IPT is a time-limited and structured psychotherapy for the treatment of depression.

IPT understands symptoms, such as depressed mood, as a response to current difficulties in relationships. In turn, depressed mood can then affect the quality of our relationships, as those with depression may often wish to withdraw from relationships, and symptoms such as irritability, low energy and low self-esteem can make it difficult to effectively problem-solve problems in our relationships.

This can lead to interpersonal problems to persist and worsen over time, leaving those with depression feeling increasingly isolated, which in turn keeps depression going. 

The main focus of IPT is to support the person with depression to resolve current relationship problems, and to help them to learn to seek effective support from those around them. When a person is able to deal with a relationship problem more effectively, and is able to feel better connected to those around them, their depression is likely to improve.