What is it?

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a type of therapy that aims to help manage symptoms of depression and low mood by focussing on certain relationship difficulties. These difficulties can include:

  • Arguments or disagreements in relationships and getting stuck in the same patterns leading to depression
  • Life changes that affect the way you feel about yourself and others, such as having a baby or losing a job
  • A major loss or bereavement that causes you to feel that your life is on hold since the death of a significant person
  • Difficulty starting or holding on to relationships

IPT looks at how low mood and depression affects the quality of your relationships and how certain difficulties in relationships cause low mood and depression.

Understanding all this can support you to make positive changes by thinking or acting differently. IPT can help people to take greater control of their lives and improve their confidence and helps people with interpersonal relationship difficulties to reduce the related experience of depression.

Why do we do it?

The evidence for IPT supports its use for a variety of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, and for a wide range of patients from children and adolescents to the elderly.

IPT is a National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended treatment for low mood and depression.  Our service offers IPT as a structured and focussed way of treating symptoms of depression.

Who is it for?

IPT is for people who:

  • Have symptoms severe enough to be classed as depression
  • Experience episodes of depression rather than constant depression
  • Understand ways in which their relationships and depression may affect each other

What does it involve?

IPT 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.

IPT involves looking at what may be your core difficulty in terms of relationships and how this relates to your depression. The therapist will support you to explore your core difficulty and to reflect on how you can make positive decisions and changes that may improve your episodes of depression

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