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Interpersonal therapy is
the term used by J.L Morena for a type
of psychotherapy in which there is
emphasis on the interpersonal
relationship of the various person
involved such as husband, wife, & one
or more other parties.
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1. Marital Therapy
2. Family Therapy
3. Transactional Analysis
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This psychotherapy is directed at
improving a disturbed marital
It is centered on efforts to change the
psychodynamics & behavior of the
The sessions are usually conjoint.
In a conjoint session two partners meet
the therapist in joint sessions.
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Marital therapy may be conducted on a problem
solving level in which grievances are aired & clashes
worked through or on a more analytic level focusing
on dreams, unspoken communication & the sources
of defensive or aggressive attitude.
For example; the husband may say during the
session. She does not have any complaint against
me, but still she is not happy; that makes me
uncomfortable. During the session the wife may
start crying & confess, Often I wanted to reply him
back but seeing his anger & children around me I
have been withdrawing into silence. But whats the
use of talking?
In other words, insight is shared by the couple which
may help them in a satisfactory marital relationship.
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Family therapy is that branch of psychiatry
which sees an individuals psychiatric symptoms
as inseparably related to the family in which he
lives. Thus the focus of treatment is not
individual, but the family.
It is a form of group psychotherapy in which the
family is a therapeutic unit.
Family is the matrix out of which all human
interactions develop.
The objective of family therapy is not merely to
improve relationship but to modify home
influences that contribute to the disorder of one
or more family members.
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Family therapy is indicated whenever
there are relational problems within a
family or marital unit , which can
occur in almost all types of psychiatric
problems, including psychoses,
reactive depression, anxiety disorders,
psychosomatic disorders, substance
abuse & various childhood psychiatric
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Components of Therapy
Assessment of family structure, roles
boundaries, resources, communication
patterns & problem solving skills.
Teaching communication skills
Teaching problem solving skills
Writing a behavioral marital contract
Homework assignments.
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Patient Selection
Families may be referred for treatment by
private physicians, & agencies such as the
school system, welfare board, parole officers, &
Some families are referred for therapy from
emergency room psychiatric services after a
visit caused by a crisis in the family, such as a
drug overdose.
On discharge from a psychiatric hospital, a
patient & his family may be referred for family
therapy, as part of follow up services.
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Family therapy is the treatment of choice
when there is a marital problem or sibling
conflict; family therapy may also be indicated
when problems are caused by using one child
as the scapegoat.
Situational crises such as the sudden death of
a family member, & maturational crises such
as birth of the first child, may cause sufficient
stress to warrant family therapy.
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Types of Family Therapy:
1. Individual family therapy
2. Conjoint family therapy
3. Couples therapy
4. Multiple family group therapy
5. Multiple impact therapy
6. Network therapy
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1. Individual Family Therapy:
In individual family therapy each
family member has a single therapist.
The whole family may meet
occasionally with one or two of the
therapist to see how the members
are relating to one another & work
out specific issues that have been
defined by individual members.
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2. Conjoint Family Therapy
The most common type of family therapy is
the single-family group, or conjoint family
The nuclear family is seen, & the issues &
problems raised by the family are the ones
addressed by the therapist.
The way in which the family interacts is
observed & becomes the focus of therapy.
The therapist helps the family deal more
effectively with problems as they arise & are
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3. Couples Therapy:
Couples are often seen by the therapist
The couple may be experiencing difficulties in
their marriage, & in therapy they are helped to
work together to seek a resolution for their
Family patterns, interaction & communication
styles, & each partners goals, hopes &
expectations are examined in therapy.
This examination enables the couple to find a
common ground for resolving conflicts by
recognizing & respecting each others
similarities & differences.
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4. Multiple Family Group Therapy:
In multiple family group therapy, four or five
families meet weekly to confront & deal with
problems or issues they have in common.
Ability or inability to function well in the
home & community, fear to talking to or
relating to others, abuse, anger, neglect the
development of social skills, & responsibility
for oneself are some of the issues on which
these groups focus.
The multiple family group becomes the
support for all families.
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5. Multiple Impact Therapy:
In multiple impact therapy, several therapists
come together with the families in a
community setting.
They lives together & deal with pertinent issues
for each family members within the context of
the group.
Multiple impact therapy is similar to multiple
family group therapy except that it is more
intense & time limited.
Like multiple family group therapy, it focuses
on developing skills or working together as a
family & with other families.
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6. Network Therapy:
Network therapy is conducted in peoples homes.
All individuals interested or invested in a problem
or crisis that a particular person or parsons in a
family are experiencing take part.
This gathering includes family, friends, neighbors,
professional groups pr persons, & anyone in the
community who has an investment in the outcome
of the current crisis.
People who form the network generally know each
other & interact on a regular basis in each others
Thus a network may include as many as 40 to 60
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It is a form of interpersonal
psychotherapy developed by Eric Berne,
which focuses on characteristics
interactions that reveal internal ego
states & the Games People Play. The
ego states are- Child, Adult & Parent.
Our parent is that part of our behavior
which we have learnt from others or our
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Go to sleep now, is an example of our parent
talking. These statements as an adult, if used
for another adult like wife or husband, creates a
problem. Being an adult, the wife may start
crying. Or an adult in an individual/wife may
reply to her husband, I will sleep after
In a transactional analysis the therapist analyses
the interaction among the group members
(often married) & helps the participants
understand the ego state in which they are
communicating with each other.
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Games People Play are not for fun but
because they are played according to a
set of unspoken rules. Allowing the
individual to adopt a sick role & act. A
response like Yes but & allow
the individual to reveal how to continue.
This provides an opportunity to an
individual to reveal how we often
unknowingly manipulate & harm other
people as well as ourselves.
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