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Post University Counseling Discussion

Post University Counseling Discussion


For class 1: Advanced theories and techniques of counseling

Kim S.

RE: DB 2.1 – Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) on interpersonal issues

Dr.Pieri and class:

In this DB, this writer will provide a role-play scenario of how you, as the counselor, would explain the theory behind interpersonal psychotherapy ( IPT) and the rationale for the treatment approach in layman’s terms to a potential patient. Please keep in mind that many other things will take place prior to us getting into IPT. For example, a warm comforting atmosphere, discussing how therapy works and the fact that this environment safe and confidential. These are things that we will be discussed early in our meeting.

Scenario: Counselor meets with female client named Sara; Caucasian; age forty-two, divorced, no children, and suffering from depression.

Counselor: Welcome Sara. Nice to meet you. How can I help you today?

Sara: “Lately I have feeling sad and lonely. I cry a lot and am not motivated to do anything like cleaning my house or go out with my friends. I just feel lost”.

Counselor: Sounds like you may be suffering with depression. May I share with you a treatment plan? I would like to discuss interpersonal psychotherapy (ITP). I believe using this technique, I can assist with your feelings of sadness, being lonely, and lack of motivation. It may help with other issues you may have or that we may discover during our sessions. (We, of course, would have had a bit more conversation prior to this occurring; we would discuss goals and make an agreement for treatment).

Sara: Yes, I would like that. Thank you.

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a modality that treats depression. Regardless of what has caused your depression, you may have triggers that makes you feel those feelings we discussed. Those triggers disrupt your motivation and any attachments and social roles (Wedding & Corsini. 2019).

When working with this treatment plan we will discuss: 1) symptom formation (development of symptoms); 2) social functioning; and 3) personality factors (Wedding & Corsini, 2019).

Symptom functioning is when we discuss and address your current symptoms of depression (Sadness, loneliness, and lack of motivation). We will discuss how any interpersonal problems can affect one’s everyday life. With the proper therapeutic intervention, the two of us together, it can result in symptom reduction, intuitive well-being and personal and social problems, and work on how that all can be improved (Trout & Watkins, 2014).

We will discuss your current symptoms you described and where they might have come from. We will talk about any interpersonal issues which have affected your life. We will also get a handle on your perspective of who you are. This may seem simple; however, we will be delving into some tough territory. We will do this together.

2) Under your explanation, discuss which related concepts you demonstrated from the theory specifically in what you provided.

IPT will address current symptoms and interpersonal problems and work on how that can be improved – this writer discussed a part of the treatment plan. We would discuss the symptoms which brought her to seek therapy. We briefly mentioned them; however, in time, we will discover if there are other areas she has not spoken about or even recognized.

This writer may use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in addition to the IPT modality. CBT will attempt to show the client how her thoughts may be the reason she is feeling the way she is. This writer will show how her irrational thinking may be causing her distress and we can work through that. She can be taught new rational ways of thinking about themselves and their lives.


Prout, T.A, & Wadkins, M.J. (2014). Essential Interviewing and Counseling Skills?: An Integrated

Approach to Practice. Springer Publishing Company.

Wedding, D. & Corsini, R. J. (Eds.). (2019). Current psychotherapies (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Taylar F

RE: DB 2.1 – Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) on interpersonal issues

Wedding (2019) explains that depression occurs in an interpersonal context with four defined triggers: grief, interpersonal disputes, role transitions, and interpersonal deficits. The IPT model recognizes genetic, personality, and early childhood factors that can contribute to a person’s depression, but also focuses on treating depression by clarifying the relationship of the patient’s current depression and interpersonal problems and by building interpersonal skills to resolve these problems. When treating depression or any other diagnosis, counselors must understand each client and their unique case. Prout and Watkins (2014) state that counselors should establish their personal approach to treatment and remember that each psychoanalytic theory is not a one-size-fits all.

This writer may be working with a female client that reports to the initial session stating she is “feeling depressed since they got divorced last year”. Using the IPT model, this writer would acknowledge that the divorce is a trigger, but would also ask about their childhood, family history of mental illness, and any other factors that could be contributing to their problem. This client explains that she had an okay childhood, but did experience her parents get divorced which was difficult, and that her mother also suffers from depression. Since this writer utilizes a person-centered approach to therapy, she would provide the client with empathy and unconditional positive regard. Informed Health (2020) states that person-centered therapy pairs well with the interpersonal psychotherapy approach since they are similar to systemic therapy and CBT. Both approaches focus on treating the client’s current problems through the reduction of triggers. Therefore, this writer would work on increasing this client’s self-esteem and finding positive coping skills for her to utilize when she feels herself becoming stressed or upset over the divorce. Once she can better cope with her triggers, it’s likely her depression will reduce.


Informed Health. (2020). Depression: How effective is psychological treatment?National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from Depression: How effective is psychological treatment? – – NCBI Bookshelf (

Prout, T., Wadkins, M. (2014). Essential Interviewing and Counseling Skills?: An Integrated Approach to Practice. Springer Publishing Company.

Wedding, D (2019). Current Psychotherapies. Interpersonal psychotherapy. Cengage.

Kevin S

RE: DB 2.2 – Case study: Cooper

Concepts of IPT

  • The main concept of IPT demonstrated here is that the depression experienced by Cheryl is not caused by interpersonal relationships alone but develops in an interpersonal context and can affect her relationships with her sons and friends (Van Orden, Talbot, and King, 2012).
  • The main goal of IPT will be to help improve Cheryl’s lifestyle and to make her better able to adjust to life changes and improve her communication (Van Orden, Talbot, and King, 2012).


Van Orden, K.A., Talbot, N. and King, D. (2012). Using the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide to Inform Interpersonal Psychotherapy With a Suicidal Older Adult. Clinical Case Studies, 11(5), pp.333–347. doi:10.1177/1534650112457710.

Janelle S

RE: DB 2.2 – Case study: Cooper

Professor and Class-

Cooper has struggles internally which also affects his relationships around him. He is very down on himself, has guilt, worries about being a burden to others and generally feels he is not worthy of much. The two principal empirically-based psychotherapeutic interventions for mood disorders are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both diagnosis-targeted, time-limited, present-focused treatments that encourage the patient to regain control of mood and functioning. ( Markowitz & Weissman 2004)

For this task using IPT, this writer would empathically engage the patient, help Coper to feel understood, and, present a clear rationale and treatment plan. The idea would be to help tCooper not feel self blame for the depression/ feelings he has. As Markowitz & Weissman ( 2004) explain, building on interpersonal theory and psychosocial research on depression, IPT makes a practical link between the patient’s mood and disturbing life events that either trigger or follow from the onset of the mood disorder.This writer would also create an interpersonal inventory for Cooper, which would consist of a review of his patterns in relationships, capacity for intimacy, and particularly an evaluation of current relationships. The goal would also be to decrease his feeling of isolation for interpersonal deficits. Some techniques could be mediation, deep breathing, focusing on the present, and turning negative thoughts into positive ones.

Markowitz, J. C., & Weissman, M. M. (2004). Interpersonal psychotherapy: principles and applications. World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 3(3), 136–139.

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