Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a time limited, structured therapeutic approach, normally lasting around 12-16 sessions. It is based on the idea that emotional distress occurs due to difficulties in relationships and the way in which we respond to life events. Therefore, the aim of IPT is to improve the quality of interpersonal relationships and social functioning in order to help reduce distress.
Following a thorough assessment, you will choose to focus on one or two of the following themes:
- Interpersonal disputes – for example, with family, peers, intimate relationships or the workplace and where these disputes cause significant distress
- Role transitions – for example, changes in relationship status, work role that require you to adapt and where this change is experienced as distressing
- Grief – where feelings of loss or grief are stuck and unresolved
- Interpersonal deficits – exploring relationships that are problematic and cause you distress (or indeed the absence of relationships)