Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (Second Edition)

By Toolon, James M. | American Journal of Psychotherapy, April 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (Second Edition)


Toolon, James M., American Journal of Psychotherapy


LAURA MUFSON, KRISTEN POLLACK DORTA, DONNA MOREAU, MYRNA M. WEISSMAN: Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (Second Edition) New York:NY: The Guilford PRess. 2004, 315 pp., $39.95, ISBN 1-59385-42-5

The use of interpersonal psychotherapy with depressed adolescents originated with Gerald L. Klerman, who drew upon the earlier work of Adolf Mayer; H.S. Sullivan; and John Bowlby. In the book Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (IPFDA), authors Mufson, Pollack Dorta, Moreau and Weissman describe one of the few therapeutic approaches for adults or adolescents that has been carefully researched. The approach is clearly outlined by the authors, who present numerous clinical pictures.

The authors, in the initial chapters, present succinctly the nature of depression in adolescence and they make the important statement "not all adolescents are depressed" (p. 3), as so many clinicians formerly believed. They describe in detail the various therapeutic approaches used in treating depressed adolescents, commenting that very few of these approaches have any research to support them. The authors are very open to using medication as part of their treatment for depressed adolescents. They clearly spell out their approach: "IPFDA is an intervention that is specifically aimed at treating the interpersonal problems that are associated with adolescent depression. IPFDA focuses largely on current interpersonal issues that are likely to be areas of greatest concern and importance to adolescents. Discussing interpersonal events is something adolescents can relate to and are accustomed to doing in their daily lives. . . ."(p. 25) They then outline the two main goals of IPFDA as (1) to decrease the depressive symptoms and (2) to improve the interpersonal problems associated with the onset of the depressive episode. …

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