Interpersonal Therapy and it’s Effectiveness in Treating Depression

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Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a short term treatment approach for individuals that suffer from mild cases of clinical depression. The overall goal of interpersonal therapy is to address the depressive symptoms that occur in the context of interpersonal relationships with family members and peers. Therapy sessions will typically take place for one hour each week for 12-16 consecutive weeks.

During interpersonal therapy, the first thing the psychotherapist will try to identify is how the client interacts with peers and family members and what problems arise during those interactions. The psychotherapist will also assess the severity of the client’s depression which can greatly vary. Interpersonal problems typically fall into four distinct categories; grief, interpersonal disputes, interpersonal deficits and role transitions. The psychotherapist will expect the client to make their own social adjustments within these relationships in order to reduce the symptoms of depression they’re experiencing. This could include taking part in social activities or gatherings that the client may have avoided in the past which will in turn, create new coping techniques. Or it could even include severing ties with an individual that has a negative impact on the client’s mental health.

Three key stages of interpersonal therapy will be identifying emotions, expressing emotions and learning to deal with emotional baggage such as dysfunctional past relationships. In order for IPT to be effective, the client needs to first display an urgency to change and understand how their own behavior impacts their interpersonal relationships. Like most other types of psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy is especially effective when combined with antidepressants. The psychotherapist will ultimately decide the best methods of treatment on a case by case basis. IPT has also been proven to successfully address other psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse.



Pasadena Villa utilizes individual therapeutic sessions and has the primary goal of helping our clients improve their thinking patterns, cognitive functioning and social skills. To learn more about our emphasis on individual and interpersonal therapies, please call our admissions office at 407-215-2519 or fill out our contact form. We currently offer treatment at two residential locations; The Villa Orlando and Smoky Mountain Lodge as well as outpatient services in Raleigh, North Carolina. We gladly accept most major insurance plans; clients and their families also have the option to self-pay.



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