Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Patients with Mental Disorders

Jan 1, 2020Guidelines




Summary: The guideline discusses the theoretical basis and historical evolution of interpersonal therapy (IPT), including its specific characteristics. IPT is time-limited, diagnosis-targeted therapy that focuses on the relationship between affective distress and interpersonal situations. Non-specific elements including nonjudgmental approach, empathic listening, maintaining confidentiality, expressing warmth, and engaging the patient in the therapy, and specific elements include providing patients a sick role, applying an IP inventory, and making a formulation that links the patients’ IP problem areas with their psychiatric diagnosis. IPT theorises that a disturbance in the environment due to unavoidable stressors leads to changes in IP environment, which eventually leads to the symptoms of depression. It is structured over 12-20 sessions over 4-5 months, and includes three phases: inital/beginning, middle phase and end/termination phase, each of which has a specific purpose. The formulation of problems in terms of interpersonal dysfunction, viz grief, role disputes, role transitions and interpersonal deficits, and their impact on the techniques of IPT are discussed. Common techniques such as non-directive exploration, elicitation, encouraging expressions of affect, clarification, communication and decision analysis and role play are discussed. Adaptations of IPT for use in peripartum depression, in children and adolescents, and geriatric depression are briefly described. Other modifications for dysthymia, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder are also discussed.
Authors: Pallavi Rajhans, Gagan Hans, Vinay Kumar, Rakesh Kumar Chadda
Year of Publication: January-2020
Citation: Rajhans P, Hans G, Kumar V, Chadda RK. Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Patients with Mental Disorders. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;62(Suppl 2):S201.

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