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DISCUSSION WEEK 1
The Biological Basis of Psychotherapy
According to American Psychiatric Association (2019), psychotherapy is purely biological and the real treatment for the individuals suffering mental health disorders such as anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder or post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), Mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, and an eating disorder. It addresses the way the brain develops, mature, and operates which followed the principle of evolutionary adaptation. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution states that natural selection and organisms that possess heritable traits that enable them to better adapt to their environment compared to other members of their species will more likely to survive, reproduce, and pass more of their gene on to the next generation (National Academies of Sciences, 2020). While neuroimaging helps to detect which part of the brain may be affected and lead to mental illness, psychotherapy helps to improve the brain functions in a positive way and decrease negative symptoms of the mental illness (Holttum, 2014).
Although mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression is said to have some biological, environmental, and genetic components that is triggering the illness (Holttum, 2016), more research is needed to fully understand how psychotherapy impacts neural activities to decrease psychiatry symptoms and improve functionality. To better help an individual to get the most out of psychotherapy, collaborative effort, open-mindedness, honesty, and following up with the treatment plan is essential. The type of psychotherapy choice depends on the patient’s type of mental health problem. Some of the benefits of psychotherapy are zero side effects, and the enhancement of pharmacotherapy (Laureate (Producer) Education, 2016). Combination treatment approaches may also be effective for the individual to get back to their normal state of life. Treatment such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people with mental health disorders to identify and change thinking and behavior patterns that are harmful or ineffective. It helps to replace them with more accurate thoughts and functional behaviors. It helps the person to focus on current problems and how to solve them (Laureate Education (Producer), 2015f).
The Influence of Culture, Religion, and socioeconomics on the Perspective of Psychotherapy Treatments
Individual culture, religion, and socioeconomic factors may influence a person’s perception of treatment. Cultural influences such as values and beliefs may impact the way the person seeks or received treatment in the sense that they may not want to be stigmatized as mentally ill. Certain cultures, ethnicity, and religion see mental illness as a taboo, which makes it difficult for the ill person to seek treatment. Socioeconomic factor, such as poverty, unsanitary living condition, and general environmental factors may contribute to mental illness and the way the person seek treatment. Because individuals with mental may be stigmatized, or seen as weak or good for nothing, they delay seeking help and getting adequate treatment. The question now is how can we help this kind of people to get back to their normal state of mind and body? (Holttum, 2014) states that the mental health professional is not about doing things to people to make them recover, but it is about getting to know people and supporting their own recovery process and believing in their strengths. Holttum (2014), also stress that as professional we should erase the idea that most people who get a diagnosis with a disorder such as schizophrenia have diseased brains. Rather we should think and believe that they need positive human support and connection, and the opportunity to talk and come to terms with what has happened to them and work out how to move forward in their recovery process. That is the reason psychotherapy is an essential part of mental health treatment. Gaining trust, and maintaining the confidentiality of the individual we are treating is important during mental health treatment and in the nursing profession (APA, 2019)
American Psychiatric Association. (2019). What is psychotherapy? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy
Holttum, S. (2014). When bad things happen our brains change but psychotherapy and support can help the recovery of out brains and our lives. Mental Health and Social inclusion, 18(2), 52-58. doi: 10.1108/MHSI-02-2014-006
Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Introduction to psychotherapy with individuals [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015f). Therapies change and integrate different approaches over time [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author
National Academy of Sciences. (2020). Definitions of Evolutionary Terms: Adaptation. Retrieved from https://www.nationalacademies.org/evolution/definitions
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