Interpersonal Therapy for Depression

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for depression

IPT is based on the premise that depression is often closely tied to social and interpersonal events. Research has shown that genetics and personality, combined with disruptive social events, such as death of a loved one or loss of a relationship, often contributes to mood disorders (Weissman, Markowitz and Klerman, 2000). IPT is an evidenced-based treatment for depression that helps you better cope with life situations that are linked to current suffering (Markowitz and Weissman, 2004).

The main idea behind IPT is that depression is intertwined with your relationships. Therapy with IPT includes assessing your personality and ways of relating to others that may be continuing or worsening the cycle of depression. The idea is to look at what life circumstances may have caused you to become depressed, while also looking at what life circumstances are maintaining your depression currently. IPT considers your personal history and experiences, but is really focused on the here and now of your life.  IPT helps you gain essential skills for overcoming the depression associated with your relationship problems. The tools learned come from evaluating the following areas:

  • Your symptoms that stem from depression
  • Recurring conflicts with your partner/loved ones
  • Grief or loss in your life
  • Major changes in your life
  • Your level of social support
  • Your personality and style of relating to others

In therapy together, we will explore each area as it relates to your life, helping you  to gain insight into what is causing and making your depression worse. The reason that this treatment is so effective for depression is that it allows you to alter your perception of your own ability to cope and change.  Rather than become withdrawn and disconnected from your life and loved ones, you learn tools to help you have stronger, closer relationships with others.