Systemic Therapies and Interpersonal Therapies

man and woman taking interpersonal therapy

Systemic Therapies and Interpersonal Therapies

Systemic Therapies

Systemic therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for many disorders. Individuals, couples and families can all benefit from such treatment. Systemic therapies have the following characteristics:

- Individuals are seen as existing within a systemic context
- Relationships between persons in the system are equal
- Self-determination of the client
- Client has the potential for problem solving
- Client has appropriate resources to address their problems
- Appreciative and non-judgmental attitude of the therapist

Systemic therapy can also be used to treat couples and families. While individual therapy was still the dominant form of psychotherapeutic practice in the 1950s, the systemic approach to therapy has broadened the applicability of the apporach. The individual is understood as part of a system and the solution therefore lies within the system and not exclusively in the individual person. The term “system” can mean the family context in which the problem is found. Systemic therapy is therefore always interested in the relational processes of the individuals. These processes could be a cause of problems and thus represent an approach to the solution. The people involved in the problem could be family members or other people. Institutions are also part of the problem in some cases. People involved do not have to be present at the therapy session.
The methodologies for families and couples are similar, although the different systemic therapies are not identical. In systemic couple counselling, couples are supported in coping with developmental tasks. There is no set model for the therapist as to how therapy is designed. Each process is unique and the therapist controls this process.
In family therapy, problems are often seen as an expression of the current communication and relationship conditions in a system. Family therapy sees people’s quality of life in the context of their relevant relationships and concepts of life. The aim of such therapy is to expand the individual’s and the system’s possibilities of perception and action. A family therapist always works in a resource-oriented way.

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Interpersonal therapy

In its original form, interpersonal psychotherapy is a short-term therapy (approx. 20 sessions) that is specifically tailored to the treatment of unipolar depressive episodes. In the case of recurrent depression, a maintenance therapy phase of several months is usually added. The procedure directly addresses the person’s life circumstances that are directly related to their depression. Typical problem areas of IPT include complicated grief, role changes/life changes, loneliness/social deficits and interpersonal conflicts. Treatment takes place within the framework of a medical illness model with or without medication. The goals of therapy are, on the one hand, the reduction of depressive symptoms, and on the other hand, the emotional but also action-related coping with burdensome interpersonal and psychosocial stressors. The therapist is actively supportive, mediates hope and acts as an advocate for the patient.
Research findings indicate a suitable effectiveness for treating disorders such as depression.

Find a suitable interpersonal therapist in London by clicking here.