History of ISIPT

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) was developed and initially tested in the 1970’s by Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. and Gerald Klerman, M.D.  As scientific evidence accumulated showing that IPT is a treatment that works for several disorders, investigators pursued opportunities to  share their ideas about IPT research and training with each other.  Therapists also sought the company of colleagues to better understand IPT, improve their therapy techniques, and learn about the newest developments in IPT.

IPT professionals began gathering informally to further the study and practice of IPT. The earliest gatherings of IPT professionals were held in conjunction with meetings of the American Psychiatric Association in the late 1990’s, organized by John Markowitz, M.D.   In 2002, the International Society of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ISIPT)  was formally incorporated in Australia under the leadership of Rebecca Reay, R.N. and Michael Robertson, M.D.  The organization moved to the United States in 2010 under the leadership of Scott Stuart, M.D. and was incorporated in Iowa City, Iowa.  ISIPT’s first formal elections were held in 2015.  Holly Swartz, M.D. was  ISIPT’s  first elected President, serving for a two-year term (2015-17), in accordance with newly ratified bylaws.  In 2016, ISIPT was reincorporated in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Since 2002, the activities of ISIPT have been directed toward furthering IPT research and training, and supporting the professional development of IPT practitioners. ISIPT activities are primarily educational, as exemplified by our bi-annual conference.  The first scientific meeting was held in Pittsburgh in 2004 with the goal of enabling professionals to learn more about IPT.   Prior ISIPT conferences are listed below.


Year Conference Organizers
2004 1st IsIPT Conference in Pittsburgh Ellen Frank, Holly Swartz
2006 2nd IsIPT Conference in Toronto Paula Ravitz
2009 3rd IsIPT Conference in New York City Lena Verdeli, Laura Mufson
2011 4th IsIPT Conference in Amsterdam Mark Blom
2013 5th IsIPT Conference in Iowa City Scott Stuart
2015 6th IsIPT Conference in London Roslyn Law
2017 7th IsIPT Conference in Toronto Paula Ravitz, Marta Novak
2019 8th IsIPT Conference in Budapest Oguz Omay, Adrienne Stauder