Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Anxiety Essay

Total Length: 602 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 2

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Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and its theory, techniques, application, strengths, weaknesses or other related topics are: the article by Souza et al. (2016) that examines the effects of IPT on treatment-resistant depression in adults, and the article by Markowitz, Lipsitz and Milrod (2014) that examines the relevant literature available on the impact of IPT on anxiety disorders.

Both articles provide assessments of the theory of IPT, which is that IPT provides a short-term treatment for individuals in need of psychological treatment. Its aim is to assist the individual in regaining functioning day-to-day abilities. The application typically takes between twelve and sixteen weeks and the theory upon which it is based is the idea that how the individual relates to others has a significant impact on his mental health. Thus, the concept that guides Interpersonal Psychotherapy is that relationships and how they are perceived, interpreted, developed and maintained is of critical importance to the psychological health of the individual. The techniques used in implementing IPT include structured therapy sessions, assessment guides, and contemplative exercises. As Markowitz et al. (2014) point out, IPT "has demonstrated efficacy in treating mood and eating disorders" as well as a number of all psychological maladies, such as depression (p. 316).

One of the weaknesses associated with IPT, however, is that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that it is an effective treatment of anxiety disorders, as Markowitz et al.

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(2014) indicate. Likewise, Souza et al. (2016) find that while IPT is an effective strategy in alleviating the symptoms of depression, the evidence for "adding IPT to pharmacotherapy in patients" with treatment-resistant depression is still lacking. Thus, the overriding weakness of IPT is simply that it has not adequately studied in a wide range of treatments for varying disorders: there is still much room for it to be more deeply analyzed and assessed.

Another weakness of the therapy is that it does require a total commitment from the patient. There is no passive aspect of the treatment that the patient can simply "allow" to happen. Instead, the patient has to be fully engaged and committed for the duration of the time period allocated to the therapy. This can be difficult for patients who are not able to muster the enthusiasm or the commitment, as Souza et al. (2016) indicate is the case among treatment-resistant depression patients. Nonetheless, for patients….....

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Markowitz, J., Lipsitz, J., Milrod, B. (2014). Critical review of outcome research on interpersonal psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 31(4): 316-325.

Souza, L. et al. (2016). Interpersonal psychotherapy as add-on for treatment-resistant depression: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 193: 373-380.

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