Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Youth Depression and Anxiety

Jami F. Young, Laura Mufson, and Jessica S. Benas

This chapter provides a description of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and its adaptation for adolescents (IPT-A), summarizes the efficacy research on IPT for depression and other disorders, and provides a rationale for considering IPT as a transdiagnostic therapy model. As discussed in further detail in the chapter, IPT and IPT-A were developed specifically to treat depression. However, the underlying theory of IPT—that psychological distress occurs in the context of interpersonal relationships—is applicable to a broader array of psychiatric conditions, suggesting the transdiagnostic potential of this approach. Given the high rates of comorbidity between depression and anxiety and the interpersonal factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of these disorders, this chapter focuses specifically on the potential of IPT-A as a transdiagnostic approach for youth depression and anxiety.

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