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Interpersonal therapy Talking Therapies

Interpersonal therapy

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What is Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)?

  • The main focus of IPT is on relationship problems and on helping you to identify how you are feeling and behaving in your relationships with others.
  • IPT looks at symptoms, such as low mood or anxiety, and tries to understand how this may be a response to current difficulties in relationships, or how the low mood or anxiety could be affecting the quality of relationships.
  • During IPT you may focus on one or more of the following relationship difficulties:
    • Conflict with another person
    • Life changes that affect how you feel about yourself and others
    • Grief and loss
  • Difficulty in starting or keeping relationships going
  • It aims to support people with mild to moderate common mental health difficulties, such as low mood, anxiety and stress. View types of difficulties here.
  • Your sessions may be weekly or fortnightly and you will have an opportunity to agree the number of sessions in your treatment plan with your Interpersonal therapist.
  • Interpersonal Therapy can be delivered over the telephone or in person at your GP surgery or other local venues close to you with sessions lasting up to 50 minutes.

How do I access it? 

  • You will first need an assessment with one of our therapists. You will have an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and what your goals are. During your assessment you will be able to discuss treatment options with your therapist, where you may both decide that IPT is best suited to your needs. You will then be given an appointment for IPT as soon as one becomes available.

Who supports me?

  • An Interpersonal Therapist will deliver the therapy and can support you to enable you to make positive changes via the telephone or in person.

What are the benefits?

  • You will develop an understanding of how difficulties in your relationships may have contributed to your psychological symptoms.
  • You will feel able to deal with a relationship problem more effectively, which may improve your psychological symptoms.
  • Interpersonal Therapy is a recommended intervention by the NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).

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