Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) understands symptoms of depression as a response to significant life changes and / or current difficulties in relationships. In turn, the psychological symptoms can also affect the quality of our interactions or relationships with others.

IPT typically focuses on the following relationship difficulties:

  • Conflict with another person – difficulties encountered in significant relationship can often be a source of tension and distress.
  • Life changes – Life changes throw up new challenges, such as when we have a child or lose a job. These changes can leave us feeling unable to cope with the demands of the new situation and what is expected of us.
  • Grief and loss – It can be very difficult to adjust to life following the loss of a significant person.
  • Starting or keeping relationships – sometimes relationships are difficult because of what is missing, for example not having enough people around us or not feeling as close to others as we would like.

The main focus of IPT is on relationship problems and on helping the person to identify how they are feeling and behaving in their relationships. When a person is able to deal with a relationship problem more effectively, their psychological symptoms often improve.