Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

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Scientific Rating:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Depression Treatment (Adult).

Target Population: Adults with depression

Brief Description

IPT is a time-limited and manual-specified psychotherapy developed initially for patients with major depressive disorder, but later adapted for other disorders and tested in numerous clinical trials. Designed for administration by trained mental health professionals, it can also be taught, with adaptations, to less trained health workers. IPT has been used with and without medication. IPT is based on the idea that the symptoms of depression have multiple causes. The onset of depressive symptoms is usually associated with a trigger in the patient’s current personal life. IPT helps the patient to identify and learn how to deal with those personal problems and to understand their relationship to the onset of symptoms. There are three phases:

  • The diagnostic and problem identification phase where a formulation and treatment contract are made
  • Identification of the problem area(s): grief, disputes, transition, or deficits, which is the focus of the middle phase
  • Termination

Program Goals:

The program representative did not provide information about the program’s goals.

Contact Information

Name: Myrna M. Weissman, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Phone: (646) 774-6427
Fax: (212) 568-3534

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2010