A matched-case-control study compared eight-week outcomes between a group of 16 depressed women who received brief (eight-session) interpersonal psychotherapy and a group of 16 who received a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (sertraline). Women who met DSM-IV criteria for major depression and who had a score above 15 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression were treated openly with brief interpersonal psychotherapy and were matched on key variables with women being treated with sertraline. Linear mixed-effects regression models were used to compare groups on measures of symptoms and functioning during eight weeks of treatment. Both groups improved significantly over time, with large effect sizes. However, contrary to expectations, the women who received psychotherapy improved more quickly than those who received sertraline.