What is it?

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) is a brief psychodynamic therapy developed for treating depression. DIT can help people experiencing emotional and relationship problems.

DIT explores difficult things in the past that continue to affect the way you may feel and behave in the present. DIT is also referred to as psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

DIT is based on the ideas that

  • our behaviour is unconsciously determined
  • the way we see ourselves and our and relationships with others can be influenced by a number of things
  • the way we act in relationships with others is determined by our experiences as a child
  • unconscious processes control how we feel about our relationships with others
  • therapy should focus our current relationships, including your relationship with therapists

Why do we do it?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for depression state that brief psychodynamic therapy is one option that can be considered for depressed patients either when the patient has not responded to CBT interventions, or where the patient actively opts for a psychodynamic approach.

Who is it for?

DIT may be suitable for people who:

  • Have symptoms severe enough to be classed as depression
  • Experience episodes of depression rather than constant depression
  • Have relationship difficulties that have lead to most recent episode of depression
  • May have certain worries about being attached to others, such as having a fear of being abandoned
  • Prefer a psychodynamic therapy over CBT

What does it involve?

DIT involves meeting with a specially trained therapist face to face, in a course of around eight sessions. These sessions usually last around fifty minutes and are generally spread across a number of weeks.

You and your therapist will explore factors which may be contributing to your current relationships. Your therapist will support you to develop your own understanding of your current relationships and how other factors may influence how you see and feel about relationships with others.

What is required?

  • Commitment to attending sessions
  • Openness to new perspectives
  • Ability to set limited achievable goals to work on during treatment


If you think that DIT could help you with your current difficulties, talk to your GP or self refer to the service on 0203 228 1350.