Women's Mood Disorders Psychotherapy

Interpersonal Psychotherapy—Evidence-based for depression
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a form of individual talk therapy that focuses on the interpersonal context of psychological distress and enables the patient to identify specific emotions that may be linked to persons or recent adverse events.  Generally speaking, depression in particular can be a response to grief and loss, interpersonal disputes or conflicts, role transitions, or emotional hypersensitivity.  Therapists using IPT help patients to investigate their distress in the framework of one of these four life events, analyze the important relationships in their lives, identify recurring conflicts, learn positive ways of communicating their needs to others, and recognize the power of social support for addressing distressing symptoms.  Although this treatment is customized to the individual, a typical course of IPT is approximately 16-20 one-hour sessions.  Offered at UNC Psychiatry Clinic. For more information, please call us at 919-966-5728.


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy—Evidence-based for relapse prevention of depression
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in a group format is helpful for individuals who have experienced depression in the past and want to learn techniques for preventing relapse.  Patients learn to process their thoughts and experiences without judgment, change ways of negative thinking, and accept the difficulty of working through life events and transitions.  Mindfulness, or meditation as it may also be called, does not incorporate religious beliefs or doctrine, but there is room for individuals to include their own practice of spirituality in private practice if they desire. After an initial private consultation to determine if this treatment is right for the patient, MBCT groups include 6-8 individuals and sessions last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours.  A full course of MBCT consists of 8 weekly sessions, as well as a structured schedule for daily home practice.  Sessions begin Tuesday, October 4, 2011.  A pre-group assessment visit is required. For more information, please call us at 919-966-5728.


Partner-Assisted Therapy—Currently undergoing efficacy study for perinatal depression
Partner-Assisted Therapy (PAT) is a brief guided psychotherapy treatment developed for women depressed during pregnancy and the postpartum that includes their spouse or partner in every session.  Because this is not couples therapy, patients who receive PAT need to be in a committed, satisfying relationship.  The therapist educates the partner about the experience and symptoms of depression, engaging the patient to describe what her episode of depression is like and what may have started it.  The partner also learns valuable techniques for extending the helpful components of psychotherapy to the home environment, such as reflective listening, problem-solving, and communication analysis.  Treatment generally involves 8-9 hour-long sessions, and follow-up sessions may be used to reinforce progress.  Offered at Conner Drive and at UNC Psychiatry Clinic. For more information, please call us at 919-966-5728.


Partner Assisted Therapy or Antidepressant Medication for Depression During Pregnancy

We are conducting a study to compare a novel psychotherapy, Partner-Assisted Interpersonal Therapy (PA-IPT), with the standard of care, anti-depressant medication, in pregnant women with Major Depressive Disorder.  Therapy sessions and study-related medication will be provided free of charge.  We are looking for women who are 18-45 years old, 16-29 weeks pregnant, in a committed relationship with a partner willing to participate in the study, and currently feeling down, blue, or depressed.  Participants will receive up to $100.00 in gift cards for participating in evaluations throughout the study.  For more information please call 919-966-5728 or email: womenspsychotherapy@med.unc.edu