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Techniques and Strategies Associated With Specific Problem Areas

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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.

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