Interpersonal Therapy Can Help with Depression

How Interpersonal Therapy Can Help with Depression


IPT, as the name suggests, focuses on your relationships and social interactions, including the help you get from others and how those relationships affect your mental health.

Many mental health practitioners thought of depression as “person-based” when IPT was first introduced. In other words, it is believed that depression is not influenced by its environment, on the other hand, acknowledges that a person’s connections can have a significant impact on their mental health.

You may meet two sorts of interpersonal treatment adaptations: dynamic and metacognitive.

DIT (dynamic interpersonal treatment) is also known as psychodynamic interpersonal therapy or mentalization-based therapy. DIT is designed to help you better comprehend your own and others’ ideas and feelings. It usually comprises of 16 sessions spread out over five months.

Metacognitive interpersonal therapy (MIT) is an integrative method to treating personality disorders characterised by significant emotional suppression or avoidance. One 12-week study discovered that participating in MIT helped lessen depression symptoms and improve emotional identification.

IPT begins with the therapist performing an interpersonal inventory since it adopts the concept of treating depression through enhancing relationships. This survey provides a thorough examination of your major relationships, both present and former. These linkages are then classified into four major concern areas.


While going through the phases of grief is typical in this case, a great loss can also result in unresolved grief. This is grieving that is delayed (lasts a long time after the loss), distorted, or grief in which you may not feel emotions but instead have depression-related symptoms such as insomnia and exhaustion.

Role disputes

When you and the important people in your life have different expectations about your relationship, role conflicts arise. For example, if you believe your partner should be more affectionate or inquire about your day more frequently. Depression can result from a mismatch between expectations and actual conduct.

Role transitions

Depression can arise during life transitions, such as when your role changes and you don’t know how to adjust. Marriage, divorce, becoming a parent, and retirement are all examples of role shifts.

Interpersonal deficits

If you struggle to build and maintain healthy connections, IPT can help you discover your interpersonal weaknesses. This can include any thoughts of inadequacy you may have, as well as difficulties expressing your emotions.

Interpersonal therapy has a variety of significant advantages, including:

Relationship improvement: IPT can assist patients comprehend how their relationships affect their lives. The purpose is twofold: to assist patients function better socially and to minimize depression symptoms.

Reduced depression: This type of psychotherapy is based on the idea that depression happens in the context of relationships. In other words, your relationships can either raise or diminish your depression, and being depressed can have an effect on your relationships. As a result, the purpose of IPT is to alleviate your depression symptoms through increasing your interactions with others.

Unlike some other types of depression treatment, IPT does not aim to dive into your inner issues caused by prior events. Rather, it focuses on your current connections, how they may be affecting your depression symptoms, and how you might enhance your interactions for a better mental state.

Depression, according to interpersonal therapy, is not always a “person issue,” but can also be caused by relationship problems.

You should expect your treatment to last between 12 and 16 weeks. Sessions are planned out and include regular assessments, therapist interviews, and homework assignments.

Your therapist will discover more about you, your symptoms, and your relationship history during your first few meetings. Following that, you will work with your therapist to address specific issues. Because the tactics employed can be modified as treatment advances, your goals, assignments, and sessions may vary as your therapist evaluates your progress.

Combining IPT with other depression treatments may also be useful. For example, studies suggest that combining treatment with medicine is often more successful than either one alone.

Interpersonal therapy can help treat depression and other mental health issues successfully by concentrating on aspects of your relationships that may be contributing to your illness. In some circumstances, bringing significant people into the therapeutic process directly may be beneficial. Your doctor can advise you on whether IPT is appropriate for your needs and whether it would be more effective if paired with other therapies.

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