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IPT focuses on social roles and relationships.

IPT is a time-limited course of treatment for depression and other mental disorders, which strengthens relationships and social supports in order to improve an individual’s mood and functioning. IPT generally lasts 12–16 weeks, with the timeframe agreed upon by therapist and client at the beginning of the treatment (International Society of Interpersonal Psychotherapy, 2019).

Communication Analysis is a structured method of examining the hypothesis that a person’s difficulties are being caused and made worse by poor communication. The goals for communication analysis are to help identify an individual’s communication patterns, recognize their contribution to the communication breakdown, and to help them communicate more effectively. 

Interpersonal Inventory is a register of the patient’s key current relationships. It is a unique feature of IPT that structures the process of history gathering and formulation of interpersonal problem areas and provides a reference point for conducting IPT. These problems are further characterized within one of the four interpersonal problem areas: interpersonal disputes, role transitions, grief and loss, and interpersonal sensitivities (or deficits). The Interpersonal Formulation is a way to addresses several questions: How did the patient come to be the way he or she is? What factors are maintaining the problem? What can be done about it? The formulation emphasizes both the interpersonal factors involved in the origin and context of the problem, as well as how IPT will help the patient overcome his or her symptoms. It is therefore a pivotal part of IPT, as the successful collaboration between client and therapist, to construct a valid formulation that “sets the scene” for the conduct of treatment. 


Role Playing is a technique in which a client and therapist create, in session, an interaction in that will reinforce behavioral change outside of therapy. While role playing, the client’s communication style and emotional responses can be examined in detail, and more effective communications styles can be discussed, modeled, and practiced (Weissman, Markowitz & Klerman, 2018). 

Dr. Myrna Weissman Interview

Dr. Myrna Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Chief of the Division of Translational Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Weissman has been a consultant to many private and public agencies, including the World Health Organization and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Weissman, along with her late husband Dr. Gerald Klerman, founded the therapeutic model of Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She is the author or a co-author of over 600 scientific articles and chapters and 12 books. Her most recent book is The Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy, which was published with her late husband Gerald Klerman, as well as John Markowitz.


Click the links below to find out more about Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

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