Discussion on Biological Basis of Psychotherapy

Discussion on Biological Basis of Psychotherapy

According to the available evidence from scholarly literature, psychotherapy indeed has a biological basis. Jiménez et al. (2018) have stated that psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have been found to produce almost identical patient outcomes when the two are used independently. Because pharmacotherapy obviously has a biological basis, it can then be safely inferred that psychotherapy too has a biological basis judging from the therapeutic results each of them produces. This is the same conclusion also drawn by Javanbakht and Alberini (2019). But Aboujaoude (2009) is more straightforward by giving specific facts and stating that psychotherapy is indeed a biological treatment. According to him, researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to estimate the rate of glucose metabolism in the caudate nucleus of the brain of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. One group were exposed to Prozac and the other cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but the results of treatment were surprisingly found to be the same. The rate of glucose metabolism is an indicator of the brain hyperactivity seen in OCD patients. This is sufficient evidence that psychotherapy has a biological basis.  Discussion on Biological Basis of Psychotherapy

Influence of Culture, Religion, and Socioeconomics on the Perception of Psychotherapy

From a socioeconomic perspective, most patients and their families feel that talk therapy or psychotherapy is really not effective than medications and therefore a waste of money. Some cultures also frown upon the action of revealing one’s intimate mental health details to other people as would happen in a group therapy setting. Lastly but not least, most religions would support the sharing of one’s worries and mental problems with another person who would reassure them and encourage them to hope. For instance, all religions are against the taking of life including one’s own life. As such, they would look favorably upon a treatment that disabuses a patient of the notion of suicidality such as psychotherapy.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

The legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy stress confidentiality but allow for sharing within the therapy group only. This sharing within the group does not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA. Those for individual therapy stress confidentiality and forbid the sharing of patient information with anybody else. Doing that would violate HIPAA. These differences would impact the therapeutic especially for individual therapy on matters of disclosure. This is particularly true in the case of minors. For the family and group therapy, these differences would mean encouraging factors such as universality, catharsis, and interpersonal learning to operate in the group. These are group curative factors.



Aboujaoude, E. (July 10, 2009). The biology of psychotherapy: Therapy IS a biological treatment. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compulsive-acts/200907/the-biology-psychotherapy

Javanbakht, A., & Alberini, C.M. (2019). Editorial: Neurobiological models of psychotherapy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13(144), 1-2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00144

Jiménez, J.P., Botto, A., Herrera, L., Leighton, C., Rossi, J.L., Quevedo, Y., … & Luyten, P. (2018). Psychotherapy and genetic neuroscience: An emerging dialog. Frontiers in Genetics, 9(257), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2018.00257

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\pard\sa200\sl276\slmult1\f0\fs22\lang9 Discussion: Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy\par

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?\par


Psychotherapy is used with individuals as well as in groups or families. The idea of discussing confidential information with a patient in front of an audience is probably quite foreign to you. However, in group and family therapy, this is precisely what the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner does. In your role, learning how to provide this type of therapy within the limits of confidentiality is essential.\par



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto\par


For this Discussion, you will consider whether psychotherapy also has a biological basis and analyze the ways in which legal and ethical considerations differ in the individual, family, and group therapy settings.\par


To prepare:\par


Review this week\rquote s Learning Resources, reflecting on foundational concepts of psychotherapy, biological and social impacts on psychotherapy, and legal and ethical issues across the modalities (individual, family, and group).\par

Search the Walden Library databases for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that inform and support your academic perspective on these topics.\par

By Day 3\par

Post an explanation of whether psychotherapy has a biological basis. Explain how culture, religion, and socioeconomics might influence one\rquote s perspective on the value of psychotherapy treatments. Describe how legal and ethical considerations for

Discussion on Biological Basis of Psychotherapy

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