Pre-Conference Workshops


Wednesday, June 14
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

University of Toronto Rehabilitation Sciences Building
500 University Avenue
1st Floor (entrance level)

Introductory IPT

Room 132

Facilitators: Betsy Bledsoe PhD and Edward McAnanama PhD

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is an effective time-limited treatment for depression across the lifespan, in international consensus depression treatment guidelines (APA; WHO; CanMAT; NICE). This interactive workshop with simulations and role-plays will help clinicians to improve outcomes and expand therapeutic repertoires with a focus on relational stressors of loss, bereavement, social role transitions, interpersonal hypersensitivity and disputes. Betsy Blesdsoe PhD, MPhil, MSW and Edward McAnanama PhD OT, IPT trainers and master clinicians from the U.S. and Canada come together to offer this introductory IPT workshop with attention to interpersonal processes, engagement, social roles, supports, and communication to improve clinical outcomes and therapeutic responsiveness.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Use IPT to improve treatment of patients with depression.
  • Employ the Interpersonal Inventory, Communication Analysis and formulation with a relational understanding of individual patient’s differences, strengths and vulnerabilities to aid recovery from depression.
  • List the therapeutic guidelines and principles of IPT

Trainers’ Training – Facilitating learning through tailored supervision

Room 150

Facilitator:  Roslyn Law

The workshop aims to assist participants to develop skills in the process of supervising and evaluating the clinical practice of IPT with reference to core IPT and supervisory competencies for group and individual supervision.  These supervisory competencies include evaluating adherence to the IPT model, communicating effectively and constructively with trainees on the application of knowledge and techniques, and managing and supporting change in non-adherent practice. The workshop will focus on communication skills, conceptualization skills, and evaluation skills to support transfer by trainees from alternative psychotherapy approaches, development of new skills and adapted application of existing skills.  This workshop will review the IPT practitioner and supervisor curricula developed in the context of Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in the UK and will address the application of supervisory skills in the wide ranging contexts in which IPT is being practiced. The group will be invited to identify key processes and strategies that will facilitate and enhance IPT training and supervision in individual contexts.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe competency frameworks for practicing and supervising Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression
  • Assess a range of strategies designed to facilitate IPT supervision and student directed learning
  • Evaluate the application of the competency, assessment and feedback frameworks in participants’ own clinical and research settings

IPT supervisors should be in good standing and licensed to practice in a health profession, and have developed expertise in IPT, e.g. have attended IPT workshop training and conducted clinically supervised) IPT cases, in a full range of IPT focal areas. Participants who do not currently provide IPT training or supervision but wish to do so are welcome to attend but should note that this workshop will not provide full training according to the UK supervision curriculum  If you wish to attend the IPT Trainers’ Training but have questions about your eligibility, please contact Roslyn Law directly:

Thursday, June 15
Morning (9:00 AM – Noon)

University of Toronto Conference Centre
89 Chestnut Street
3rd Floor

IPT for the Treatment of Adolescent Depression (IPT-A)

Room:  Terrace

Facilitators: Laura Mufson, PhD and Anat Brunstein Klomek, PhD

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (IPT-A) is an effective, evidence-based treatment for adolescent depression. This workshop will present the goals and phases of IPT-A, identified problem areas, primary components of IPT-A, as well as specific therapeutic techniques and implementation in community settings. The workshop will focus on the distinguishing features of the adolescent IPT adaptation including parent and school involvement. The workshop will include didactic lectures on the main IPT-A principles and techniques; use of video illustration of particular techniques; opportunity for short experiential role playing; and brief case examples.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the theory and basic principles of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (IPT-A)
  • Apply the key IPT-A techniques
  • Utilize IPT-A in your own clinical and/or research settings through role plays and practicing of techniques and discussion of adaptations for other settings

IPT for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Room: St. David

Facilitator: John Markowitz

This workshop will describe the theoretical rationale, empirical support, and practical strategies for the adaptation of IPT to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Assess the range of options for treating PTSD
  • Explain the interpersonal rationale for treating PTSD
  • Discuss the evidence base supporting IPT for PTSD
  • Describe the technical adaptations of IPT for PTSD

IPT for Perinatal Depression

Room: St. Patrick North

Facilitator: Nancy Grote, Sue Luty and Scott Stuart

IPT has been shown through numerous studies to be an effective treatment for perinatal depression. In addition to the personal suffering that women experience as a result of perinatal depression, research has found effects on the infant in utero and throughout development, along with a negative impact on the woman’s relationship with her partner and other children. Thus, it is important to intervene early to reduce the negative sequelae of perinatal depression. This workshop will focus on IPT for women with perinatal depression, with awareness of the special Postpartum mood disorders concerns and challenges that pregnant and postpartum women face as they cope with depression.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and use IPT with perinatal depressed women
  • List postpartum mood disorder concerns and challenges of depressed pregnant and postpartum women
  • Apply an understanding of the IPT conceptualization and therapeutic strategies for treatment of perinatal depression with its complex social role and relational changes.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) for Bipolar Disorder

Room: St. Patrick South

Facilitators: Ellen Frank and Holly Swartz

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), is an evidence-based psychotherapy for adults and adolescents suffering from bipolar disorder. Developed by Ellen Frank, Holly Swartz and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, this treatment combines a behavioral approach to increasing the regularity of daily routines (social rhythms) with an interpersonal approach to coping with interpersonal life stress and social role problems. It has now been shown to be efficacious in preventing relapse of mania and depression and in treating acute episodes of bipolar depression when used in combination with pharmacotherapy. Open studies suggest that IPSRT has utility as a monotherapy for adults with bipolar II disorder and for adolescents with bipolar I or II illness. The IPSRT approach has now been expanded to include group therapy models for inpatient, intensive outpatient (day-hospital) and standard outpatient treatment.

This mini-training will consist of an overview of the treatment and assumes no prior knowledge of IPSRT. The workshop will focus on the theoretical rationale for IPSRT and on developing skills to initiate the intervention.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the rationale for and principles of IPSRT;
  • Provide their patients suffering from bipolar disorder and related mood disorders with a set of tools and strategies to improve their social rhythm stability and mood

Afternoon (1:00 – 4:00 PM)

Group IPT

Room:  Terrace

Facilitators: Denise Wilfley and Rob Welch

IPT for groups (IPT-G), initially developed to treat binge eating disorder (Wilfley et al., 1998),  has been shown to be efficacious for many patient populations across the lifespan including depressed adolescents, women in the perinatal period, and the elderly. IPT-G employs the same basic structure and focus of individual IPT, though modified to capitalize on the group setting. The format combines IPT principles and the therapeutic power of the group milieu to help patients develop interpersonal skills, decrease self-stigma and social isolation, and work through interpersonal problems.  This workshop reviews guidelines for the running of IPT Groups with case examples of how to use commonly encountered clinical challenges as therapeutic opportunities.


At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define pre-group and group tasks including contracting and socialization to group norms.
  • Maintain a focus on each patients’ problem areas while attending to the group process (i.e., attending to therapeutic group processes and IPT clinical tactics).
  • Capitalize on commonly encountered group challenges as therapeutic opportunities.

IPT and Mentalizing

Room:  St. Patrick North

Facilitator: Roslyn Law

Mentalizing – attending to mental states in oneself and others in order to understand intention and behavioiur – has been described as “the most fundamental common factor among psychotherapeutic techniques”. This workshop is aimed at IPT practitioners and supervisors with an interest in exploring and consolidating their use of Mentalization techniques in IPT. Knowledge of Mentalization techniques is not assumed and a concise introduction to the key ideas underpinning Mentalization and their relevance for IPT practice will be covered. This workshop will employ a combination of didactic teaching, discussion of clinical illustrations, demonstrations as well as participant role-plays.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the practical applications of mentalization based therapy techniques in IPT
  • Recognize breaks in mentalization in therapists and clients
  • Implement techniques for restoring mentalization in patients following practice in role plays

Interpersonal Psychotherapy – Adolescent Skills Training for the Prevention of Depression

Room:  St. David

Facilitator: Jami Young

Interpersonal Psychotherapy – Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) is a group-based, preventive intervention for adolescent depression that can be delivered in a variety of settings. IPT-AST consists of one or two individual pre-group sessions; eight group sessions; and an individual mid-group session. Components of IPT-AST include psychoeducation regarding depression and the link between feelings and interpersonal events and interpersonal skill building to address interpersonal difficulties and prevent the development of depression. The workshop will provide participants with an overview of the structure of IPT-AST, training in key IPT-AST techniques, and practice implementing IPT-AST individual and group sessions.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain key techniques of IPT-AST
  • Implement IPT-AST techniques after practice in role plays
  • Assess how one might utilize this intervention in various settings