The Effectiveness of Interpersonal Psychotherapy on Alexithymia, Emotion Regulation, and Psychological Capital of Male Substance Abusers Treated by Addiction Treatment Centers in Kerman

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology, Zarand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zarand, Iran

2 Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran

3 Department of General Education, Afzalipour Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran



Background: Addiction is a psychiatric disorder with biological, psychological, and social aspects. Literatures 
indicated that alexithymia, emotional dysregulation, and low psychological capital affect substance abuse. 
This study investigated the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy on alexithymia, emotional 
regulation, and psychological capital of male substance abusers.

Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted in 2021 in Kerman, Iran using a pretest, post-test 
design with a control group. A single therapy center was randomly selected via the multi-stage cluster 
method from several substance abuse treatment centers. 50 people were randomly selected and allocated to 
experimental and control groups. The research instruments were questionnaires for alexithymia, emotional 
regulation, and psychological capital. After the pretest phase, the experimental group underwent 12 sessions 
of interpersonal psychotherapy. In the next step, the post-test was conducted and after 6 weeks the follow-up 
test was performed on the groups. The control group did not receive the treatment. Finally, the data obtained 
from 40 participants were analyzed using the MANCOVA test by SPSS25 statistical software.

Findings: Our findings indicated significant MANCOVA results for alexithymia (F=65.14 and P<0.05), 
emotion regulation (F=44.72 and P<0.05) and psychological capital (F=12.05 and P<0.05) showing a 
significant difference between the scores of dependent variables in the experimental group and control 

Conclusion: The results showed that interpersonal psychotherapy improves the state of alexithymia, 
emotional regulation, and psychological capital in substance abusers. It can also be used as an effective 
intervention in addiction treatment centers.