Biological basis in psychotherapy | NURS 6640 – Psychotherapy With Individuals | Walden University

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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).

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). 

Summary 

            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.  

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