Frequently asked questions

IPT is a time-limited psychotherapy which usually takes place over sixteen sessions. It is mainly used for the treatment of depression and eating disorders. It concentrates on building up clients’ social networks, since it had been found that, when people have mental health difficulties, they tend to withdraw from those around them who might offer support and help them to get better. Furthermore, people are more prone to developing certain mental health problems if they don’t have much social support when faced with a life-crisis.

The outcome research shows similar results for the effectiveness of both treatments. However, there are consistent findings that people are more likely to drop out of CBT early compared with IPT.

IPT is a NICE-guidelined treatment for depression and eating disorders, which is recognised both in the NHS and the private sector. It offers a short-term model of therapy for those clients and therapists who want an alternative to CBT. Increasingly under the patient choice agenda the NHS is required to offer a range of therapeutic approaches, which includes IPT.

Yes, this is possible. If you are a graduate and have experience of working with people in distress then you may be eligible for our entry level training in IPT. We provide a flexible Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Interpersonal Psychotherapy which is designed for people without any existing formal therapy training. 

In most cases you need to have worked as a qualified mental health therapist for two years before you can train in IPT. However, if you have undertaken a full-time clinical or counselling psychology training you can apply for IPT training after completing two years of the course.

No, it isn’t. There are two stages to becoming an IPT practitioner. The first is to satisfactorily complete the week long Introductory course (known as Level A). The second (Level B) is to satisfactorily complete four supervised cases of IPT under the supervision of an IPT-UK recognised supervisor.

Yes. To pass the course you will need to pass a number of role-play assessments of IPT skills, a daily IPT knowledge-based test and a written formulation task.

Ideally, yes. However if unforeseen circumstances prevented you from attending the whole week, you would need to attend a minimum of 80% of the week to qualify for an attendance certificate. You will still need to pass all the course assessments, however.

Yes, this course will address the needs of both those working in IAPT and those working in other services. At some points in the Introductory course week we will offer parallel teaching to meet the separate needs of the two groups.

Yes, provided you have completed an equivalent 4 or 5 day training with a course recognised by IPT-UK. You will, however, need to provide proof that you have attended and passed an accredited Level A course and that you are eligible for practitioner training.

No, you need to have undertaken a five day course that is recognised by IPT-UK.

You can do this through the IPT Centre or we can help you source supervision for yourself through the IPT-UK network.

The minimum supervision requirement as set by IPT-UK is 4 hours per adult client (20 minutes per client for 12 sessions) and 3 hours per adolescent client (20 minutes per client for 9 sessions) and provided you attend for the minimum amount of time you will have met the supervision requirement of the course. However, the course is designed to give you sufficient time to engage thoroughly with the IPT model, to enable you to present your own cases and, if you are in a group, to learn more about IPT from other participants presenting their work.

Yes. There will be breaks from supervision including when the University is closed at Easter and Christmas as well as a break during the summer.

You need to have qualified as an IPT practitioner before you can be trained in Group IPT.

At present there is no legally binding regulatory system for IPT the UK. Since all therapists who train as IPT practitioners are already qualified, their therapeutic practice will be governed by the body regulating their primary therapeutic model. IPT-UK sets out standards of training and continuing professional development.

The IPT Centre hosts IPT South, which offers a setting in which IPT practitioners and supervisors can meet to network, undertake CPD and discuss practice and supervision issues. There are similar organisations based in London and Edinburgh.

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Find us

The IPT Centre
Duke of Kent Building
University of Surrey