Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy

By Myrna M. Weissman; John C. Markowitz et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Interpersonal Deficits
Interpersonal deficits are chosen as the focus of treatment when a patient with major depression presents with a history of social impoverishment, inadequate or unsustaining interpersonal relationships. Patients with such deficits may never have established lasting or intimate relationships as adults, or have pervasive feelings of loneliness and social isolation not specifically related to recent transitions or interpersonal disputes. In general, patients with a history of interpersonal deficits tend to be more severely disturbed than those with other presenting problems. If patients describe both interpersonal deficits and one of the other interpersonal problem areas, it is preferable to focus on the latter.Included are patients who:
1. are socially isolated, lacking relationships either with intimate friends or at work. They have chronic difficulty in developing close relationships.
2. have an adequate number and range of relationships, but find them unfulfilling and/or have difficulty in sustaining them. These people may have chronic low self-esteem, despite apparent popularity or success at work.
3. have lingering symptoms, untreated or inadequately treated in the past, that interfere with relationships.

It is important to rule out dysthymic disorder among patients with interpersonal deficits, as chronic depression often presents with social impover

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