Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that takes structure from psychodynamic psychotherapy, but also from contemporary cognitive behavioural approaches in that it is time limited and employs homework, structured interviews and assessment tools. Its goal is symptom relief and improving interpersonal functioning.

In the initial sessions IPT therapeutic goals typically include diagnosis, completing the requisite inventories, identifying the clients ‘major problem areas and creating a treatment contract for a specific number of sessions.

In the middle sessions the therapist and client address the relevant problem areas.

During the termination phase which is often referred to as the conclusion of  the acute treatment phase, the therapist and client review progress in the problem areas and plan for future problems as well as process any emotions related to termination of therapy.

Maintenance sessions can be conducted to prevent relapse or to work through any remaining problems but only after a new contract is negotiated.The therapeutic relationship is not terminated, which means the therapist is available should another crisis occur.

It has been used effectively for depression and bulimia.

Source: Robertson,Rushton & Wurm