Interpersonal counselling in general practice

Fiona Judd, Myrna Weissman, Julian Davis, Gene Hodgins, Leon Piterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND Interpersonal counselling (IPC) derives from interpersonal psycho-therapy (IPT) but is briefer in the number and duration of sessions and is particularly suited to the primary care setting. While depression and other psychological symptoms are not necessarily 'caused' by interpersonal problems, they do occur in a social and interpersonal context. Problem areas commonly associated with the onset of depression are unresolved grief, interpersonal disputes, role transition and interpersonal deficits such as social isolation.OBJECTIVE This article discusses IPC and how it can be used in the general practice setting.DISCUSSION The structure of IPC is of a brief treatment of six sessions, each with an explicit focus: assessment, education about the interaction between interpersonal relationships and psychological symptoms, identifying current stress areas and helping the patient deal with these more positively and termination of the IPC relationship. Interpersonal counselling can be utilised general practice to reduce psychological symptoms, restore morale, improve self esteem and the quality of the patient's social adjustment and interpersonal relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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