Conjoint IPT for Depressed Patients with Marital Disputes IPTCM

It is well established that marital conflict, separation and divorce can precipitate or complicate depressive episodes (Rounsaville et al., 1979). Some clinicians have feared that individual psychotherapy for depressed patients in marital disputes can lead to premature rupture of marriages (Gurman & Kniskern, 1978). To test and address these concerns, Klerman and Weissman developed an IPT manual for conjoint therapy of depressed patients with marital disputes (Klerman & Weissman, 1993). Both spouses participate in all sessions and treatment focuses on the current marital dispute. Eighteen patients with major depression linked to the onset or exacerbation of marital disputes were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of either individual IPT or IPT-CM. Patients in both treatments showed similar improvement in depressive symptoms but patients receiving IPT-CM reported significantly better marital adjustment, marital affection and sexual relations than did individual IPT patients (Foley et al., 1989). These pilot findings require replication in a larger sample and with other control groups.

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