Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), also known as interpersonal therapy, was developed in the 1970s by Gerald Klerman and Myrna Weissman, and is based on the work of Harry Stack Sullivan, Adolf Meyer, and John Bowlby. IPT is a uniquely structured therapeutic modality that is most often used to treat individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, as well as other psychiatric disorders. Good Therapy explains “IPT is designed to help people address current concerns and improve interpersonal relationships.” It is rooted in the notion that improving interpersonal functioning can alleviate emotional distress. IPT plays a significant role in the treatment of teen mental health issues, particularly those related to interpersonal relationships and emotional difficulties. It can be used as a standalone therapy or in combination with other therapeutic modalities, depending on the teenager’s specific needs. According to Columbia University, the goals of IPT are to:
- Help adolescents to recognize their feelings and think about how interpersonal events or conflicts might affect their mood.
- Improve communication and problem-solving skills.
- Enhance social functioning and lessen stress experienced in relationships.
- Decrease depressive symptoms.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on how a teenager’s communications and interactions with other people affect his or her own mental health. Further, it teaches teenagers effective communication skills, including how to express their needs, emotions, and boundaries assertively and respectfully. IPT is adaptable to the developmental needs and preferences of teenagers. For example, in cases where family dynamics play a significant role in a teenager’s mental health challenges, IPT can involve family members to improve family communication and relationships. Interpersonal psychotherapy is an important approach in teen mental health treatment. It addresses interpersonal issues and provides practical strategies for improving relationships, resolving conflicts, and alleviating emotional distress. Through interpersonal therapy a teen will learn to resolve and adjust unhealthy interpersonal problems, resulting in a symptomatic recovery.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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