What is Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT)?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Claire Slater MSc MBACP (Accred.) Bupa Recognised Practitioner
22nd September, 2013
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy or DIT is a time limited and structured psychotherapy, typically delivered over 16 weekly sessions. It aims to help you understand the connection between presenting symptoms and what is happening in your relationships through identifying a core repetitive pattern of relating that can be traced back to childhood.
Once this pattern is identified, it will be used to make sense of difficulties in relationships in the here-and-now that could be contributing to psychological stress.
Therapy comes in many forms, each having a particular focus and emphasis. DIT focuses mostly on relationship problems. When a person is able to deal with a relationship problem more effectively, his or her psychological symptoms often improve.
DIT aims to help people recognise specific relationship patterns and to make changes in their relationships. There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating the benefit of this approach.
Your therapist will encourage you to reflect on what you think and feel, thereby enhancing your ability to manage current interpersonal difficulties. It aims to relieve your symptoms of distress, enhancing your interpersonal functioning and your capacity for understanding yourself and others. During this therapy, your therapist will help you find more appropriate ways of being and coping with difficult relationships in your life.
What is talked about in DIT?
Your therapist will spend a few sessions talking with you about your depression as well as current and past relationships in order to understand how they are connected. Your therapist will help you to keep the discussion focused upon these kinds of problems.
What about medication?
It is quite common to use DIT alongside medications such as antidepressants. For some people this may have advantages over receiving either treatment alone. If medication is being prescribed for you, please be sure to inform your therapist about the medications and any changes to them.
What can I expect to happen over the course of treatment?
In the first few sessions of DIT, you and your therapist will spend time talking about the important relationships in your life and their connection to your depression. Your therapist will work with you to identify a key repeated pattern in how you see yourself in relation to others and a questionnaire will be used to help with this process. At the end of the initial sessions, your therapist will share with you this specific and personally tailored understanding and you will agree on the areas you wish to focus on during therapy.
At each session, you will be asked to complete outcome measures so that you and your therapist can track your weekly progress during treatment.
Sessions will involve discussing your agreed main area of interpersonal difficulties and working on making positive changes. Therapy does not include any written exercises or homework, but you need to be willing to be actively looking for ways to make constructive changes.
When concluding therapy, you and your therapist will discuss feelings about therapy ending and the progress you have made during the treatment. Given that this is a focused and time limited treatment, it is unlikely that you will have addressed all your difficulties during the sixteen sessions and you should also spend some time thinking about how the understandings you have gained will help you continue with the progress you have made.
Article reproduced with kind permission of www.d-i-t.org
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