Family-based interpersonal psychotherapy for moderate to severe depression in 5-11 year old children

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option for young children aged 5-11 with moderate to severe depression.

Family-based IPT (FB-IPT) is a 14-session treatment for depression in children. Your therapist will work with you and your parents or carers to understand how your depression is related to difficulties in your family. These issues might be affecting your parents or carers as well as you, such as bereavement, family conflict or big family changes. You and your parents or carers will learn simple ideas to improve communication and problem-solving.One of your parents or carers will attend part of every FB-IPT session. 

FB-IPT is broken down into in three parts: 

  1. In the first part, each session is divided between separate individual meetings with you and your parent or carer. Over the first five sessions you, your parent or carer and your mental health professional will think about and agree on the most important issue within your family which is related to your depression symptoms. You will also all agree on goals for the therapy. 
  1. In the second part, each weekly session is divided between individual time for you and shared time with your parent or carer. During the individual time your therapist will encourage you to talk about how you have been feeling and what has been happening in your relationships. You will also discuss ways of dealing with any problems in your relationships (such as different ways of communicating). The shared time will help your parent or carer to learn about interpersonal skills (such as talking about feelings and meeting in the middle on disagreements) to help make positive changes in your relationships. 
  1. In the final part of FB-IPT, joint meetings will also focus on how tonotice early warning signs and prevent future periods of depression. 

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.


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