Challenges to Using an Interpersonal Psychotherapy Approach

timer Asked: Jan 4th, 2019
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Overall, I would say that I do not feel wholly comfortable utilizing the interpersonal psychotherapy approach. In my current therapeuticpractice, I operate primarily from an eclectic perspective with a background in Gestalt therapy. Typically, I find it most effective to look at different therapeutic approaches in terms of the tools they bring to the table and in what contexts those tools are most useful. From there I adopt and incorporate the parts of the therapy that make sense to me and that I see are effective, while leaving the rest behind. My integrative approach to therapy has many strengths, but one of its most significant weaknesses is that it is supremely difficult for me to operate from one singular therapeutic perspective.

That being said, I believe that there are powerful aspects of interpersonal psychotherapy that I certainly would like to begin to incorporate into my personal style. Fortunately, since interpersonal psychotherapy has a strong experiential component to it many of the interventions meld well with the experiential models I already utilize from Gestalt therapy. For example, developing a Secure Base with the client from which they can experiment with attitudes, techniques, and perspectives in their daily lives is a natural extension of the Gestalt technique of experimentation within the therapy room. Another similarity is the emphasis on affective expression and encouraging the improvement of the client’s mindfulness of their emotions by using centering and experiential techniques.

The most challenging and yet also the most intriguing technique for me from interpersonal psychotherapy is the use of Corrective Emotional Experiences. From a personal stand point the process of understanding the client’s attachment and responding to that in a way that helps them move past the barriers of their past experience was a revelation. It comes back to that goal of instilling hope. How can a client hope for a more satisfying and fulfilling relationship if they never experience something like that? However, if they experienced that even in a small way that experience alone could do more to challenge the client’s mistaken beliefs than discussing it. Yet, I find this technique difficult to manage. One of the core principles of my therapeutic style is showing up to the therapy sessions as my authentic self. The process of adapting the way in which I respond to best provide that Corrective Emotional Experience on some levels feels disingenuous. I understand that this is not the case but I also believe it will take some practice for me to develop comfort with this technique.

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School: Cornell University



Challenges to Using an Interpersonal Psychotherapy
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Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a successful depression treatment across cultures
and lifespan. However, even when administered with precision, some patients quit and others do
not satisfactorily become better. Just like any other therapeutic approach, the interpersonal
psychotherapy comes with challenges and limitations. Clinicians find that ea...

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Thanks for the help.

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