Nursing Psychotherapy

Psychiatric and mental health conditions deprive people of their ability to experience joy and love, live without undue guilt or fear, control one’s behavior, and deal with conflicting emotions. Those suffering from mental illnesses cannot accurately appraise reality, maintain self-defined values, think clearly, relate well with others, and contribute productively to society or the community. Healthcare professionals use various approaches to promote adaptation or restore mental wellness. These approaches use either the psychopharmacologic or psychotherapy perspectives. This paper scrutinizes psychotherapy’s biological basis and effectiveness while also focusing on factors that influence or determine how effective psychotherapy is. The paper also analyzes the legal and ethical considerations of family and group therapy versus individual therapy and how they impact healthcare providers’ therapeutic approaches for their clients.

The Biological Basis of Psychotherapy

In recent years, scientists have increasingly enhanced research that has sought to integrate neuroscience into psychotherapy. While psychotherapy’s primary focus is on the richness of individuals’ complex behavior and clinical history, neuroscience focuses on the mechanistic analysis and understanding of brain functions. Psychotherapy, called talk therapy, utilizes psychological techniques to alleviate distress and promote healthy and adaptive living. Psychotherapy is the primary approach to managing mental health illnesses as the sole or adjunctive therapy to pharmacotherapy. Talk therapy is effective for vast psychological, behavioral, and somatic conditions (Locher et al., 2019). Psychotherapy is an individualized yet comprehensive approach that taps into all biological regulators of the different brain responses (Javanbakht & Alberini, 2019). Psychotherapy demonstrates its biological basis when it achieves re-elaboration of one’s sense of self and others. Javanbakht and Alberini (2019) state that re-elaboration is displayed when a person learns and achieves new experiences that encompass an internal regulation of cognitive and emotional responses.

Moreover, optimal psychotherapy leads to comprehensive, lasting, and measurable brain changes. Current research has revealed that prolonged exposure to psychotherapy impacts the neural circuits in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (Javanbakht & Alberini, 2019). Therapy leads to neurobiological enhancements that have either been existing or been made, supporting the explanation that psychotherapy has a biological basis.

Factors Influencing the Perspective on the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments

A person’s socioeconomic activities, culture, and religion affect their perception of psychotherapy’s value as a treatment approach. Socioeconomic factors such as poverty and environmental risk factors play a role in the onset and maintenance of mental health illnesses. People in extreme poverty and under unfavorable environmental conditions cannot access treatment. Therefore, they are unable to understand the value and benefit of psychotherapy. Levi et al. (2018) note that the poor are more likely to consider therapy less effective and drop out of treatment. Moreover, poverty affects emotional regulation, sensitivity, and flexibility which are vital domains that ensure psychotherapy’s success.

Culture and religion account for and explain one’s experienced distress, health, and illness, influencing a person’s emotions, beliefs, and health-related behaviors. Moleiro (2018) states that culture determines treatment adherence, credibility, and acceptability of treatment approaches to family members and patients and shapes different psychotherapy models.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

The legal and ethical considerations of group or family therapy differ from those of individual therapy, significantly influencing a provider’s therapeutic approaches. While in individual therapy, a client may be willing to disclose their details fully, clients in group therapy may be reluctant to share their details and experiences fully. Therefore, the therapist must be cautious to protect the client’s privacy and confidentiality in group therapy. Furthermore, the therapist must respect clients’ values and autonomy and work within professional boundaries that do not violate individual competency and personal values.



Javanbakht, A., & Alberini, C. M. (2019). Editorial: Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13.

Levi, U., Laslo-Roth, R., & Rosenstreich, E. (2018). Socioeconomic Status and Psychotherapy: A Cognitive-Affective View. Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Forecast, 1(2), 1008.

Locher, C., Meier, S., & Gaab, J. (2019). Psychotherapy: A World of Meanings. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(460).

Moleiro, C. (2018). Culture and Psychopathology: New Perspectives on Research, Practice, and Clinical Training in a Globalized World. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9.


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