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    Although supportive psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy share some similarities, these therapeutic approaches have many differences. When assessing clients and selecting therapies, it is important to recognize these differences and how they may impact your clients. For this Assignment, as you compare supportive and interpersonal psychotherapy, consider which therapeutic approach you might use with your clients.


    Will be able to: Compare supportive psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy                                                   Recommend therapeutic approaches for clients presenting for psychotherapy

    Review the media in this week’s Learning Resources.

    Reflect on supportive and interpersonal psychotherapeutic approaches.

    In a 1- to 2-page paper, address the following:


    Briefly describe how supportive and interpersonal psychotherapies are similar.

    Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact your practice as a mental health counselor.

    Explain which therapeutic approach you might use with clients and why. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.


    Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2013). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Psychotherapy.net.

    Note: view Reality Therapy, Feminist Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy only.

    Stuart, S. (2010). Interpersonal psychotherapy: A case of postpartum depression [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Psychotherapy.net.

    Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.  Chapter 5, “Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy” (pp. 238–242), Chapter 9, “Interpersonal Psychotherapy” (pp. 347–368)


Subject Nursing Pages 4 Style APA


Supportive Psychotherapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Supportive psychotherapy refers to individual talk therapy that focuses on identification of weaknesses and strengths of a patient’s self-care, interpersonal relationships as well as self-esteem, and thereafter advocating for maintenance of their strengths by offering appropriate guidance and psycho-education to cover their weaknesses (Wheeler, 2014). The aim is to improve the general mental and functional well-being.  Interpersonal psychotherapy is relatively a short term treatment plan (Stuart, 2010). The therapy allows patients to regain their functional ability on a daily basis. Granting that interpersonal psychotherapy and supportive psychotherapy contain several similarities, the two therapeutic approaches have several differences. During client assessment and selection of therapies, it is crucial for one to recognize the differences and the effect on clients. This paper seeks to briefly describe the similarities between interpersonal and supportive psychotherapies, highlight three differences between the therapies including how the differences might affect one’s practice as a mental health counsellor, and finally explain the therapeutic approach one might use with clients and why.

Supportive and interpersonal psychotherapy share a number of similarities. The two approaches focus on explicit diagnosis of problems, provision of education programs to clients regarding their problems, the causes, the available treatment plans, and further come up with strategies for the patient to follow in coping with the identified issues (Wheeler, 2014). The approaches include an assessment of interpersonal relationships. The mental health counsellors also identify personalized context of depression and how it relates to symptom development. The approaches seek to identify the issues, express emotions in appropriate ways and adopt skills of improving the current relationships (Stuart, 2010). The strategies demonstrate rapid patient improvement, especially in issues ranging from mild situational depression towards severe cases of depression. They apply techniques from cognitive behavioral to psychodynamic therapies.

However, the therapies still exhibit a number of differences. While supportive psychotherapy focuses on listening, validation, and positive encouragement by using long term goal to change and improve the general functioning of the client, interpersonal psychotherapy is a short term psychotherapy that puts focus on the connections between people and development of psychiatric symptoms of a person. As interpersonal therapy is combined with drug therapy, especially when the client suffers from bipolar disorder or dysthymia (Stuart, 2010), supportive psychotherapy mainly uses psycho-education in providing guidance around client’s weaknesses. Moreover, while interpersonal therapy is unique and majorly focuses on two problem areas as designed to generate a rapid reduction in symptoms, supportive psychotherapy is an all-round approach that covers a wide range of issues within a single therapeutic session (Wheeler, 2014). These differences might impact one’s practice as a mental health counsellor because they offer a distinction on the most relevant type of practice for a given psychiatric condition as some clients may require either long term or short term therapeutic session.

Of the two, I would use supportive therapeutic intervention with clients because it is particularly effective for patients who suffer from a wide range of therapeutic conditions. Clients are actively involved in the sessions which may readily help them to get over situations. It is an open forum therapeutic approach. It does not limit its focus to the premise that patients who offer from depression act so out of the interpersonal relationships they have. Unlike supportive psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy has not been proven effective in treating psychotic disorders. Another drawback of ITP is that it exclusively dependent on a patient completing the twelve to sixteen week treatment course.

In conclusion, there are distinct similarities and differences between interpersonal and supportive psychotherapies. All these are of importance to any mental health counselor, especially in assessing the best therapy for a client. The supportive therapeutic approach is more relevant as it cuts across a number of issues and does not depend on drug therapy.






New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Chapter 5, “Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy” (pp. 238–242), Chapter 9, “Interpersonal Psychotherapy” (pp. 347–368)

Stuart, S. (2010). Interpersonal psychotherapy: A case of postpartum depression [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Psychotherapy.net.

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.).













Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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