Does Psychotherapy Have a Biological Basis?
Connections are everywhere, some easily found, some easily manipulated to connect, and some are biologically connected in nature. Saul Mcleod, psychology teaching at The University of Manchester, suggests that human behavior is directly related to the interaction of biology and the environment (McLeod, 2015). For instance, in studying twins, would their similar genes make them become attached to each other or would their environment? I would conclude that both biology and the environment. In a study on an attachment-theoretical perspective involving twins and siblings, the finding showed that more often, twins saw one another as an attachment figure while non twins saw a parent as an attachment figure (Tancredy & Fraley, 2006).
How Does Culture Influence One’s Perspective of the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments?
Becoming aware of a client’s culture can help a psychotherapist tailor their treatment for said individual. Western psychology has historically highlighted individualism, self- actualization, and self-development (Aristova, 2016). However, in some African cultures, psychotherapy highlights balance, interconnectedness, and awareness of one’s culture (Hollingsworth & Phillips, 2017).
How Does Religion Influence One’s Perspective of the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments?
Religion can greatly influence a client’s view of psychotherapy positively or negatively. There are a lot of variables in the role religion or spirituality plays in a client’s therapy or lack thereof. One variable is the client’s religious leader’s view of mental health. In a survey conducted with, specifically Protestant pastors, a rather large number of participants connected symptoms of depression to a deficient trust in a higher power (Ayvaci, 2017). A religious leader’s perceptions of mental health can lead to a resistance of mental health professional referrals.
How Does Socioeconomics Influence One’s Perspective of the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments?
There are several factors related to how one’s socioeconomic status (SES) can affect their perspective of psychotherapy. A low SES is shown to have higher dropouts of psychotherapy, indicating the lack of perceived importance in it. Also, a low SES client tends to not commit to psychotherapy, possible due to maladaptive and pro-self-behavior (Levi, Laslo-Roth, & Rosenstreich, 2018).
Aristova, N. (2016). Rethinking cultural identities in the context of globalization. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 236, 153-160.
Ayvaci, E. R. (2017, April 19). Religious barriers to mental healthcare. American Journal of Psychiatry Residents’ Journal, 11(7), 11-13.
Hollingsworth, L. D., & Phillips, F. B. (2017, December 15). Afrocentricity and social work education. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 27(1-2), 48-60.
Levi, U., Laslo-Roth, R., & Rosenstreich, E. (2018). Socioeconomic Status and Psychotherapy: A Cognitive-Affective View. Retrieved from researchgate.net: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328238564_Socioeconomic_Status_and_Psychotherapy_A_Cognitive-Affective_View/citation/download
McLeod, S. (2015, n.d.). Biological Approach. Retrieved from simplypsychology.org: https://www.simplypsychology.org/biological-psychology.html
Tancredy, C. M., & Fraley, C. R. (2006). The nature of adult twin relationships: An attachment-theoretical perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78-93.
I enjoyed reading your post, and you provided much information that supports your stance that psychotherapy is biologically based. I agree that psychotherapy is biologically based as well. Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment that is based on the relationship that is formed between an individual and a psychologist (APA, (n.d.)). The therapist creates a safe environment where their client can speak openly with no fear of being judged. As such, psychotherapy can bring about persistent changes in attitudes, habits, conscious and unconscious behavior, and it does so by producing alterations in gene expression which produce structural changes in the brain (Jiménez et al., 2018). These changes are biologically based, and as a result, I conclude that psychotherapy does indeed have a biological basis.
Furthermore, culture plays a significant role when treating a patient. A plan must be developed that takes into consideration the upbringing and beliefs that the client has experienced. Whether it be religion, socioeconomics, language barriers, we must realize that many factors can influence the behavior of a client and be prepared to adjust to meet their needs.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Jiménez, J. P., Botto, A., Herrera, L., Leighton, C., Rossi, J. L., Quevedo, Y., Silva, J. R.,
Martínez, F., Assar, R., Salazar, L. A., Ortiz, M., Ríos, U., Barros, P., Jaramillo, K., & Luyten, P. (2018). Psychotherapy and Genetic Neuroscience: An Emerging Dialog. Frontiers in genetics, 9, 257. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2018.00257