IPT in New Formats:
Group, Telephone, Patient Guide;
Translation and Use in
Other Languages and Cultures
Group psychotherapy is a popular modality. It costs less than individual therapy, and has traditionally been considered a setting in which patients can obtain social support and develop interpersonal skills. There are several ongoing efforts to modify IPT for a group format. The best-developed version, which also has the advantage of efficacy data, is the group treatment for bulimia described in Chapter 21 ( Wilfley et al., 1993).
Wilfley's model involved relatively minor adaptations. As in much group therapy, sessions last ninety minutes, longer than most individual psychotherapy. There is a pregroup individual interview in which the therapist confirms the patient's diagnosis, completes the interpersonal inventory, explains the process of IPT and sets the treatment contract. Patients are told that the group provides an interpersonal laboratory to work on relationship problems and their social life. Patients with interpersonal deficits are encouraged to use the group as a social milieu to practice. After each session, the therapist summarizes the meeting, focusing on the interpersonal transactions, then mails this summary to participants.