Interpersonal Psychotherapy or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) was developed to address depression, but over time its application has broadened. One of the main tenets of IPT is that regardless of the trigger or cause of depression, such problems develop in a social context and therefore understanding the influence of interpersonal relationships is seen as key to making changes.
Consideration is given to the symptoms experienced, the quality and impact of interpersonal relationships, emotional expression, self esteem and personality traits. The focus of IPT treatment is to understand how the symptoms developed and how they relate to interpersonal relationships.
IPT is a time-limited, focussed treatment which addresses current difficulties, not those which are more entrenched or long-standing. It aims to improve communication within relationships or to address expectations within these. Additionally IPT looks to enhance the person’s social network.