How Interpersonal Psychotherapy Fights Depression

Interpersonal psychotherapy is one of the longest established treatments for depression which is still used in the world today. It is not a long treatment, when compared to other psychotherapy treatments which can last for many months, but it can have an extensive effect in the time which is allowed for it. Even in three or four months, it is possible to connect with the issues which are causing the patient difficulties, and to carry out a series of treatments which can make a difference to their health and life.

This type of treatment is carried out using what is a typical psychotherapy mode of operation, with the patient and the practitioner sitting in chairs opposite each other, just talking. The patient will be encouraged to be open about the life situations which are bothering them, but it is important not to try to force anything or to make it happen too quickly. The most important factor in the success of this type of operation is the gaining of the trust of the patient, and this needs to come from within. When the patient voluntarily opens up, the barriers can come down quickly and they can then be extremely forthcoming with no coercion.

The brevity of the treatments can never be used as an excuse for trying to be too forceful in trying to make the patient come forward with information. If a part of what is asked seems to give the patient distress or make them hesitate, you will need to work round it and probe from another angle. The idea is to effectively make the patient be their own therapist, in identifying the cause of what is wrong and then putting it right. It is the patient's own inner mind which already has the answers, it is just a case of what will bring them out.

psychotherapy approaches

The techniques of interpersonal psychotherapy are just some of many which have been proven to work in the right circumstances. There is no specific college course in this discipline which you will need to take, rather it is one of many techniques which will be covered in a general psychotherapy course. You need to be able to complete such a course to pass the state examination, and then to become licensed. This can happen either through a traditional college campus course or one of the online learning equivalents which are becoming increasingly popular.

It is vital to get as good a grounding in different psychotherapy techniques as possible, partly because one technique may be more effective at dealing with certain problem than another, and partly because there are always lessons which can be taken from the use of one technique and applied to others. In this type of therapy for depression there is no substitute for experience, and by specializing in this type of case you can build up a mental database of effective phrases and when to use them. Many depressed patients can be helped out of their state with the right coaxing.


The therapists who use interpersonal psychotherapy are always trying to share their successes with the rest of the industry, and this gives anyone trying to find possible techniques a useful resource. If you have some degree of training in psychotherapy, you will be able to follow and understand the online diaries which my of these therapists produce. If you are about to begin your college training to become a psychotherapist, you will be able to find many real time accounts of how people have affected a change in their own mental outlook. There is plenty of new research into interpersonal psychotherapy.

Author: Marc Knox