Question: How effective is interpersonal therapy for the treatment of depression?
Answer: Interpersonal psychotherapy is one of the evidence-based psychotherapies -- that means it's been tested in controlled clinical trials. And compared to no treatment, and compared to drugs, it is quite effective.
It is as effective as medication, but it takes longer than medication for acute major depression. For psychotic depression, it needs to be used with medication, not psychotherapy alone.
It is also effective for maintenance treatment, for people who have had depression and who get better, but where there's a strong possibly of recurrence. And monthly maintenance treatment has been shown to be effective.
It's been shown to be effective for adolescents who are depressed and for the elderly who are depressed although there's certain modifications for different age groups. There's no data to suggest that it's effective with pre-pubes, but pre-pubes rarely get depressed, they usually get anxious.
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