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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1985;11(3-4):171-91.

Interpersonal psychotherapy adapted for ambulatory cocaine abusers.


The authors describe the strategies and goals of Klerman et al.'s Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) as revised for application to cocaine abusers. IPT is a brief, individual psychological treatment suitable for use by experienced psychotherapists. The goals are reduction or cessation of cocaine use and development of more productive strategies for dealing with social and interpersonal problems associated with the onset and perpetuation of cocaine use. The treatment has four definitive characteristics: (a) adherence to a medical model of psychiatric disorders; (b) focus on patient's difficulties in current interpersonal functioning; (c) brevity and emphasis on consistency of focus; and (d) use of an exploratory stance by the psychotherapist which is similar to that of supportive and exploratory psychotherapies. It is currently being used in combination with medications in a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of desipramine, lithium carbonate, methylphenidate, and placebo as treatment for ambulatory cocaine abusers.

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