Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)

What is IPT?

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is another approach proven to be effective in the treatment of depression.  Like CBT, IPT focuses on what is happening in the present. IPT usually involves up to 20 weekly sessions, each lasting approximately one hour. 

While depression may not be caused by interpersonal interactions, events that happen within a relationship can contribute to the onset or severity of a depressive episode.  In addition, it’s common for depression to have a negative impact on relationships.  IPT was developed to address the interpersonal issues that seem most important to the start or continuation of depressive symptoms.  Sessions are focused on one or two key issues that have been identified as most closely related to the depression. These issues may include disputes with others, life changes or transitions that affect relationships or unresolved grief over the loss of a relationship.

Like CBT, IPT can be used in combination with medication. Combination treatment has been found to be most helpful for people who have experienced multiple episodes of depression.