Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a brief intervention for patients presenting with depression and related disorders. It is supported by an evidence base comparable to that for cognitive behavioural therapy. GPs may find it useful to apply IPT strategies in their own practice or to refer patients for IPT.
General practitioners are confronted each day with patients with depression and related disorders as either their primary presentation or secondary to a physical complaint. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited intervention with a strong evidence base for an array of psychological difficulties. Although it may not be feasible for most GPs to conduct an entire course of IPT, they may find that employing individual elements of IPT helps them manage patients with psychological distress. IPT strategies such as the ‘holistic assess- ment protocol’, ‘closeness circles’, ‘timeline’ and ‘consideration of the problem area’ may help them understand these patients, provide strategies to assist them and potentially inform referrals to psychologists and psychiatrists.