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(p. 18) Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Life Event–Based Therapy 

(p. 18) Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Life Event–Based Therapy
(p. 18) Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Life Event–Based Therapy

John C. Markowitz

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date: 05 May 2021

This chapter introduces the basic principles, structure, and techniques of IPT: a brief treatment manual for the (tele-)clinician. IPT is a time-limited, affect- and life event–based psychotherapy that helps patients master a life crisis, often by mobilizing social support and learning to use feelings to understand and manage interpersonal encounters. The basic paradigm is that feelings and symptoms arise in an interpersonal context: feeling and situation are connected. The IPT framework includes making a diagnosis, taking an interpersonal inventory to explore the patient’s relationships and current life crises, giving patients the no-fault, medical model “sick role,” setting a time limit, and providing a formulation linking the patient’s diagnosis to a focal problem area on which the therapy will thereafter focus. The problem areas are grief (complicated bereavement following the death of a significant other), role dispute (a struggle with someone), or a role transition (any major life change). The chapter also stresses the importance of affect tolerance and building a treatment alliance and provides a Social Rhythm Metric and a Covid Behavioral Checklist.

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