Interpersonal Therapy for Depression: Effectiveness and Session

Question: Describe a session of interpersonal therapy. Is there any criticism? When is Interpersonal therapy most appropriate?

Interpersonal Therapy Technique

The therapist and the patient take a look and discuss the patients past and present relationships as they relate to the depression, in the first few sessions. Areas having problems are identified.

Interpersonal Therapy Session

Let us consider an example, where the patient is having trouble with his boss. This is a recurrent problem at several jobs.

The therapist may ask-

  • What is the problem with the relationship?
  • What according to you is the proper role of a boss?
  • What are your functions and what are your boss’s?
  • Are you acting in this manner because you unconsciously want to be fired?
  • Do you give people a chance?

After hearing all the answers the therapist will come up with new improved ways of relating to his boss and thus help the patient.

One of the aspects of interpersonal therapy treatment for depression that leads to criticism is that it does not offer people an examination of the social context in which the depressive disorder developed. Interpersonal therapy will not question if the boss’s demands are appropriate. It will only try to find ways to help the patient deal with it. But if the demands are impossible to meet then many therapists would advice the patient to change his job. But the goal of Interpersonal therapy is to help people do the best in what they have.

Interpersonal therapy is most beneficial for people who are involved in conflicts with others and those who are have difficulties adjusting to social role, change of career or other changes in life for example – someone who is very sad about the breakup of a marriage and having trouble  being single.

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