Discussion: Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy
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?
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.
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.
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Review this week’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).
Search the Walden Library databases for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that inform and support your academic perspective on these topics.
By Day 3
Post an explanation of whether psychotherapy has a biological basis. Explain how culture, religion, and socioeconomics might influence one’s perspective on the value of psychotherapy treatments. Describe how legal and ethical considerations for group and family therapy differ from those for individual therapy, and explain how these differences might impact your therapeutic approaches for clients in group, individual, and family therapy. Support your rationale with at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources and explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.
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1. Is there a biological basis for psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is an individualized yet comprehensive biological treatment; it does not target one receptor, one or two neurotransmitters, or single modulators; it taps into all the biological regulations underlying complex brain responses.
2. What are the ethical considerations in psychotherapy?
These three ethical considerations of competence, privacy and confidentiality, and informed consent will be studied in turn, accompanied by suggestions for ethical best practices.
3. What are the principles of psychotherapy?
For the therapist, effective psychotherapy usually involves warmth and empathy, active listening, an authentic and genuine positive regard for the patient and his (her) experiences.
4. What is the best source of evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapy?
The best research evidence refers to data from meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, effectiveness studies, and process studies, as well as information obtained from single-case reports, systematic case studies, qualitative and ethnographic research, and clinical observation.