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 was trained to use this modality under the supervision of Ivy League doctoral supervisors at USC. I have practiced this modality at all institutions I have been employed.

— Steven Su, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fullerton, CA

You may relate to others based on your family, past or current experiences, cultural identities, or other factors that have impacted your development. When a therapeutic alliance is formed, gradually an individual's relational style will also start to occur in our work. For instance, if you relate to others through the use of humor, we will examine how this benefits you and/or could be hindering your relationships. This approach to therapy can help you gain insight into your relational style.

— Marshall Bewley, Psychologist in Denton, TX

I work primarily from theoretical perspectives that emphasize the authentic relationships, individual strengths, and the potential for growth. Interpersonal theories direct my attention to my client’s current and past relational dynamics as I strongly believe that human beings are primarily motivated by the need to establish and maintain relationships.

— Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy, Psychologist in Atlanta, GA

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

IPT is a time-limited, focused, evidence-based approach to treat mood disorders and relationship difficulties. The main goal of IPT is to improve the quality of a client's interpersonal relationships and social functioning to help reduce their distress. IPT provides strategies to resolve problems within four key areas including social difficulties, grief/loss, role transitions, and conflict/disputes in relationships.

— Kathryn Williams, Psychologist in Santa Monica, CA

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

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

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 Smith-Moore, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I was trained through the IPT Institute in the specific area of Perinatal IPT. This evidenced-based approached is integral in supporting role transitions, interpersonal disputes, and grief and loss. I am drawn to the IPT approach because of it's flexibility, collaborative style, and focus on attachment.

— Rachel Brousseau, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in BURBANK, 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