Interpersonal Psychotherapy


Interpersonal Psychotherapy is a structured, time-limited therapy, which focuses on changing the interpersonal factors that make you susceptible to, cause, and maintain distress. Interpersonal Psychotherapy focuses on mood disorders due to the link between relationship difficulties and/or breakdown with depressive reactions.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy is informed by attachment, communication and social theories. It differs from cognitive behavioural therapy in that it focuses on interpersonal communication and relationships rather than internal thoughts and emotions.

The focus is on current factors contributing to your distress rather than on experiences from your childhood or remote past.  The role of the therapist is one of an ally for the client, working in a relaxed and supportive manner.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy proposes that distress arises as a result of a combination of three factors, known as the ‘interpersonal triad’:

1.    the experience of an acute interpersonal stressor

2.    the person’s psychological and biological vulnerability to stress, which includes biological vulnerability to illness, aspects of temperament and personality, attachment style, and cultural factors

3.    problems in the individual’s access to social support.

The first goal of Interpersonal Psychotherapy is to improve relationships with others, which might involve assisting you to develop new skills to communicate your needs or to adjust your expectations about others and about relationships in general. The second goal is to support you to build or better utilise your social networks to assist you to cope with the challenges causing you distress.

The psychologists at Bridge Street Psychology have training and experience using Interpersonal Psychotherapy for a variety of mental health and wellbeing issues. To find out which our psychologists would be the best match for you, call our friendly team on 9876 1800 or email