Reviewed by Dr. Becky Spelman on 24/04/2016
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy, known as DIT, is a type of “brief” therapy, which means that the therapeutic process is designed to lead to tangible improvements in well-being in a relatively short period of time, with the course of treatments offered with a clear start and end point.
Patients often have weekly sessions for three or four months. DIT is often used to help patients with depressive disorders or problems with anxiety, sometimes in conjunction with medication, such as an anti-depressant, that helps them with their immediate presenting problem. DIT is often recommended for patients who actively prefer a dynamic approach to their treatment, or for whom cognitive behavioural therapy is not suited.
By working with their therapist, patients gain insights into how what they are feeling and experiencing is linked to their experience of relating with others from childhood. The first few sessions of therapy tend to focus on teasing out and understanding the nature of the relationships in the patient’s life. Often, they find that they have developed a particular way of interacting with others that is repeated in every important relationship in their lives. With this understanding, they can figure out what is going wrong in their lives and why, and how this is contributing to the stress or anxiety they are experiencing. In most cases, when people are able to improve the way they interact with others, their psychological health also improves.
In the context of the therapeutic process, patients can learn ways of relating to others and coping with challenging relationships that are healthier for them. As the therapy moves into the middle part of the process, the focus shifts to helping the patient make proactive choices and changes in their lives. In this way, DIT is a dynamic, interactive process in which the patient engages fully with their therapist to tease out the issues in their past that may have contributed to the problems they are suffering from today, while also figuring out what they themselves can change to make their lives better. Patients are also expected to participate in their own treatment plan so that they and their therapist can keep track of their progress from week to week. Between sessions, they are invited and expected to modify their behaviour as discussed during therapy, and to observe how these changes are impacting on the important relationships in their lives.
As this is a form of therapy with a limited time frame, anxieties and concerns can arise in patients as they approach the end of the therapeutic period. The final sessions provide an opportunity for the patient and their therapist to reflect on all they have learned and develop an understanding of how these new insights can continue to make a lasting, positive difference in their lives.
If you would like to talk to someone about having dynamic interpersonal therapy in London, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 03331 221 349 or book online by clicking below.
We are based in London but also treat anyone via phone or Skype.