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This chapter is concerned with the use of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) to treat patients with eating disorders. IPT is a short-term focal psychotherapy which was initially developed as a treatment for clinical depression but has been applied to many other clinical problems. Its leading indications are as a treatment for depression and bulimia nervosa. The goal of treatment is to help patients identify and resolve current interpersonal difficulties, the rationale being that doing so will result in recovery from the target disorder. The chapter opens with a detailed consideration of the rationale for using IPT to treat patients with eating disorders. Then the evidence supporting this use of IPT is presented. There follows a description of the treatment and a comparison of IPT with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The chapter closes with a discussion of the ways in which IPT might operate.



Book title

Evidence Based Treatments for Eating Disorders: Children, Adolescents and Adults: Second Edition

Publication Date



359 - 376