Therapy Focuses on the 'Here and Now' Rather Than Past Events

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 27, 2006 | Go to article overview

Therapy Focuses on the 'Here and Now' Rather Than Past Events


Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) was first developed as a treatment of depression by Gerald Klerman, Myrna Weissman and colleagues.

The idea underlying the therapy is that depression usually occurs in a social and interpersonal context.

We do not live alone, our feelings affect others and others affect our feelings.

Our life circumstances tend to relate to the onset of our symptoms.

In the context of therapy, we try to learn to understand the relationship between our symptoms and what is currently going on in our life and to find ways of dealing with the interpersonal problems, and thereby reducing the symptoms of the depression.

Depression, in general, has different components such as the symptoms of depression, and interpersonal relations.

Many depressed clients are aware that problems with others play an important part in their condition, but they often see their problems as entirely individual, related only to their personal failures or inadequacies, or their early childhood experiences.

They may have social relationships that are overtly untroubled, or they may be socially isolated so they cannot see that interpersonal deficits increase their vulnerability to depression.

Interpersonal therapy helps clients gain a sense of mastery, combat social isolation, restore a sense of social belonging, and find meaning in their lives.

IPT aims to help clients change their current life situation.

Through therapy, clients get support such as reassurance, clarification of their emotions, improvement of their communication and preparation for making the life changes that will resolve the depression.

Moreover, the therapy intervenes with how symptoms are formed, social adjustment and interpersonal relations.

IPT has its own characteristics as described by its authors.

It is a brief type of therapy that is time-limited in meeting the needs of most clients.

It tends to address one or two problem areas in the client's current interpersonal relationship. IPT focuses on current social role 'here and now' rather than on the past events. …

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Therapy Focuses on the 'Here and Now' Rather Than Past Events
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