Training

Until recently, IPT practitioners were few and almost exclusively limited to participants in research studies. In response to growing clinical demand, IPT training is now increasingly included in professional workshops and conferences, with training courses conducted at university centres in Canada, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. A training videotape (Kingsley Communications, Houston, Texas) describes IPT and demonstrates the initial assessment phase of treatment.

Training workshops for mental health professionals from a variety of disciplines have been held by Markowitz at Cornell Medical School, New York, Cornes at the University of Pittsburgh, and Gillies in Toronto, Canada. IPT is taught in a still small but growing number of psychiatric residency training programmes in the United States(82) and has been included in family practice and primary care training (Gillies, personal communication, 1996). IPT clinics have been established at the Clarke Institute in Toronto and at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

Although the principles of IPT are straightforward, training requires more than reading the manual. (8,84> Candidates should have a graduate clinical degree (MD, PhD, MSW, RN), several years of experience conducting psychotherapy, and clinical familiarity with the diagnosis they plan to treat (major depression, bulimia, etc.). IPT training programmes are designed to help experienced therapists refocus their treatment by learning new techniques, not to teach novices psychotherapy. The training used in the TDCRP(25> has become a model for subsequent research studies. This includes a brief didactic phase, reviewing the manual, and a longer practicum during which the therapist treats two or three patients under close videotape supervision of the sessions. (85> Rounsaville et al.(86) found that psychotherapists who performed well on a first supervised IPT case often did not require further intensive supervision, and that experienced therapists committed to the approach required less supervision.(84) Some clinicians have taught themselves IPT using the IPT manual(1) and peer supervision. For research certification, we continue to require at least two and preferably three successfully treated cases with hour-for-hour supervision of taped sessions.

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