What is IPT?

Published 19 April, 2024

IPT stands for interpersonal therapy. It is a form of evidence-based psychotherapy designed to improve the quality of a patient’s interpersonal relationships and social functioning in order to help reduce their distress – this is based on interpersonal theory and psychosocial research on depression. In essence, IPT helps people communicate with others and enables them to address the problems that are contributing to their depression.

Unlike some more traditional forms of psychotherapy, which analyse the unconscious origin of a person’s thoughts and feelings, IPT focuses on addressing the more immediate challenges people face. An example of this would be exploring how the symptoms of depression are impacting on personal relationships and establishing some ways to navigate those effects.

How does it work?

With IPT treatment, the therapist will start by identifying the difficulties a patient is facing. These challenges often centre around personal relationships. The next step is for the therapist to work with their patient to outline a treatment plan which aligns with the pre-established goals.

What is IPT used to treat?

Most commonly, IPT is used for depression. However, it can also help treat bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, role disputes, eating disorders and more. IPT provides strategies to help with four key areas:

  • Sensitivities, including social isolation or difficult relationships with others or themselves
  • Unresolved/complex grief if the onset of distress is linked to the death of a loved one
  • Life transitions such as retirement, divorce or moving house
  • Interpersonal disputes that emerge from conflicting expectations between partners, family members, friends etc.

Does Xyla offer IPT?

At Xyla, we offer flexible online IPT, which you can access from the comfort of your own home. Our sessions are available 7 days a week, booked in at a time that suits you; we offer sessions between 7am – 11pm. To access IPT with us, you need to be referred from your local IAPT service. You can find your nearest service by clicking here.

Please note, neither this form of therapy nor our service is designed for emergencies. If you need urgent help or you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can access emergency support here.

Share this article

Contact us

Have any questions about our services? Whether you’re wondering about how we can help your health goals, or assist your healthcare organisation, we’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch

Xyla is a trading name of ICS Operations Ltd (Registered No 4793945), Pulse Healthcare Limited (Registered No 3156103), Carehome Selection Limited (Registered No 3091598), Independent Clinical Services Limited (Registered No 4768329) and CHS Healthcare Software Limited (Registered No 11582111)