Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on building the client’s interpersonal and communication skills to improve relationships and strengthen social supports.

The therapist helps the client utilize their strengths to nurture and maintain positive and meaningful relationships.


What is the goal of interpersonal therapy?

Interpersonal therapy aims to help the client improve communication skills and learn to set realistic expectations around relationships to better deal with interpersonal challenges that may arise. The therapist and client work on building both interpersonal skills, such as clear articulation of thoughts, expectation setting in relationships, and intrapersonal skills, or their inner personal dialogue.

How long does interpersonal therapy last?

Interpersonal psychotherapy takes a structured and time-limited approach, and is designed to be completed within 12–16 weeks. In this way, it is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, which is also time-limited and involves homework assignment between sessions.

Interpersonal therapy is also commonly used in conjunction with other longer-term therapy approaches.

What can interpersonal therapy help with?

Interpersonal therapy has been found to be an effective treatment for various mental health concerns, including but not limited to:

Find interpersonal therapists near you

Find interpersonal therapists on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.