What is Interpersonal Therapy?
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a therapy that focusses on supporting recovery from depression. Depression can affect people in lots of different ways, typical symptoms are:
- Loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things
- Feeling tired, tearful and irritable
- Wanting to be alone
- Loss of interest in sex
- Not being able to sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Not being able to concentrate
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling that life isn’t worth living
These symptoms often come with feelings of guilt and worthlessness, along with loss of confidence and feelings of helplessness, all of which can affect the quality of your day-to-day life.
IPT focuses on the link between depression and your relationships with others, helping you to take an in-depth look at these relationships. It supports you in identifying and addressing problems in your relationships with family, friends, colleagues, or your partner.
How does it work?
IPT recognises that relationship difficulties can be a key factor in depression and that life can feel easier if you have healthy and supportive relationships. It also acknowledges that depression affects relationships which can cause you to feel isolated from those around you.
IPT recognises that depression is often linked to key areas such as:
- The death of someone you love
- Being unable to resolve differences of opinion in a relationship
- Wanting healthy relationships with people around you but finding it hard to achieve this
- Adjusting to significant events in your life such as divorce, retirement or the diagnosis of an illness
Together in IPT we will explore these in a curious manner to support you to make change. IPT aims to help you recover from depression by learning to communicate better with others in your life and supporting you to address problems that contribute to your depression. I will work with you to identify your problems, set and monitor goals and explore alternative ways to manage things. I am truly interested in what you say and will help you to make sense of your experiences without judgement.
IPT is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a talking therapy for people with depression. It is an ‘evidence-based’ therapy, which means that research has shown that this kind of therapy works. IPT can reduce symptoms of depression and improve your relationship with others.
What does Interpersonal Therapy involve?
IPT is a structured therapy, taking place over 16 sessions, with an initial phase where I take time to really understand what you are bringing, a middle phase where we explore this in detail and an end phase where I support you to reflect on the changes you have made and how to keep well.
Each session will be up to 50 minutes in length and will generally take place weekly. IPT requires a commitment in terms of time and will ask you to take an active role in your therapy to support you to make change. Everyone’s therapy will be a bit different, but IPT aims to help you discover how current difficulties in your life are contributing to your symptoms of depression.