The Integration of Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Introduction Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a short-term psychotherapy that was developed by Myrna Weissman and Gerald Klerman in the 1980’s. It focuses on the interpersonal relationships in the client’s life, instead of on past or biological causes. The therapy is kept fairly structured by the clinician’s use of a manual and aims to help the client recover from their current episode of depression. Interpersonal Psychotherapy has been used in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in research studies, with promising results. Though initially developed for the use of depression, IPT has also been effective with other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders. Interpersonal Psychotherapy continues to be researched, as well as modified for use with other client populations such as adolescents. Clinicians, especially those who work with mood disorders, should learn more about IPT and decide if it is something they would like to incorporate into their practice. The Evolution of Interpersonal Psychosocial Therapy Interpersonal psychotherapy has its roots in the work of Harry Stack Sullivan, who was the first scholar to draw attention to the effect connections between humans may have on mental illness. Sullivan’s ideas were developed in reaction to his disagreements over Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic view that humans put up boundaries between each other instead of forming strong bonds (Evans, 1996). Unsatisfied with the current therapies, Sullivan developed descriptive psychiatry in the 1930’s that acknowledged the importance of social factors on an individual. Descriptive psychiatry did not have a specific structure, and was therefore more of an ideology to have towards treatment. Also, IPT is ... ... middle of paper ... ... theory: II. Practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 10 (1), 107–121. Sharfstein, S. S. (1998). Harry Stack Sullivan: Interpersonal theory and psychotherapy review. American Journal of Psychology, 155 (182). Weissman, M. M., Markowitz, J. C., & Klerman, G. L. (2000). A comprehensive guide to interpersonal psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books. Weissman, M. M. & Markowitz, J. C. (2004). Interpersonal psychotherapy: principles and applications. World Psychiatry, 3(3), 136-139. Wilfley DE, MacKenzie RK, Welch RR, et al., editors. Interpersonal psychotherapy for group. New York: Basic Books; 2000. Zlotnick C, Johnson SL, Miller IW, et al. Postpartum depression in women receiving public assistance: pilot study of an interpersonal-therapy-oriented group intervention. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2001;158:638–640.
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