Interpersonal psychotherapy

What is interpersonal psychotherapy for PTSD?

Traumatic events may disrupt attachments and lead to gradual distancing and avoidance of interpersonal triggers, along with social detachment, emotional negativity, and anger. Interpersonal psychotherapy involves psychoeducation, focussing on factors such as grief, the role of dispute, the role of transition, and interpersonal functioning. The therapy helps patients to understand their response to the emotions that arise from the context of relationships and to use this understanding to strengthen their interpersonal relationships.

What is the evidence for interpersonal psychotherapy?

Moderate quality evidence found a medium-sized effect of improved PTSD symptoms with interpersonal psychotherapy. The effect size was largest in studies with passive rather than active controls, in studies with >12 rather than ≤12 sessions, in samples with a primary PTSD diagnosis rather than a major depression diagnosis, and in samples with exposure to natural disasters or mass violence rather than exposure to interpersonal trauma.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 4:25 am, 12th October 2021
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