Interpersonal therapy for depression worksheet

What are the theories behind this Interpersonal therapy for depression worksheet?

This worksheet is based on the Interpersonal Theory of Depression that emphasises the role of social relations and social context on the development and maintenance of an individual’s depressive symptoms. It highlights how an individual’s thoughts, behaviours and actions are affected by significant others in their lives and vice versa. 

A conceptual model combines Interpersonal theory with Cognitive Behavioural theory and explains how distress maintaining attributions about a romantic partner’s negative behaviour contributes to depressive symptoms. These are of two types:

Causal attributionsCause of behaviour is within the partnerCause is stableCause is global i.e it affects many aspect of the relations
Responsibility attributionsPartner had deliberate intentions Partner was motivated to behave that wayDeserves blame

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will help the therapist  analyse the thought process of a client with depressive symptoms particularly the presence of distress maintaining attributions about a romantic partner’s negative behaviour.  These thoughts can then be challenged, questioned for evidence and replaced with positive ones in therapy sessions. 

How to use the worksheet?

This worksheet can be used for a client who is distressed due to interpersonal issues with a significant other. It is a way to identify negative attributions that could be contributing to their interpersonal difficulties and worsening their depressive symptoms.

Instruct the client to focus on any recent negative event and answer the questions accordingly. 

Interpersonal therapy for depression worksheet

  • Describe a recent event where you were hurt by the behaviour of your significant other.

  • Give three reasons why you think they behaved that way?

  • What do you think was their main intention for behaving this way?

  • Which of these would you say are true::
  • This is how they behave most of the time..
  • They want to hurt my feelings.
  • They cannot change even if they try to.
  • They have always been this way.
  • They do not care about my feelings.
  • There are more negative than positive aspects about our relationship.


Dozois, D.J.A & Wilde, J.L. (2019).A dyadic partner-schema model of relationship distress and depression: Conceptual integration of interpersonal theory and cognitive-behavioral models. Clinical Psychology Review, 70, 13-25.

Fincham, F. D., & Bradbury, T. N. (1992). Assessing attributions in marriage: The relationship attribution measure. Journal Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 457–468. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.62.3.457

You can download this worksheet here.

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