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Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Dysthymic Disorder

John C. Markowitz, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-207-8
  • Item #62207

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Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Dysthymic Disorder is the first manual to examine the use of psychotherapy for dysthymic disorder, or chronic depression. This useful, innovative guide describes how to adapt interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)—a proven, time-limited therapy that has benefited patients who have other mood disorders and psychiatric syndromes—to treat dysthymic disorder. After discussing the characteristics of dysthymic disorder, the basic principles of IPT, and the available treatment data, this volume offers clear, coherent treatment strategies for working with this potentially difficult, yet treatable, disorder. A useful adjunct to training and supervision by certified clinicians, this book contains numerous case examples that vividly illustrate how to use this treatment approach. This text also includes an appendix with patient education materials, the IPT Problem Area Rating Scale (IPARS), and the IPT Outcome Scale.

By using this text, therapists can improve their patients' life functioning and provide a more comprehensive and effective treatment.


  • Preface.

    Overview of Dysthymic Disorder.

    Dysthymic disorder. Treatment of dysthymic disorder.

    Interpersonal Psychotherapy of Dysthymic Disorder.

    Overview of interpersonal psychotherapy. Interpersonal psychotherapy for dysthymic disorder (IPT-D). Case examples. Complex cases of dysthymic disorder. The postdysthymic patient. How long is long enough? For family members and significant others. Appendix. Literature cited. Index.

About the Authors

John C. Markowitz, M.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College and is the Director of the Psychotherapy Clinic at the Payne Whitney Clinic, New York Hospital, New York, New York.

Markowitz's text is a useful addition to the literature regarding dysthymia and chronic depression. It should be considered essential for researchers interested in the treatment of dysthymic disorder. Therapists in more eclectic practice settings will also find many useful ideas to incorporate into their work.—Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research

John Markowitz, a central figure in Cornell's dysthymic research group and a leading expert in the field, outlines what has been learned about this condition. . . . The core of Markowitz's therapeutic approach is the recognition that dysthymia is a chronic pathologic state, not an ingrained personality trait, and that when it is treated appropriately, patients respond dramatically and their lives are changed. The optimism implicit in this medical model is an essential aspect of the treatment, and in this important new book, Markowitz does for the profession what his treatment does for his patients. He converts a long-term, seemingly hopeless condition into a treatable and curable problem with an excellent prognosis. Therapists, patients, and their friends and families will find this a richly rewarding volume.—Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh Mc Dermott University Professor of Medicine, University Professor of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Dysthymic Disorder provides a solution for treating some chronically depressed patients: time-limited psychotherapy based on traditional interpersonal therapy for depression, but tailored to the treatment of dysthymia. . . . Throughout the book, the author presents a balanced view of the strengths and limits of interpersonal therapy. . . . In addition, the appendices contain useful materials for educating patients and their families about dysthymia, and rating scales provide a means for monitoring patient progress.—Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

A whole new approach to the treatment of chronic depression, a frequent and difficult clinical problem. This book lays out, in a no-nonsense, step-by-step manner, how to approach the patient with dysthymia and how to tailor psychotherapy to different problems and different phases of therapy. The case examples are especially helpful in understanding and actually incorporating this useful technique.—Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, M.D., Titus Harris Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Dr. Markowitz has taken up the challenge of applying to a chronic disorder a psychotherapeutic strategy originally intended for short-term use. This is an important development for clinicians and their patients suffering from dysthymia. The basic principles elaborated in this book can be easily applied to patients receiving pharmacotherapy as well as selected patients who have not benefited from competent trials of medication. Dr. Markowitz is eloquent, down-to-earth, and even persuasive in this new application of interpersonal psychotherapy.—Hagop S. Akiskal, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the International Mood Center, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California

This new book . . . . is both true to the strategies of IPT and sensitive to the nuances of dysthymia. Rich in clinical material and 'scripts' to illustrate the method, grounded in empirical understanding of the disorder, it is a highly readable and clinically useful book.—Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University School of Public Health, Director, Division of Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York

[T]his is a worthwhile monograph for experienced therapists and trainees who want in one place an overview of IPT and the recent research applying it to depression and other disorders.—Mary K. McCarthy, M.D., Training Director, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Associate Training Director, Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program

This excellent book will urge an expanded repertoire on the experienced psychiatrist and provide trainees and less experienced therapists with an introduction to interpersonal therapy.—American Journal of Psychiatry

[T]his book provides a useful addition to the armamentarium of any psychotherapist dealing with this historically difficult-to-treat disorder. This is particularly important in this era of managed care, which places such a heavy emphasis on clear-cut goals for time-limited treatments.—Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

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