An individual’s culture, religion, and socioeconomic status help to form their beliefs and views on how we see ourselves and others (Wheeler, 2014). For the purpose of this discussion, we are asked to explain whether psychotherapy has a biological basis.
If we were to incorporate that thought into the belief that our environment helps shape us into the person we become, then yes, psychotherapy has a biological basis. Research has shown that our genes can be modified or changed by our environment (Assar, 2018).
Traditional psychotherapy modalities may not coincide with every individual’s personal belief (Berger, 2009). Providing culturally competent care has become the goal of most organisations and has become especially important in mental health.
To be culturally competent does not make a clinician a cultural expert, but it can aid them in choosing therapy models and strategies that will be most beneficial to the patient (Asnaani, 2012).
In order to treat a patient appropriately and effectively, a clinician should consider a patient’s ethnicity, race, class, and cultural identity (Wheeler, 2014). This does not mean they should base their entire therapeutic strategy on these key indicators, but they should take them into consideration when working with the patient.
The goal of treatment should be to treat the patient, not the disorder. In saying this, I am simply pointing out that every patient is different. What each person takes away from treatment or therapy will be different. How each person handles life events, whether traumatic or joyful, will be different.
An individual’s culture, religion, and socio-economics may play a role in how they view these events and should be considered, but there can always be outliers. The key to successful psychotherapy will be the building of a therapeutic alliance as a solid foundation (Wheeler, 2014).
Asnaani, A. &. (2012). Collaboration in Culturally Responsive Therapy: Establishing A Strong Therapeutic Alliance Across Cultural Lines. Retrieved from Journal of Clinical Psychology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641707/
Assar, R. B. (2018). Psychotherapy and Genetic Neuroscience: An Emerging Dialog. Retrieved from Frontiers in Genetics: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6056612/
Berger, L. H. (2009). Annual Review of Psychology. Retrieved from the case For Cultural Competency in Psycho-therapeutic Interventions: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793275/#__ffn_sectitle
Wheeler, K. (2014). Psychotherapy for the Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse. New York: Springer Publishing Company.