Interpersonal Psychotherapy provides an introduction to the theory, history, research, and practice of this effective, empirically validated approach. Gerald L. Klerman and Myrna M. Weissman initially created interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) as a brief approach for treating depression, but it has since been adapted for use with a wide variety of client presenting problems and in longer-term situations. This approach focuses on the interaction between interpersonal dysfunction and psychological symptoms. IPT is founded on the idea that humans are social beings, thus client personal relationships lie at the center of presenting problems and psychological states. Although grounded in a medical model, which is used to conceptualize the client's presenting problem, the primary basis for this approach lies in an interpersonal modification of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Therapy is present-focused, but aspects of attachment theory are used to analyze how past relationships affect current relationships.
Therapists applying IPT take an active stance, continually and supportively guiding the sessions to maintain focus on one of four interpersonal problem areas: unresolved grief, role transitions, role disputes, or interpersonal deficits. In this book, Frank and Levenson present and explore this versatile and useful approach, its theory, history, therapy process, primary change mechanisms, the empirical basis for its effectiveness, and contemporary developments that have refined the theory and expanded how it may be practiced. This essential primer, amply illustrated with case examples featuring diverse clients, is perfect for graduate students studying theories of therapy and counseling, as well as for seasoned practitioners interested in understanding how this approach has evolved and how it might be used in their practice.