknown, its onset is frequently associated with problems in personal relationships, including dealings with one’s spouse, children, family, or colleagues. Problems in relating to others or the loss of loved ones may bring on depression in some people, while for others the symptoms of depression prevent them from dealing with others as successfully as they usually do. Depression is often triggered by interpersonal stressors such as unresolved grief, interpersonal role disputes with significant others, role transitions such as leaving a job, divorce or relocating, or interpersonal deficits such as loneliness or isolation. IPT focuses on reducing depressive symptoms and dealing with the social and interpersonal problems associated with the onset of the symptoms. The patient and therapist work together to understand the onset of the depressive symptoms and to identify the specific interpersonal stressor that needs to be focused on in therapy. For example, a woman struggling with depression during a divorce might need to focus on the loss of the marriage (grief), and adjusting to being single (role transition).