Psychotherapy: Biological Basis of Psychotherapy Treatments

Psychotherapy: Biological Basis of Psychotherapy TreatmentsPsychotherapy: Biological Basis of Psychotherapy Treatments

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.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
Evaluate the biological basis of psychotherapy treatments
Analyze influences of culture, religion, and socioeconomics on personal perspectives of psychotherapy treatments

To prepare:
Review this week’s Learning Resources.
Reflect on foundational concepts of psychotherapy.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!

Post 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.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by providing an additional scholarly resource that supports or challenges their position along with a brief explanation of the resource.
Submission and Grading Information


Psychotherapy: Biological Basis of Psychotherapy Treatments

Mental health disorders and processes will originate from brain mechanisms. Several psychotherapeutic evidence-based practices are quite effective in treating several mental issues. Compounding evidence has indicated that psychotherapy will have some biological basis and may have a positive impact on brain recovery and stress response. According to Ngepa Ahn, Proctor, & Flanagan (2016), psychotherapy will mediate the reconnection and reintegration of neural networks which may have been mal adaptively linked dues to certain adverse life occurrences.

Psychotherapy, therefore, facilitates the healing of the brain. Scholarly evidence has indicated that psychotherapy is an effective treatment for various mental health disorders such as major depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Sheth (2015), psychotherapy alters the functioning of activity regions which are associated with emotion regulation, negative emotion, reward, and fear with such activity regions responding to psychotherapy.

Influences of Religion, Socioeconomics, and Culture on Personal Preferences of Psychotherapeutic Treatments

While psychotherapy has been proven to be an effective treatment approach for mental health disorders factors such as religion, culture, and the socioeconomic background will affect a person’s perspective to psychotherapy.  At all times, clinicians should be aware of the conflicting emotions that psychotherapy causes on the client in relation to culture, religion, and socioeconomics.

Culture will normally unintentionally affect our lives, for instance, a client may hail from a culture that does not discuss emotions openly which may affect their treatment plan (Agorastos, Demiralay, & Huber, 2014). Religion would also play a huge role in determining a client’s perception of psychotherapy. For instance, some clients can be from a religion which one is only free to talk about negative emotions to a religious figure.

in psychotherapy, communication could be impaired if the therapist is not aware of the role of religion in the psychotherapy framework. Socioeconomic status may also contribute to psychological trauma such as poverty which leads to substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Patients who have low socioeconomic standing may also perceive barriers in seeking and receiving psychotherapeutic treatments (Agorastos et al., 2014).



Agorastos, A., Demiralay, C., & Huber, C. G. (2014). Influence of religious aspects and personal

beliefs on psychological behavior: focus on anxiety disorders. Psychology research and behavior management7, 93–101. DOI:10.2147/PRBM.S43666

Ahn, W. K., Proctor, C. C., & Flanagan, E. H. (2016). Mental Health Clinicians’ Beliefs About

the Biological, Psychological, and Environmental Bases of Mental Disorders. Cognitive science33(2), 147–182. DOI:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01008.x.

Sheth H. C. (2015). Mind, brain, and psychotherapy. Indian journal of psychological  medicine31(1), 11–15. DOI:10.4103/0253-7176.53309.

Also check: Evidence-Based Practice