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relational theories and interpersonal psychotherapy practice


s we begin to delve into the practice of the Interpersonal Psychotherapy approach, consider the following case study example of Janet. As you read through this case study, be mindful of the underlying components of communication, and the interpersonal patterns of behavior exampled between Janet and Mike. Begin to utilize the information you have learned thus far to consider how those utilizing the Interpersonal Psychotherapy approach might view this particular case study example, and potential maladaptive patterns of behavior.

Janet is a 29-year-old Caucasian woman and also a stay-at-home wife. Janet shares with her therapist a recent occurrence that occurred between her and her husband that felt all too familiar. Janet recalls her husband, Mike, coming home from work and coming into the laundry room where she was washing clothes. Mike is aware that the ceiling in the laundry room has been leaking for weeks, and he notices that it is still leaking into the bucket they placed under it weeks ago. Mike asked Janet, “Did you call the roof repairmen regarding this leak?” Janet states that she immediately began to panic and feel guilty. She also recalls beginning to cry. She states she did not respond and just looked down at her feet. As Mike waited for an answer, he also indicated that he had been working double his typical workload, and asked for Janet’s help. He said he can’t understand why she is standing there crying and refusing to respond. Janet states that she replied to Mike with tears in her eyes, that “he always handled matters such as this.” Janet reports that Mike shook his head and walked away, and she began to cry uncontrollably.

While what Janet describes is not a violent or dramatic scene, she does report this as “typical” in her experience. She reports feeling that she is a disappointment and that soon Mike will get fed up with her. Janet reports she believes Mike hates her being so dependent on him. Janet reports that this makes her feel deficient, useless, and helpless, a feeling she reports as extremely familiar in other relationships.

As you move throughout this course, you will examine different case studies with varying profiles and characteristics. Think about how you might approach each case study from an Interpersonal Psychotherapy perspective. What might you want to consider as you think about Janet’s situation and behavior? How might you begin to integrate the Interpersonal Psychotherapy approach to therapy when working with her?

For this Discussion, you will examine your first case study and consider the client/therapist relationship within the interpersonal psychotherapy framework.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the Case Study of Janet mentioned in the Discussion’s introduction and consider how those utilizing the Interpersonal Psychotherapy approach might view this particular case study and potential maladaptive patterns of behavior.
  • Review the Introduction section of “Session 1” of the Psychoanalytic Therapy Over Time (DVD) segment beginning at 0 seconds through 9:11. Continue to review the discussion in the DVD regarding the “Change Process” which begins at 9:13 and ends at 12:15.

By Day 4

Post your explanation of the ways in which the client/therapist relationship is established within the Interpersonal Psychotherapy framework. Further, explain how you might begin to implement the Interpersonal Psychotherapy approach when considering this particular case study of Janet. Use your Learning Resources to support your explanation. Use proper APA format and citations.


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