Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) shifts the emphasis of emotional and psychological problems from the interpersonal to the interpersonal sphere. IPT is described as a useful approach for clients in the ‘midst of recent conflicts with significant others’ and for those having difficulty adjusting to an altered career, social role or other life transition.
IPT was originally developed as a time-limited (12-16 sessions) approach, to be used weekly with client’s diagnosed with Depression. This therapeutic approach is based on the theory that interpersonal relationships play a significant role in both causing and maintaining Depression. IPT aims to identify and resolve current interpersonal difficulties that are thought to be related to a client’s Depression.
These difficulties may include conflict with others, role disputes or role transitions, social isolation, or prolonged grief following loss. IPT builds skills – mainly in the communication and interpersonal domains.