Interpersonal therapy focuses on the link between your relationships and your moods.

Counselling Chair

Last updated Jul 15, 2020 by Dr. Sheri Jacobson Dr. Sheri Jacobson

Interpersonal Therapy UK

Do conflicts with those around you throw you into a low mood? Always second guessing yourself? Or have you suffered a life change that has left you floundering? Interpersonal therapy might be for you. 

Time to feel less lost and lonely?

Ready to try interpersonal therapy for depression, anxiety, or other issues? Call us now to make an appointment with an expert IPT therapist in London or online. You can also register your interest via our online booking form 

What is interpersonal psychotherapy?

Interpersonal therapy, or “IPT”, believes that there is a strong connection between our low moods and our relationships, with one affecting the other in a cycle. By recognising the problems we have with relating, and learning to navigate changes in our social environments better, we feel better. 

As a short-term therapy, you will generally work with your therapist for between 12 to 16 weeks. This is often one-on-one sessions, or you might be offered interpersonal group therapy.

How is IPT therapy different than other talk therapies?

It's all about interactions.  What ways are you impacting others that you might not realise? How are your relating skills causing the same problems? What social environments like work or a new culture are affecting you? 

It is present focused. You might talk a bit about past relationships when you discuss your current day ones, but only as a reference point.  

It seeks the problem without, not within. Instead of looking at dysfunctional thoughts or unresolved past issues, it asks, what is going on around you that is creating problems within? 

It is structured, but not too structured. There will be times your therapist interviews and assesses you to mark your progress. But it’s not as structured as something like CBT.

You have a warm relationship with the therapist. Your therapist will aim to quickly create an empathetic and open relationship with you that you can learn about trust from. 

Interpersonal therapy for depression 

Interpersonal therapy was originally created as a quick intervention for depression, and is currently offered by the NHS if your depression is severe and hasn’t responded to treatments like CBT. It is also recommended for adult depression by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care guidelines). 

Research shows that ITP is useful for a wide age range. It helps adolescents with depression as well as anger and reactivity [1]. And it's helpful for depression in the elderly as they adjust to life changes, such as having to be a caregiver for a partner [2].

What issues can ITP treatment help with? 

As well as depression, interpersonal therapy is suggested for:

  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder
  • eating disorders
  • family issues 
  • life change (divorce, retirement, moving country) 
  • loneliness
  • grief and bereavment
  • midlife crisis 
  • post-natal depression 
  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • relationship problems 
  • social phobia .

The goals of interpersonal therapy 

Like all therapies, the goal of ITP psychotherapy is to help you feel better about yourself and your life. But working with an IPT therapist can also provide benefits like: 

  • understand and communicate your feelings better
  • have more realistic expectations of yourself and others
  • feel more emotionally balanced
  • see and manage the impact you have on others
  • trust yourself and others more 
  • build a better social support system 
  • feel more confidence and self-esteem
  • be more resilient in the face of challenges and upsets
  • know how to find solutions to relationship issues.

IPT Therapists at Harley Therapy™ London

We recognise that coming to therapy can be a big step. And we make it easier by providing only true experts. All our psychotherapists and counselling psychologists trained at top institutions, have years of experience, and are highly committed to their work with clients. 

 

Further reading 

 
FOOTNOTES
*[1] Miller L, Hlastala SA, Mufson L, Leibenluft E, Riddle M. Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents With Mood and Behavior Dysregulation: Evidence-Based Case StudyEvid Based Pract Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2016;1(4):159-175. doi:10.1080/23794925.2016.1247679 
2.Hinrichsen, G.A. (1999), Treating older adults with interpersonal psychotherapy for depression. J. Clin. Psychol., 55: 949-960. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4679(199908)55:8<949::AID-JCLP4>3.0.CO;2-S .
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