Depression Self-Care Tips: Interpersonal Therapy for Depression

Understanding Depression

Depression is a severe mental health condition as well as a common one. Major depressive disorder affects about one in six people at some point in their lives. Although common, the causes of depression vary. Symptoms of depression involve persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. In some cases, people may even experience suicidal thoughts. Symptoms of depression can impact activities of daily life; they can also be debilitating when severe. Luckily, treatment is available, including in the form of interpersonal therapy for depression.

Alter Behavioral Health Irvine offers treatment for depression. Clinicians target symptoms of depression with both medication and psychotherapy. Medication generally includes antidepressant medications. Therapy can take many forms. Interpersonal therapy for depression is a form of treatment that may be ideal for some types of depression and their symptoms. 

Not all patients know if what they’re experiencing is a mental illness. After all, conditions like depression and anxiety are often related to what is happening in a person’s life. If someone experiences the loss of a loved one, grief is a natural consequence. So how can a person determine when their feelings of depression cross a line? At what point do feelings of depression become clinical?

Someone who is depressed may experience many problems as a result of their mental health condition. They may have difficulty concentrating, which can cause problems at work. They may feel fatigued, which can also impact their work performance or other activities of daily life. They may experience relationship problems because of their symptoms. These problems may progress in severity if their depression remains untreated. 

Ideally, a person should seek mental health therapist in Irvine or any city in California, after two weeks of feeling sad and hopeless. Feeling suicidal is an emergency; people should seek immediate help if they begin to feel suicidal. A licensed psychiatric professional can make a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment for patients experiencing signs and symptoms of depression. 

If you have been feeling sad for several weeks, or if you notice that you no longer enjoy activities you once loved, it may be time to seek assistance. Especially if these feelings are making it challenging to work, care for your family, or undertake other daily life activities, considering Long-Term Mental Health Facilities in Long Beach, California, might be beneficial. Alter Behavioral Health is here to help you find symptom relief and manage your condition for an improved well-being and quality of life. Let us be your trusted partner on this journey towards mental wellness in Long Beach, California.

To learn more about the most effective behavioral treatments at a professional treatment facility, please get in touch with Alter Behavioral Health by calling 866-647-2716 today.

The Role of Interpersonal Therapy in Managing Depression

While there are many different options and methods for treating depression, one common plan for managing depression is interpersonal therapy. But even IPT can look and function very differently from one treatment option to the next, and there are many different ways this important tool can be leveraged to help someone suffering from depression. Read on to learn more about IPT and how it can help.

What Is Interpersonal Therapy?

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) for depression targets an individual’s symptoms as they relate to their current situation or circumstances as they’re associated with their relationships or a particular relationship. According to the tenets of IPT, it’s not the relationship or the circumstances surrounding it that cause depression, but they can exacerbate the condition. 

As a result, the therapy addresses the condition in the context of that relationship and its current issues. By helping people cope with their current circumstances, therapists can also help them cope with their depression. Although IPT treats major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and postpartum depression, it can also treat anxiety disorders (i.e. generalized panic disorder, social anxiety), eating disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

How Does IPT Work for Depression?

Therapists usually initiate IPT (Interpersonal Therapy) with a well-defined plan. Typically, this form of therapy spans between 12-16 weeks. The sessions are meticulously structured, emphasizing communication dynamics within interpersonal relationships. In settings like inpatient mental health facilities, therapists collaborate closely with patients, centering the therapeutic discussions around present relationships and prevailing concerns. The core objective of the treatment is to aid patients in enhancing their interpersonal relationships and overall functioning. Whether in inpatient mental health facilities or outpatient settings, individuals can anticipate engaging in this therapy either one-on-one, in group sessions, or a combination of both.

During the course of the therapy, clinicians will focus on four different categories that include:

1. Relationship Conflict

A person might struggle with significant relationship issues that cause stress. They might feel distressed. As the stress continues, the individual might veer toward depression.

2. Grief or Loss

A person might feel grief or loss over a loved one that doesn’t seem to ease with time. Grief can become a precursor to depression. 

3. Life Changes

A new job or move can impact relationships and impact someone vulnerable to the development of depression. The stress associated with life changes can trigger a deep major depressive episode.

4. Struggling to Begin or Sustain Relationships

A person may find it challenging to initiate communication which leads to developing a relationship. They might also find it challenging to sustain a relationship.

To learn more about the most effective behavioral treatments at a professional treatment facility, please get in touch with Alter Behavioral Health by calling 866-647-2716 today.

Benefits of Interpersonal Therapy for Depression

Interpersonal therapy isn’t a cure for depression but it can help people cope with their symptoms better and successfully manage their depression. The benefits of IPT include:

Improvements in Communication

During therapy sessions, people learn how to improve the way they communicate. The strategies they learn can enhance their communication ability in personal and other relationships. 

Improvement in Self-Esteem

As people learn new strategies for communicating and managing their depression, they can become more empowered and develop greater self-esteem. Improved self-esteem may help to alleviate their symptoms of depression. 

Stronger, More Resilient Relationships

With improvements in interpersonal skills, patients can expect to see some improvements in their relationships.

Reduced Symptoms of Depression

As patients enhance their interpersonal skills within a residential mental health facility, they often find some alleviation of their symptoms. These controlled environments not only focus on skill-building but also provide comprehensive care tailored to each individual’s needs. Of course, individuals may also experience relief from dual diagnosis or reap other benefits pertinent to their unique circumstances while in such a facility.

Key Techniques in Interpersonal Therapy

There are lots of techniques associated with interpersonal therapy. Therapists trained to provide this type of therapy for depression or other mental health and behavioral health conditions. The therapy makes use of techniques like guided imagery and rescripting. The following are some of the techniques that therapists employ for interpersonal therapy:

Interpersonal Incidents and IPT

During IPT, therapists will focus on interpersonal incidents, which are incidents that can occur within the course of a relationship. There might be a crisis that causes immense stress. This stress can impact the development of depression. By focusing on the incidents, patients can develop strategies for coping with them in healthier ways. 

Role Transition and IPT

Role transition is a facet of interpersonal growth. Many people struggle to evolve into new roles associated with new life circumstances. During IPT, clients and therapists work to develop strategies for these transitions. Additionally, role playing in general is an aspect of interpersonal therapy. Clinicians help clients explore other roles from their unique perspectives. This can help them improve their interpersonal skills and empathy. 

Interpersonal Deficits and IPT

Sometimes, people struggle with relationships but there’s no clear catalyst–no precise issue or event that leads to the contentious relationship. During IPT, clients will focus on improving interpersonal skills and relationships even when there is no apparent cause for the problems. 

Engaging With Interpersonal Therapy: Finding a Therapist

If you are struggling with depression that’s related to relationship issues, you may benefit from interpersonal therapy. However, you’ll need to find a trained and licensed IPT therapist. You can contact Alter Behavioral Health for assistance or to schedule a consultation. We offer this form of therapy for patients. We can help you find the ideal treatment path for your depression. 

Finding an IPT Therapist Locally

You can find an IPT therapist locally by contacting Alter Behavioral Health. We offer a full lineup of mental health treatments. We can pair you with a trained and certified IPT therapist who can provide you with the treatment you seek. Finding a therapist locally will allow you to meet with someone in your area. However, there may also be virtual options if you are interested. 

Online Therapy Options for IPT

Not everyone has time or transportation to meet weekly with their therapist for treatment sessions. Clients can find online therapy options for IPT. Again, connecting with Alter Behavioral Health for our professional assistance is helpful. We can pair you with virtual assistance to get the support you need in the areas you need it. 

Incorporating IPT Techniques into Your Self-Care Routine

If you are struggling with depression but are undergoing treatment, you will be able to incorporate some of the things you’re learning into your daily routine. For instance, your self-care routine can involve many different strategies that include:

Know Your Support Network

It’s essential to identify your support network as a point of self-care. Knowing who to turn to when you need help is essential. Your IPT therapist can help you to build your support network. 

Validate Your Emotions

When you experience emotions, you experience truth. It’s essential to contend with your emotions–even or especially the negative ones. If a situation makes you feel sad. Validate that. It’s a real emotion. However, it’s not a place where you want to ‘live.’ Once validated, it’s vital to actively find strategies for managing that emotion so it doesn’t perpetuate your depression. 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Find ways to care for yourself that benefit your mind. Being mindful or living in the present moment can help you shed stress. Meditation can help you swipe away worry. Meditation gives your mind a rest, allowing you to feel some rejuvenation. Once refreshed, your mind can easily contend with difficult emotions and situations. 

Depression self-care tips

Frequently Asked Questions about Interpersonal Therapy for Depression

What is Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and how can it be used in managing depression?

IPT is a valuable treatment for dealing with some types of depression related to interpersonal relationships. IPT can be used to treat major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, and persistent depressive disorder. 

What are the primary benefits of Interpersonal Therapy for individuals dealing with depression?

Individuals who undergo interpersonal therapy techniques for depression can expect to become more adept at communicating in their personal relationships. There may also be a benefit for professional or work relationships. Patients can expect to feel more confident and act with greater self-esteem. Additionally, IPT can reduce symptoms of depression. Again, it is not a cure for depression but it can help. 

Can you outline some of the key techniques used in Interpersonal Therapy?

Some of the fundamental techniques associated with interpersonal therapy include role-playing, which helps individuals understand the perspective of those they’re in relationships with. Role transition helps people move more seamlessly into new roles associated with life changes. Interpersonal deficits enable individuals to address contentious relationships when they have unclear issues and cannot point to events that have impacted their relationship. 

How does Interpersonal Therapy fit into a self-care routine for depression?

While undergoing IPT, individuals can employ what they’ve learned in therapy to form a new routine. This routine will support them as they develop new patterns for living–patterns that foster depression recovery. Some everyday tasks that individuals can employ include identifying a support network, validating their emotions, and meditating.

How can I find a licensed therapist who specializes in Interpersonal Therapy?

Contact Alter Behavioral Health for assistance locating an IPT therapist locally. Our team can help by providing the best possible treatment options delivered by top mental health experts.

Are there online therapy options available for Interpersonal Therapy?

Yes, online IPT is available. Alter Behavioral Health can help you find a therapist online, such as through Mindfuli, our online platform that can help California residents get the needed therapy.

Can I practice some IPT techniques on my own? If yes, how?

Yes, there are techniques like meditation and mindfulness that you can practice each day on your own to reduce symptoms of depression. Other common IPT techniques that could be beneficial to do on your own if possible include guided imagery, which involves imagining a relaxing environment or place and then describing it in the most detail possible, or role-playing to act out imaginary or real scenarios with family and friends.

To learn more about the most effective behavioral treatments at a professional treatment facility, please get in touch with Alter Behavioral Health by calling 866-647-2716 today.

How does Interpersonal Therapy compare to other types of therapy for depression?

IPT is one of many types of therapy for depression. It is geared toward people who have depression that is related to other people. IPT can also employed to treat other mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Contact Alter Behavioral Health at 866-647-2716 today to learn more about using therapy to overcome mental health issues.