Grief or complicated bereavement | Role transition | Role dispute | Interpersonal deficits
When the onset or maintenance of the depressive episode is
associated with the death of someone important to the patient, the
therapist employs specific techniques to treat grief and complicated bereavement.
IPT defines other losses (e.g., loss of physical health, ending
a relationship) as role transitions. The goals of treatment are
to help the patient work through the grief, ultimately helping him
or her reestablish social contacts and activities. Specifically,
the therapist relates the depressive symptoms to the death or to
reactivation of emotions around the anniversary of the death. This process
takes place through a careful reevaluation of the relationship with
the deceased and clarification of the circumstances of the death.