Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

Discussion: Does Psychotherapy Have a Biological Basis?

Many studies have found that psychotherapy is as effective as psychopharmacology in terms of influencing changes in behaviors, symptoms of anxiety, and changes in mental state. Changes influenced by psychopharmacology can be explained by the biological basis of treatments. But how does psychotherapy achieve these changes? Does psychotherapy share common neuronal pathways with psychopharmacology? For this Discussion, consider whether psychotherapy also has a biological basis.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay


An explanation of whether psychotherapy has a biological basis. Explain how culture, religion, and socioeconomics might influence one’s perspective of the value of psychotherapy treatments. Support your rationale with evidence-based literature.

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Explain whether psychotherapy has a biological basis. Explain how culture, religion, and socioeconomics might influence one’s perspective of the value of psychotherapy treatments. Support your rationale with evidence-based literature Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

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Psychiatric nurse practitioners must use a wide range of psychotherapy to interact with clients diagnosed with many different mental health disorders (Laureate Education, 2016). By learning psychotherapy, nurses become nurse psychotherapists, where they cultivate reflection, mindfulness, and patience (Wheeler, 2014). The purpose of this discussion is to explain whether psychotherapy has a biological basis, describe how culture, religion, and socioeconomics might influence one’s perspective of psychotherapy treatments.

Biological Basis in Psychotherapy

“Psychotherapy, as a specific form of medical treatment, provides biological repair, especially by effecting changes in growth or adaptation of the organism…” (Whitaker & Malone, 1953). In the human organism, one of the main functions is growth, whether that is growth from the mother to child, or personality growth (Whitaker & Malone, 1953). Personality is formed through social and cultural experiences throughout human life (Whitaker & Malone, 1953). Therefore, we have an inept distinction between growing. Psychotherapy allows for the client to learn and grow certain behaviors that offset negative actions (Whitaker & Malone, 1953). Therefore, psychotherapy has a biological basis. For example, a mother gives attention, emotional support, and love to a young child, and the child feels secure (Whitaker & Malone, 1953). The same can be said for a psychotherapeutic relationship, whether social or professional, the client can feel secure due to emotional support (Whitaker & Malone, 1953).Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

Culture and Religion Affects Psychotherapy

Culture shapes perceptions, attributions, judgments, and ideas (Wheeler, 2014). Understanding a client’s culture allows an APRN to grasp what might be the best treatment option. For example, some cultures and religions are not as comfortable with antipsychotic medications, and therefore, psychotherapy might be the best option for them. Gender roles and cultural experiences can shape the identity of men and women (Passalacqua & Cervantes, 2008). For example, certain religions have female and male gender roles where female roles can reflect caretaking responsibilities, and male roles reflect their status at work and in the community (Passalacqua & Cervante, 2008). It is important that the APRN is aware of these roles, which can help with the way psychotherapy is presented for these types of communities.

Socioeconomics Affects Psychotherapy

Socioeconomic deprivation has been shown to have a higher prevalence of mental health problems (Finegan et al., 2017). According to one study conducted, lower socioeconomic status contributed to poorer psychological treatment outcomes (Finegan et al., 2017). In another study conducted regarding children, it appeared that parents with lower education and income were more likely to drop out of psychotherapy for their child than children with highly educated parents (Haan et al., 2014). Access to psychotherapy was also related to socioeconomic status and children who lived in poorer areas had less access to treatment than children who lived in affluent neighborhoods (Haan et al., 2014). Socioeconomic status can affect whether a client comes for a psychotherapy session and how comfortable they are with communicating there needs (Haan et al., 2014).Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay


In conclusion, psychotherapy has a biological basis and is programmed in every individual. Culture, religion, and socioeconomic status affects psychotherapy and each individual’s experience.

Does Psychotherapy Have A Biological Basis?
Post 1
Mental health processes and disorders originate from mechanisms within the brain. There has been the question within the psychiatric field as to whether plastic changes in the brain that can occur with the use of pharmacological interventions for mental health disorders could also occur with the use of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is extremely beneficial in treating several mental health issues (Laureate Education, 2016).There is compounding evidence that psychotherapy does have a biological basis and can have a positive impact in brain recovery from the stress response. According to Wheeler (2014), psychotherapy mediates the reintegration and connection of neural networks that have become maladaptively linked due to adverse life events facilitating healing of the brain. Psychotherapy has been found to be an effective treatment method for a variety of mental health disorders such as anxiety, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Fournier (2014), activity in regions associated with negative emotion, emotion regulation, fear, and reward are associated with respones to psychotherapy, and psychotherapy appears to alter the functioning of these regions.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

While proven to be an effective treatment modality for mental health disorders, there are factors such as culture, religion, and socioeconomic background that can affect the client and their perspective on the use of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy within itself can bring conflicting emotions for the client and the clinician must be aware of how religion, culture, and socioeconomics can alter how the client perceives psychotherapy and its efficacy in their treatment. According to Wheeler (2014), the powerful influence of culture permeates all dimensions of out life in a way that is often unconscious. For example, if a client comes from a culture where emotions are not to be discusssed or if one discusses there past traumas or fears then the client could be resistant to the role of psychotherapy in their treatment plan. The clinician must be aware of the importance of culture in medical or psychological treatments. Religion also plays an instrumental role in how psychotherapy will be perceived by a client. Many clients may come from a religious background where one only speaks of negative emotions with someone from their clergy or a religious figure. According to Kim, Chen & Brachfeld (2018), religion and spirituality are important issues to consider and address in psychotherapy. Communication could become stagnant if the clinician is not aware of the role religion plays in the psychotherapy framework. Socioeconomic background can also be a variable in one‘s perspective of the value of psychotherapy. Certain traumatic events that a person can suffer throughout their lifetime can be directly correlated to socioeconomic standing. For example, poverty can be associated with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and mood disorders. Patients from this type of background can experience barriers in both seeking and receiving mental health services. According to Bernal et al. (2017), vulnerable populations such as those low in social status face additional barriers to mental health treatment and experience unique barriers to receiving optimal care.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay


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Psychotherapy is just as controversial as mental health as a whole is. Some believe it is helpful, others believe it is a waste of time. One question still remains unanswered for many, can talking about feelings help change behavior and therefore sure whatever condition a person is suffering from? I believe psychotherapy has a biological basis. Lyrakos, Spinaris, and Spyropoulos (2017) clearly stated as results of a research that “the use of psychotherapy plays a significant role in achieving optimal health outcomes of psychiatric patients” (p. s753). Pairing psychopharmacology with psychotherapy can make a positive impact towards recovery compared to treatment with just psychopharmacology.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

Many different reasons can influence the belief that psychotherapy might or might not work. For example, Adams et al. (2017) concluded in an article that “findings suggest that patients’ attachment characteristics play a role in their views and choices regarding treatments” (p. 194). Other factors that can impact the belief that therapy is a waste of time are culture, religion, and socioeconomic status. A person’s upbringing can be one to avoid talking about feelings with a stranger, or even with a loved one. Religion can also play a role in not receiving this type of treatment as faith in a spiritual belief might be the perceived as the cure to an ailment. Economical status and education level can also negatively impact the decision to avoid this type of treatment as the importance of it might not be completely comprehended or there are no means to afford the treatment. In another study that correlates the importance of psychotherapy, data showed “that children/adolescents with not only behavioral and emotional disorders, but also affective (mood) disorders had a higher chance for nondrug psychiatric/psychotherapeutic treatment compared to children with other psychiatric disorders” (Abbas et al., 2017, p. 442).Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay


The body of a human being is made up of various systems all of which are important for its functioning. Some of the major body systems include the respiratory, digestive, nervous, sensory, and reproductive systems just to mention a few. The systems work concurrently or one leads to the other helping the body function as required. This paper is an in-depth analysis of the sensory system by looking at its functions in the body as well as the pathways it uses.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy EssayThe sensory system happens to be part of the nervous system, which is concerned, with passage of information from the external environment to the internal environment and vice versa (Kandel et al., 2000). A sensory system comprises of the brain and muscles in the internal environment while the external environment is made up of several body parts such as the eyes, ears, skin and hair.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

The main function of the sensory system is the conduction of information to the brain for processing. It does this through the sensory receptors that receive stimuli and transmits it via neural pathways. The information conducted by the sensory system is referred to as sensory information. Sensory information is known to cause conscious awareness in some instances thus creating sensation.

The sensory system is important to human beings and other animals as it helps in vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch modalities among others. Without the sensory system, the aforementioned senses would not be felt and the body would be as numb as a log. The sensory system functions with the help of receptors and receptor organs to enable the transmission and interpretation of information in the respective sensory organs.

Once the information is transmitted, the sensory system stimulates action of the receptive organ. For example, when a person steps on a sharp object and pricked, the sensory system sends pain information to the brain (Neil, 2010). The brain then activates the leg muscles making the muscle remove the leg from the point of pricking to prevent more pain.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

The sensory system uses sensory pathways to transmit information from one site to another throughout the body. Sensory pathways are therefore the routes used in the transmission of information from the external environment to the brain. There are various types of sensory pathways. They differ with regard to the location of the information transmitted. For instance, there are sensory pathways that transmit information from the body parts to the brain which are normally known as general somatic afferent (GSA) pathways.Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

The GSA pathways are responsible for the transmission of information concerning pain, temperature, touch, kinaesthesia, and pressure (Kolb and Whishaw, 2003). There are also sensory pathways that transmit information from the face to the brain. These will transmit information regarding pain, pressure, crude touch and temperature variation felt on the face. In addition to this are the special somatic afferent pathways, which are responsible for the transmission of specific information throughout the body.

The SSA pathways will transmit information through various systems such as the vestibular system, hearing and vision modalities. Finally yet importantly are the general visceral afferent pathways that transmit information to the nervous system through the spinal cord. The GVA pathways will transmit sensitive information such blood pressures, and alveolar stretches among others.

From the above discussion, it can be deduced that the sensory system is a vital system of the human body. In addition to helping in body senses, it helps in the consciousness of the brain. Biological Basis In Psychotherapy Essay

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