What is interpersonal therapy (IPT)?

'I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together'; the Beatles had a good point here. As humans, we rely deeply on our social bonds, whether platonic, familial or romantic. Interpersonal therapy is based on the belief that difficulty interacting with others can be very damaging to our mental health. 

Interpersonal therapy is usually time-limited and focuses on established troubling relationships, so IPT is best suited for those with issues they have identified.

During interpersonal therapy a client will learn how to clarify their issues, how to communicate better with others and will benefit from a supportive, attentive environment. 

Who benefits from interpersonal therapy?

Interpersonal therapy can be very helpful to those with depression, whether moderate or severe, and depressive conditions such as bipolar and cyclothymia. When you are depressed, interacting with others can be a struggle and a failure to interact in turn can lead to a prolonged experience of depression. 

Interpersonal therapy has also been found to be an effective treatment for eating disorders. 

Relevant associations



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Last updated on September 4 2015