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(p. 13) An Outline of IPT 

(p. 13) An Outline of IPT
(p. 13) An Outline of IPT

Myrna M. Weissman

, John C. Markowitz

, and Gerald L. Klerman

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date: 09 July 2020

As an acute treatment, IPT has three phases: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Each phase lasts a few sessions and has specific tasks. A fourth phase may follow acute treatment: namely, continuation or maintenance treatment, for which therapist and patient contract separately. Key steps in the initial sessions are defining and diagnosing depression, exploring the patient’s interpersonal inventory of current relationships to find potential social supports and interpersonal difficulties, providing the sick role, setting a time limit, defining an interpersonal focus, and linking the focus to the depressive diagnosis in a focal formulation. In the intermediate sessions, therapist and patient work on one of the four IPT problem areas: grief, role dispute, transitions, or deficits. Termination of this time-limited therapy is addressed in the last few sessions.

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