INTER-PERSONAL THERAPY (IPT)
IPT is a one to one therapy to provide treatment for depression. Central to IPT is that symptoms of depression ( such as low mood ) can be understood as a response to current difficulties in relationships and / or in turn, the depression symptoms can also affect the quality of our interactions and development of relationships.
An example may help. If someone is depressed they may withdraw from those close to them, apparently refusing their help ( perhaps because they feel like a failure and are ashamed of this ). Family and friends may feel rejected and hurt, unable to understand why their offers of help are not taken up, and they may, in turn, pull away. The depressed person may take this as confirmation of their view of themselves as a failure, and this could make them feel even more depressed and withdrawn, setting up a vicious circle.
The main focus of IPT is on reducing depression symptoms by helping the person to identify how they are feeling and behaving in their relationships and in so doing interact more effectively to resolve a relationship difficulty or develop and maintain new ones.
IPT is time-limited (up to 16 sessions). The therapy is structured and divided into three phases. The first four sessions are assessment. We look at symptoms of depression, current relationships and the trigger to this current depression. We also identify one of four possible relationship focussed areas ( role change, conflict, complicated grief or loneliness) to work on in the middle sessions of 5 to 12. Each focal area has different specific 'therapeutic tasks'. The ending sessions 13-16 look at maintaining recovery and reflecting on the positive changes made.
Videos and booklets to help prepare for IPT and cope while you wait for treatment can be found here