Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Perinatal Depression

I stayed at Manly Paradise Motel and my roomie was Jane Honikman.
We could see the sea from our room.

The first day at The Marce conference was an optional workshop on 'Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Perinatal Depression' presented by Scott Stuart (University of Iowa), Michael W. O'Hara and Rebecca Reay.

This was a therapy I knew nothing about and after the workshop felt that it was an approach which may have helped me in retrospect. The main focus is in modifying interpersonal relationships or expectations about them. It focuses on real-life outside the therapy so has a practical approach to relieve symptoms, improve interpersonal functioning and increased social support. It is based on the idea that relationships, life changes and stress can lead to depression so with appropriate intervention things can get better.
IPT is ideal for those who are struggling with changes and where there is no need to 'dig deep' for past unsolved issues, but to have a practical approach to problem solving. It focuses on resolving an acute interpersonal crisis and increasing social support. This is achieved by helping them to recognise the help they need and to communicate that need effectively.

In pregnancy there may be issues of change, e.g. concerns of the well being of the fetus. When the baby arrives there may be relationships issues, e.g. violated expectations. The relationship with the partner often changes, e.g. loss of attractiveness and there can be more problems when faced with the transition back to work. So IPT can be useful to address some of these changes.

IPT is also widely used for other applications such as eating and anxiety disorders.

We were also shown the structure of the sessions and the therapeutic techniques. The critical question is 'How well do you feel other people understand you?'

If you would like more information I have found these sites:

Can anyone tell me where it is being used to help ladies with perinatal depression in the UK?

Has anyone been treated effectively by it and would like to share their experiences?

I enjoyed the day and found it most informative.

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