Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy

Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy

Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay

Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay

Psychotherapy, indeed, has a biological basis. It is because psychotherapy is meant to treat mental illness by helping reconnect brain networks that have been negatively affected by the mental condition and, thus, helping the client improve symptoms and heal (Sweetman et al., 2019; Smith et al., 2020). The biological basis of psychotherapy is also because patients who receive psychotherapy feel better at the end of the therapy session than individuals who do not (Jimenez et al., 2018).(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

                                                                                             Culture, Religion, and Socioeconomics

Both socioeconomic and cultural factors indeed play a significant role in a client’s treatment success. First, in a culture where mental health is considered a curse, it might be challenging to seek therapy for fear of stigma. Culture represents essential factors that facilitate the treatment process. Cultural factors influence the nature of psychopathology and patient understanding of psychological and physical health and block every aspect of the diagnostic and treatment process, which can cause dilemmas (Kuska et al., 2016). We all have different cultures, beliefs, and taboos on how we perceive matters related to mental illnesses. In some cultures, the stigmatization which comes with an individual having a mental condition prevents one from opening up or sharing their feelings on what they are going through because they are ashamed of how people will judge them. Culture, therefore, determine the pattern of certain mental disorders. According to Howley et al. (2020), people with low socioeconomic levels are likely to have high dysfunction. They may not take personal responsibility and role in the therapy process and, thus, reduce treatment success. Clients with low socioeconomic levels are less likely to afford the cost of treatment and, thus, may not attend all the recommended therapy sessions leading to relapse of the (Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)condition.

Furthermore, religion is another factor that influences the perspective of psychotherapy treatment, either positively or negatively. Religion like Orthodox opposes psychotherapy treatment. Other Christian religions and spirituality may provide strength and support during treatment. Assisting clients in reconnecting with their faith and religion may guide them to utilize spiritual practice in addition to psychotherapy (Barnett, 2016). All mental health providers should be aware and sensitized regarding client religion, socioeconomic and culture of their patients to better understand their clients and their lives. Health providers must know how these factors impact patients’ mental health to provide effective treatment.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

                                                                                                 Legal and Ethical considerations

There are several legal considerations a healthcare provider should take into account when dealing with group, family therapy, and individual therapy. Like any other treatment, psychotherapy requires a healthcare provider to consider the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the confidentiality, privacy, and security of the information given during therapy. As defined by HIPPA, the confidentiality of the information given to the patients in group or family therapy must be upheld (Schiefele et al., 2018). Even though it is paramount in family and group therapy, it can be challenging to maintain confidentiality and privacy of the information discussed as opposed to individual therapy because the former involves many people. However, individual, group and family therapy requires ethical and legal principles such as confidentiality, responsibility, and informed consent. Based on responsibility, Schiefele et al. (2018) explain that therapeutic intervention in group and family therapy can be faced with the dilemma of multiple clients in the same situation; however, one individual’s best interest may not work for another person in the group. Overall, therapeutic approaches for clients in-group, family, and individual therapy can differ. However, confidentiality and informed consent of the treatment process should be preserved in both cases.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

            In conclusion, psychotherapy has a biological basis, and real changes occur throughout the therapeutic intervention. Religion, culture and socioeconomic factors can and do impact therapeutic outcomes. Finally, ethics and legal obligations occur during all types of therapeutic approaches. We have obligations to the individual in therapy as in the group and family treatment models.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)


Kuška, M., Trnka, R., Tavel, P., Constantino, M. J., Angus, L., & Moertl, K. (2016). The role of

           cultural beliefs and expectations in the treatment process: clients’ reflections following

           individual psychotherapy. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 31(3), 259– 270.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

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Barnett, J. E. (2016). Are religion and spirituality of relevance in psychotherapy? Spirituality in

           Clinical Practice, 3(1), 5–9. Links to an external site..

Schiefele, A.-K., Lutz, W., Rubel, J., Barkham, M., Saxon, D., Bohnke, J., Delgadillo, J., …Lambert, M. J. ( 2018). Reliability of Therapist Effects in Practice-              Based Psychotherapy Research: A Guide for the Planning of Future Studies. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health                      Services Research, 45, 6, 598-613.

Howley, T., Leibert, T. & Lane, J. (2020). The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and

            Counseling Outcomes. NPCC Web designer. Https:// Links to an external site..

Jimenez, J. P., Botto, A., Herrera, L., Leighton, C., Rossi, J. L., Quevedo, Y., Silva, J. R., …Luyten, P. (2018). Psychotherapy and Genetic Neuroscience: An                Emerging Dialog. Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 257.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Sweetman, E., Noble, A., Edgar, C., Mackay, A., Helliwell, A., Vallings, R., … & Tate, W.

            (2019). Current research provides insight into the biological basis and diagnostic potential for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue                          syndrome (ME/CFS). Diagnostics, 9(3), 73.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Discussion 2

Psychotherapy Biological Basis

(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

            Peer-reviewed articles such as the one by Jokinen & Hartshorne (2022) have established that medication management cannot assist many clients alone; psychotherapy, which is a biological treatment that changes the client’s brain, is critical in the healing process. Psychotherapy is biological as it helps the client to develop healthy coping measures, address the mental illness, and foster new adaptations from trauma or other traumatic life events. (Moreira, Inman, & Cloninger, 2020) Clinicians utilizing a biopsychosocial holistic approach assist in healing clients in an individual, group, or family setting. This practice will assist the client whose biological or genetic components have been altered through experiences from trauma or another experienced life event, as established and discussed in the peer-reviewed article by Jokinen and Hartshorne (2022).(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Culture, Religion, Socioeconomic

            To assist clients of all cultures, religions, and socioeconomic considerations, psychotherapy often is combined with medication management to target the client’s mental illness specifically. When working with clients, where they come from, where they work, who is in the household, their neighborhoods, and their religious practices are just the surface of the information needed to be gathered to begin the healing psychotherapy journey. A client’s religious and cultural beliefs can and do influence their health and perspective toward therapy and medication management. Beliefs and cultural practices sometimes prevent the client from treatment, hindering their progress. The practitioner must be aware of their convictions to assist with exploration and assignments, not to be contractionary to their religious or cultural practices. Prayer may help a client; for others, this may bring further trauma, and a thorough assessment of these areas is required by the clinician to assist the client and/or family. A specific example would be culture and grief, as dealing with grief varies with age, culture, and the client’s religious belief and promotes or hinders the therapy process, as presented and discussed in the peer-reviewed article by Smid et al. (2018)(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

A client or family with a struggling socioeconomic status can be challenged to attend therapy sessions or purchase supplies and medications. Lower socioeconomic status is associated with higher mental health struggles, although recovery can be achieved equally to other socioeconomic levels. Transportation and finding childcare for adult clients when finances are limited can require assistance from the clinician to find alternative means and should be a priority early in the therapeutic relationship to prevent this from hindering their progress.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Legal and ethical for groups and families

            Confidentiality is critical in healthcare and essential in rapport building in therapy and with families and groups; this can present a challenge. Protecting all clients, families, and members’ privacy while utilizing the group and family therapeutic environment is an educational process. With therapy becoming increasingly telemed, the importance of informed consent and protection of the client’s rights has emerged, been established, and discussed in the peer-reviewed article by Avasthi, Grover, & Nischal (2022). Permission must be signed, and all involved must be educated, but each client and family know that complete privacy cannot be guaranteed in a telemed, family, or group setting. The clinician must take all precautions, inform clients about the process, and obtain signed consent before the sessions or groups.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)


Avasthi A, Grover S, Nischal A. Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychotherapy. Indian J Psychiatry. 2022 Mar;64(Suppl 1): S47-               S61. DOI: 10.4103/Indian psychiatry. indianjpsychiatry_50_21. Epub 2022 Mar 22. PMID: 35599651; PMCID:                      PMC9122134.

Jokinen, R. R., & Hartshorne, T. S. (2022). Anxiety Disorders: A Biopsychosocial Model and an Adlerian Approach for                     Conceptualization and Treatment. Journal of Individual Psychology78(2), 155–174.                                        to an external site.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Moreira, P., Inman, R., & Cloninger, C. (2022). Reactance and personality: Assessing psychological reactance using a                        biopsychosocial and person-centered approach. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse                       Psychological Issues, 41(11), 7666-7680.(Biological Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

Smid, G. E., Groen, S., de la Rie, S. M., Kooper, S., & Boelen, P. A. (2018). Toward Cultural Assessment of Grief and Grief-                Related Psychopathology. Psychiatric services (Washington, DC)69(10), 1050–1052.       Basis and Ethical Considerations of Psychotherapy Nursing Essay)

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