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Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is an evidence based psychotherapy that is practiced in mental health counselling. The focus is on helping people learn how their interpersonal challenges are causing and/or maintaining their psychological distress. IPT focuses on the person’s style of interpersonal interactions and how that is affecting mood and aims to help client identify and change patterns to relieve symptoms of depresssion.

Focus of Treatment Plan

In IPT, the client and therapist are working together to understand the important people in a person’s life, the quality of these relationships, the types of social support, attachment, conflict and communication styles. This information helps inform what the focus of treatment should be. There are four potential problem areas:

•    Grief or Complicated Bereavement
•    Role Dispute
•    Role Transition
•    Interpersonal Deficits

The therapy is divided into three phases: the beginning, middle and end. The beginning is focused on assessment, the middle phase is to work on skills to resolve interpersonal challenges based on the focal area and the end is to generalize skills and support transitions out of treatment. 


IPT is an evidence based psychotherapy that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of depression. It is time limited, between 12-16 weeks, and is delivered individually or in a group format. The focus of treatment is based on the focal area identified with the patient. There is skill building, practice in session and between sessions to improve interpersonal functioning with the purpose of improving mood and decreasing depressive symptoms.  

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