Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy, or IPT, is a short-term, focused treatment for mood disorders, such as depression. Rooted in attachment and communication theories, IPT is designed to help people address current concerns and improve interpersonal relationships. IPT is based on the principle that relationships and life events impact mood and that the reverse is also true. Treatment follows a highly structured and time-limited approach and seldom lasts longer than 16 weeks. The goal of IPT is to rapidly reduce symptoms. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s interpersonal therapy specialists today.

Meet the specialists

I work with clients in the moment and I am open and genuine about how I feel and what I am thinking when I am in the therapy room with them. I have found that this helps the client build insight. I also believe this strengthens the bond between client and counselor which is the foundation to change.

— Lauren Lewis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Loveland, CO

I was trained in Interpersonal Therapy starting from the beginning of my graduate school career, and I have led multiple interpersonal process groups. I integrate a lot of IPT into my individual work and also hope to create and facilitate an interpersonal process group again soon.

— Jason Wu, Psychologist in San Jose, CA

So what even is Interpersonal Therapy? It is a form of therapy that focuses on you and your relationships with others. The idea is that by examining and improving the quality of relationships with others, we can improve our mental wellbeing. We can improve our relationships with others and ourselves by teasing out the patterns we use in relationships and switching to more helpful patterns. Give me a call to see how you can benefit from this.

— Coral Sanchez, Associate Professional Counselor in Newport Beach, CA

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a form of therapy that was developed to treat depression and focuses on interpersonal relationships. IPT addresses problems in social roles and relationships that may have contributed to the development or maintenance of depression. These problems include the loss of a loved one, disruptions or conflicts in significant relationships, difficulty adapting to changes in relationships or life circumstances, and problems related to interpersonal difficulties.

— Nicholas Moore, Clinical Psychologist

I use the therapeutic relationship to provide immediate feedback on your thought patterns, your reactions to what we are talking about, and your body language in the immediacy of therapy. I do this within a safe, compassionate and genuine therapeutic environment. The feedback I provide is based on your needs, and stated goals in therapy. I gently challenge the ways that make you feel stuck with your challenges by helping you connect your past relational patterns to your present, and who you are.

— Lavanya Devdas, Psychologist in Doylestown, PA

Many people come to therapy because of problems in their relationships with others--such as partners, parents, children, relatives, bosses, classmates, and co-workers. We can't change these people, but we can change how we respond to them. In interpersonal therapy, we explore your relationship patterns, and try out new ways of communicating and expressing your needs.

— Lilyan Moore, Counselor in Portland, OR

Interpersonal therapy looks at early attachment, family dynamics, thoughts, and other aspects of how people develop and maintain relationships. It explains behaviors and symptoms through the lens of people trying to manage emotions and relationships through the use of less than helpful coping skills. IPT says that when you work on making interpersonal relationships healthier, you do not need to rely on the symptoms and behaviors that are controlling your life.

— Joy Zelikovsky, Psychologist

IPT is known to be one of the most effective methods of treatment for perinatal mood disorders. IPT helps clients identify sources of their distress and how to alleviate distress. Communication skills that assist in relationship building, strengthening supports and increasing confidence are the primary focus of IPT.

— Kerri-Anne Brown, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, FL

IPT is one of the two evidenced-based approaches shown to treat perinatal mood and anxieties disorders. Using IPT allows us to focus on 1. role transitions, 2. grief/loss, and 3. interpersonal conflict. It takes into consideration your attachment style and is respectful of your wishes.

— Abigail Burd, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

Through an interpersonal lens, I am focused on the process of our interactions, the dynamics in your relationship with me and others, the ways in which you might have subtle or more significant reactions to things that happen and how to become more aware of those shame triggers, patterns, behaviors, and symptoms to improve your self-awareness, respond gently to practice self-compassion in difficult moments to healing and improve your responses over time.

— Megan Tucker, Psychologist in Providence, RI

My work with interpersonal relationships come from a variety of resources, but also uses a Systems approach which is primarily process oriented. All behavior can be seen as relevant communication meaning and relationship. Relationships involve content and process, but process is key in terms of getting and receiving messages, as well as, maintaining a healthy Rrelationship.

— M. Douglas Evans, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Ann Arbor, MI

I believe that, frequently, negative beliefs about ourselves form from past experiences such as traumas, being ignored, being pressured to be a particular way, or societal messages. These beliefs impact how we act toward others, which can in turn negatively influence relationships and make us continue to have negative beliefs. It can be empowering to figure how to change our relationships and interactions with others, challenging negative thinking, and learning new assertive ways of coping.

— Steffanie Grossman, Psychologist in Dallas, TX

The underlying problem of human struggles is often interpersonal, whether it be due to oppression or attachment loss or neglect. To bring resolution to this, it is important to address the interpersonal disconnection to repair the rupture. This also means providing the emotional corrective experience that helps to heal the disconnection and rupture. My style in this approach is warm, relational, authentic, and transparent while prioritizing safety at all times.

— Lina Pranata, Psychologist in Seattle, WA

Interpersonal Psychotherapy aims to target struggles with role transitions, interpersonal deficits/disputes, and unresolved grief for a reduction in symptom distress. It is a recommended treatment for mood disorders (i.e. depression, bipolar disorder, etc.), anxiety, and eating disorders.

— Shavonne James, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Long Beach, CA

In therapy, my goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment where clients can be themselves. I aim to support clients as they share the aspects of their lives they are unhappy with and offer caring exploration along the way. Through an approach of understanding and insight, I work to help clients live healthier and more satisfying lives.

— Whitney Showler, Marriage & Family Therapist in Culver City, CA

The foundation of my therapy work is Interpersonal Therapy. This was the theoretical approach of my graduate program and it strongly informs the way I approach clients in my work today. I find the balance of acknowledging the importance of the past while primarily focusing on how we can create change in the present day to be very helpful to my clients.

— Lindsey Brooks, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

I practiced IPT in group and individual therapy at the Central London Hospital where I worked until returning to the USA. In developing a therapy plan in collaboration with clients, CBT might not be appealing. IPT offers an evidence-based alternative for those who are not best served by CBT. I find it useful in therapy for grief or loss.

— Jessica Johns-Green, Licensed Professional Counselor in Katy, TX

Our world is made up of relationships, and problems with relationships often lead to finding ways to make the world more manageable. Interpersonal Therapy is a way of looking at relationships, thoughts, families and systems that people are a part of, and early attachment to help people understand how they are functioning in the world and why they may use certain coping techniques to manage their world. It can also be a way to examine techniques that are working and how to change what is not.

— Joy Zelikovsky, Psychologist