Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is an extremely effective therapy that has been specifically tailored for the treatment of depression and its effectiveness has been proven many times over. IPT explains depressive disorder as a multifactorial disease that always develops in an interpersonal and psychosocial context. The main focus not only considers the individual but his entire frame of reference. For this reason, the therapeutic work is based on the patient's current life relationships that are related to the depressive episode (e.g., loneliness / social deficits, interpersonal conflicts, role changes e.g. in the context of maternity or retirement, grief and loss). In addition to the emotional handling of interpersonal problems and the imparting of social skills to overcome the difficulties, the constructive handling and reduction of depressive symptoms is achieved through the imparting of effective strategies. Specific interpersonal techniques (eg communication analysis) as well as techniques of other therapy schools (e.g. role playing games) are used and have proved to be successful in the empirical examination.
The IPT is conducted as an individual or group therapy. It has a structured, educational (i.e. explanatory) and exercise-oriented character and is based on the active cooperation of the patient (independent development of materials, homework to practice and solidify learned strategies).