Unknown to many, even experienced psychotherapists, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is one of the most research validated approaches available. Over two decades of investigation by the National Institute of Mental Health demonstrated that IPT compares favorably to Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Cognitive Behavoral Therapy (CBT). Freed from the constraints of a research protocol we integrate certain CBT tools with our Interpersonal orientation. We believe our innovative integration provides clients with an enhanced IPT. While guided by research including that of IPT our work in the everday world is always relationship rather than manual driven.
IPT is more social role based than traditional intrapsychically oriented psychotherapy. Though attending to past life experiences, IPT is anchored in the present. Identifying whether a problem is primarily related to conflict, to bereavement, or to transition helps focus the interpersonal work. By Identifying the primary relationship at any given time in therapy IPT emphasizes the export of therapy to current role functioning.
A fourth problem area used in IPT relates to Interpersonal Skills. Rather than regarding Skills as a separate problem area we incorporate skills into all levels of our work. Here we integrate Mindfulness Based Skills (MBS) to strengthen role functioning and interpersonal effectivenss. Some clients will have a more intense skills approach than others. For them, adjunctive Dialectical Behavioral Skills(DBTS) training is available. DBTS is a detailed program developed by Marsha Linehan.
Group by Design has been integrating IPT and DBTS since its pilot DBTS workshops in 1997. Daniel Even’s academic interest in integrating IPT with the Buddhist roots of Mindfulness began in his undergraduate studies. His 1972 graduate thesis, Identity, Idolatry, and Emptiness, explored similarities in the thinking of Harry Stack Sullivan, one of the founders of IPT, and that of Madhyamica Buddism.