Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a brief form of psychotherapy that is used to treat depression and other illnesses. It typically lasts 12 to 16 sessions. IPT, as its name implies,
focuses on your social interactions and interpersonal connections, including how much assistance you receive from others and how these relationships affect your mental health.
Many mental health practitioners believed that depression was “person-based” when Interpersonal Therapy was initially established, meaning that they did not believe that depression was influenced by a person’s environment.
IPT, on the other hand, is aware of the significant influence relationships may have on a person’s mental health.
Interpersonal Therapy Types
You might come across dynamic and metacognitive interpersonal therapy, among other variations of the treatment.
Interpersonal Dynamic Therapy
Other names for dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT) include psychodynamic interpersonal treatment and mentalization-based therapy.
DIT is made to assist you in comprehending both your own ideas and feelings as well as those of others. Typically, it takes place over the course of 16 sessions spread over five months.
Interactive Metacognition Therapy
An integrative method to treat personality disorders with substantial emotional inhibition (holding back your feelings) or avoidance is metacognitive interpersonal treatment (MIT).
In a 12-week trial, participation in MIT was proven to lessen the symptoms of depression and enhance emotional awareness.
The first step in IPT is the therapist taking an interpersonal inventory since IPT takes the perspective that enhancing relationships can help with depression.
This list is a thorough evaluation of all of your important relationships, both present and former. Then, these connections are categorized into four key problem areas.
The loss of a loved one might result in grief and depression. Even while going through the phases of grief in this kind of circumstance is typical,
a significant loss can also leave people with unresolved sadness. This type of sorrow is delayed (remains for a long time after the loss), distorted,
or sadness in which you may not feel emotions but instead deal with depression-related symptoms including exhaustion and insomnia.
You might think your partner ought to show more affection or inquire more about your day as an illustration of this.
Change in Role
Depression might happen when your role changes and you’re unsure of how to handle the shift, which can happen during life transitions.
Role transitions include things like getting married, getting divorced, becoming a parent, and retiring.
This can include any insecurities you may experience, regardless of whether you have trouble expressing your sentiments.
What Can Be Helped by Interpersonal Therapy
IPT was initially developed as a momentary remedy for depression. It has, however, also been demonstrated to be a successful treatment for a variety of additional ailments, such as:
- Bipolar illness
- Disorder of the borderline personality (BPD)
- disorders of eating
- Postpartum and perinatal depression
- trauma-related stress disorder (PTSD)
- disorders of social anxiety
- problems caused by alcohol and drugs
Additionally, dealing with attachment problems, grieving, life adjustments and transitions, and interpersonal difficulties may benefit from it.
Interpersonal Therapy’s Advantages
Numerous significant advantages of interpersonal counseling include:
IPT can assist patients in realizing the impact their relationships have on their lives. The two objectives are to improve social interaction for patients and lessen depressive symptoms.
This type of psychotherapy is based on the idea that relationships play a role in depression. In other words, having or losing relationships can affect your depression, which in turn might affect your relationships.
IPT has been proven to be beneficial in treating a variety of depressive illnesses, regardless of their type or degree, as well as other mental health issues. In some cases, pairing this form of therapy with medicine may be the best option.
- IPT could be suggested as a first-line treatment for the disease, according to a 2013 review of the literature, which indicated that it was just as effective as CBT for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
- According to certain studies, interpersonal therapy can aid in preventing the onset of serious depression.
- Regular IPT participation may also help guard against depressive relapses.
- The treatment of eating disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, as well as other mental health conditions, has been found to benefit significantly from IPT, according to research.
Things to Think About
IPT may not be the ideal option for everyone, despite the fact that it can be an effective and appealing treatment option.
In order to effect change, a person must be motivated or be willing to examine and address the role they play in their relationships. Motivation is crucial to the treatment process.
It’s also critical to remember that ailments like eating disorders and depression may resurface. To assist prevent relapse, strengthen abilities, and sustain success even after first therapy, you might need maintenance sessions.
A monthly session to review skills or discuss life changes can be necessary for this.