The transition into another phase of life is generally accompanied by many changes. Examples of situations in which a role change can occur are: leaving home, birth of your first child, retirement, divorce, moving houses or a change in work situation. Thus, it can be either a chosen or a forced change, which can be either positive or negative. Changes that generate negative feelings are similar to a grieving process and, if these negative feelings are not addressed, can lead to depression. Because feelings of sadness, anger and other negative emotions are not recognized by the client and his/her environment, people will focus on the new situation instead. But it is important to properly say goodbye to the old before anything new is started.

During IPT

During interpersonal therapy (IPT), your therapist will assist you in recognizing, processing and accepting the losses and the associated negative feelings. Attention is also paid to any necessary adjustments. It is often not clear to someone that there is a loss: “I was so happy when I retired”.

With the help of your practitioner, you will consider the relationships that are pressurized due to the role change and, together, you will look for ways to rebuild valuable bonds. This can be done in various ways, such as by reviving old relationships or by building new ones.


Source: Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocol-based treatments for adults with psychological complaints.

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