From the clip “What is interpersonal psychotherapy?”, interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) aims to treat depression and other emotional problems. An interpersonal psychotherapist teaches people how to identify, understand, and change the thoughts and behaviors contributing to their emotional difficulties. IPT for depression is more effective than antidepressants alone.
IPT teaches people skills they can use in their everyday lives to adapt more easily when dealing with difficult emotions or stressful situations. In addition, behavioral therapy sessions can help people develop better ways of relating with others who might support them throughout their treatment.
The principles of IPT are based on the theory that people experience emotions more intensely and for a more extended period than others simply because they have unique thoughts and experiences. People may have similar emotions to those around them. Despite this, each emotion is uniquely theirs. These unique emotions trigger thoughts that are uncomfortable for people.
IPT therapists help clients learn how best to express themselves in a way that will not trigger intense feelings of anxiety. In turn, they may lead them to avoid situations where their emotions might be triggered or act in ways their friends view as inappropriate or strange. An interpersonal psychotherapist will support them regardless of how others receive them.