Skip to content

What is Interpersonal Therapy?

Interpersonal Therapy is a talking therapy that can help you to understand why you feel sad or down about previous and current relationships with friends, family members or partners. 

IPT is based on the idea that difficulties with relationships can affect your mental health, leaving you feeling down or depressed. Working with a therapist, you’ll begin to understand why previous relationships ended or broke down, and why you feel the way you do about them.  

Daniel Berry, Senior Practitioner at Faversham Counselling Service, said: “one of the things I like most about IPT is that it encourages clients to consider depression as an understandable response to difficult life events such as big changes, conflict, loss or isolation. This can help to destigmatise depression and address some of the self-blame and hopelessness that come hand in hand with it.”

What does an IPT session look like? 

Over the course of your IPT sessions, you will have an initial, middle and end phase. The initial phase focuses on why you may feel low or depressed in certain relationships, the middle phase looks at areas in your relationship that you could work on, and the end phase focuses on practical ways for you to improve your relationships in the future. 

Some of the things you might discuss in an IPT session may include: 

  • Conflict with someone in your life – no relationship is perfect, and we’re all going to experience conflict or a disagreement with someone from time to time. However, some relationships may be causing you stress or upset if you’re having regular conflict with someone. 
  • Life changes – we all go through changes, whether this be a new house, new job, or a loss of someone or something important to you. These things can all be hard to deal with as you adjust to the change in your life.
  • Grief – losing someone important to you can be extremely difficult as you try to navigate life without them. You might feel all kinds of emotions, such as sadness, anger, and anxiety. You may also put your life on hold, as you may find it hard to carry on without them. 

How to access IPT 

  • For more information on IPT and how to contact a provider in your local area, see this page on our website. 


Interpersonal therapy session

Published date:

17th August 2023

In partnership with:

Back to all posts