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If you seem to have problems in your relationships, then interpersonal therapy may help. This therapy may help build stronger bonds with family members and coworkers and help you learn to form new relationships.

What is the History of Interpersonal Therapy?

The first research study using interpersonal therapy was conducted at Yale University in 1969, where they called it high-contact therapy. The Yale team did the initial research on people suffering from major depression, and they found that with only a few weeks of treatment, people felt less depressed and functioned better in society.

What Are the Critical Elements of Interpersonal Therapy?

One key element of interpersonal therapy is that it is timed, with treatments usually lasting between 12 and 16 weeks. Therefore, patients can see quick relief when feeling depressed. Mental health workers following this theory see depression as a temporary condition based on circumstances in a person’s life beyond their control.

Usually, treatment involves three phases. During the first phase, the patient is sick because of life’s circumstances. For example, they have lost someone close to them or lost a job. In the middle phase, the therapist helps a depressed patient with mourning, role dispute, role transition, and interpersonal deficits. In the last stage, the patient learns better techniques to communicate their needs and how to take appropriate societal risks. Instead of ending treatment, patients may transition to a maintenance program where they see the therapist less often or move to a less intense therapy.

Who may Benefit From Interpersonal Therapy?

Many people may benefit from interpersonal therapy, including:

• Depressed patients
• Peripartum women
• Depressed adolescents
• Geriatric depressed patients
• Social phobias in patients
• Anxious patients
• Borderline personality disorder patients
• Insomniacs
• Eating disorders patients

What Is the Therapist’s Role in Interpersonal Therapy?

The therapist will talk to the patient in ways that help them acknowledge the emotions that they are feeling. Furthermore, you will be intentionally challenged to label new emotions that you are feeling. The patient and the therapist will discuss the implications of those emotions and encourage the patient to label their emotions more effectively.

If you believe that therapy is right for you, then we would love to help. Contact our office to set up a free initial consultation session today.



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