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(p. 30) Beginning IPT 

(p. 30) Beginning IPT
Chapter:
(p. 30) Beginning IPT
Author(s):

Myrna M. Weissman

, John C. Markowitz

, and Gerald L. Klerman

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190662592.003.0004
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date: 08 July 2020

This chapter describes the tasks of the first few IPT sessions. The therapist’s tasks in the opening sessions are to review the depressive symptoms and make a diagnosis; explain depression as a medical illness and describe treatment options; evaluate the need for medication; review the patient’s “interpersonal inventory”; present a formulation, linking the patient’s illness to an interpersonal focus; make a treatment contract based on the formulation, and explain what to expect in treatment; define the framework and structure of treatment; and give the patient the “sick role.” After this, the work of IPT begins on the defined problem area. In these sessions the therapist focuses consistently on mood and interpersonal interaction. The therapist helps the patient to see the link between them, reinforces adaptive interpersonal functioning, and helps the patient to explore and gain comfort with new options where old strategies have not been working.

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