Interpersonal Therapy For Anxiety: Things You Need To Know

Interpersonal Therapy For Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health concern that can impact every aspect of a person’s life, from work and relationships to overall well-being. While there are many different approaches to treating anxiety, one promising option is interpersonal therapy (IPT). In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of IPT for anxiety, what approach it follows, and its key focus areas.

What Is Interpersonal Therapy?

What Is Interpersonal Therapy?Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving communication and relationship patterns to relieve symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. IPT is based on the idea that our relationships with others can have a significant impact on our emotional well-being. Interpersonal therapy for anxiety involves identifying interpersonal problems to improve communication and connection with others.

Structure Model Of Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can be structured in different ways depending on the individual’s needs and the specific focus of the therapy. Here’s a possible structure model for interpersonal therapy for anxiety:


The first step in IPT is typically an assessment. The therapist gathers information about the individual’s symptoms, social and interpersonal functioning, and current life circumstances. This assessment can help the therapist to identify areas of focus for the therapy and develop a treatment plan.

Identifying interpersonal issues

The therapist will work with the individual to identify specific interpersonal issues that may be contributing to their anxiety. For example, social isolation, conflicts with others, or difficulty expressing emotions. The therapist may use techniques such as role-playing or guided imagery to explore these issues.

Developing interpersonal skills

The therapist will help the individual to develop interpersonal skills that can help to reduce anxiety. For example, assertiveness, active listening, and problem-solving. The therapy may involve role-playing and other experiential techniques to help the individual practice these skills.

Building social support

Building social support

The therapist will help the individual to build stronger social support networks. This can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and provide a source of emotional support. The therapy may involve identifying opportunities for social engagement. Such as joining a club or volunteer organization and practicing new social skills in these settings.

Termination and follow-up

Once the individual has achieved their goals in therapy, the therapist will work with them to prepare for the termination of the therapy. This may involve reviewing the progress made and discussing strategies for maintaining the gains made in therapy. It might also involve developing a plan for future support if needed.

Different Approaches For IPT

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) for anxiety can involve several different approaches, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. Here are a few of them:

  • Individual sessions: IPT typically involves weekly or bi-weekly individual therapy sessions with a qualified therapist. During these sessions, the therapist and individual work collaboratively to identify areas of focus and develop strategies for managing anxiety.
  • Family-based therapy: In some cases, IPT may involve working with family members or other close relationships. This approach can be particularly helpful for individuals whose anxiety is related to family dynamics or interpersonal conflicts.
  • Group therapy: IPT can also be delivered in a group setting, where individuals with similar concerns can come together to share their experiences and learn from one another. Group therapy can be a particularly effective option for individuals who feel isolated or disconnected from others due to their anxiety.
  • Online therapy: With the increasing availability of telehealth services, IPT for anxiety can now be delivered online, allowing individuals to access therapy from the comfort of their own homes. Online therapy can be a convenient and effective option for individuals who are unable to attend in-person therapy due to scheduling or other constraints.

Key Focus Areas Of IPT For Anxiety

Given Below are the areas that Interpersonal Therapy for anxiety focuses on:

Social and interpersonal functioning

Social and interpersonal functioningAn individual with a social anxiety disorder might feel anxious in social situations because they are worried about being judged or rejected by others. IPT can help them identify the interpersonal conflicts that may be contributing to their anxiety, such as a conflict with a friend or a difficult relationship with a family member. They can learn how to communicate their needs and work towards healthily resolving conflicts.

Life changes and transitions

An individual may seek IPT when they are struggling to adjust to a new job. They may be experiencing anxiety related to performance expectations, relationships with coworkers, or the demands of the role. In IPT, the therapist may help the individual explore their expectations and fears around the new job, identify any obstacles to adjustment, and develop a plan to overcome these challenges. For example, the therapist may help the individual develop coping strategies for stress and anxiety, identify social support resources, and set achievable goals for success in the new role.

Grief and loss

An individual may seek IPT following the death of a loved one. They may be experiencing anxiety related to the loss, difficulty adjusting to life without the loved one, or fear of future losses. In IPT, the therapist may help the individual process their feelings of grief and loss, identify any unresolved issues or conflicts related to the relationship with the loved one, and develop new coping strategies for managing the anxiety. For example, the therapist may help the individual identify social support resources, develop a self-care plan, and work on building new relationships to help manage feelings of loss and anxiety.

Role disputes

An individual may seek IPT when they are experiencing anxiety related to conflicts with their spouse. They may be struggling to communicate their needs effectively, feel misunderstood or unheard, or have difficulty resolving disagreements. In IPT, the therapist may help the couple identify their individual needs and expectations, develop communication skills to express those needs effectively and work on finding common ground to resolve conflicts. For example, the therapist may help the couple practice active listening skills, develop strategies for de-escalating arguments, and work on building trust and empathy in the relationship.

Interpersonal sensitivity

Interpersonal deficitsAn individual may seek IPT when they experience anxiety in social situations due to a fear of criticism or rejection. They may have difficulty making friends, participating in social activities, or expressing themselves authentically. In IPT, the therapist may identify their fears and negative self-talk, develop self-compassion, and practice assertiveness skills to communicate their needs.

Benefits Of Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can offer several benefits for individuals who are struggling with mental health concerns. Here are a few key benefits:

  • Focuses on relationships: IPT is focused on improving relationships and interpersonal functioning. This can be helpful for individuals who are struggling with social isolation or conflicts in their relationships.
  • Time-limited: IPT is typically a time-limited therapy that lasts for around 12-16 sessions, which can be helpful for individuals who are looking for a focused and efficient therapeutic approach.
  • Emphasizes practical skills: IPT emphasizes practical skills and strategies that individuals can use in their daily lives to improve their relationships and overall well-being.
  • Personalized approach: IPT is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and concerns. This can help to ensure that the therapy is as effective as possible.

Finding Interpersonal Therapy For Anxiety

Finding Interpersonal Therapy For Anxiety

Here are some ways in which you can find interpersonal therapy:

  • Search online: The internet can be a valuable resource for finding a qualified therapist who specializes in IPT for anxiety. You can search for therapists in your area and read reviews from other patients to get a sense of their experience and expertise.
  • Get referrals: Your primary care physician or mental health provider may be able to provide you with referrals to therapists who specialize in IPT for anxiety.
  • Seek recommendations: You can also ask your friends or family members for recommendations. Make sure to ask about their experience with the therapist.
  • Check with insurance provider: If you have health insurance, then they may have a list of therapists who specialize in IPT for anxiety that are covered under your plan. Contact your insurance provider directly to inquire about covered services and therapists.


Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can be a highly effective treatment for anxiety. By focusing on relationships, improving social skills, and providing practical strategies for managing symptoms, IPT can help individuals to feel more in control of their mental health and improve their overall quality of life. Whether you are struggling with social anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder, seeking help from a qualified therapist who specializes in IPT can be a valuable step toward recovery. Remember, you don’t have to face anxiety alone – seek help today.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Anxiety is a common mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. If you have any queries regarding Online Anxiety Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial Anxiety therapy session.

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