PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy 

Sample Answer for PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy Included After Question

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. 

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days by providing an additional scholarly resource that supports or challenges their position, along with a brief explanation of the resource. 

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the Reply button to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Post Reply, you cannot delete or edit your own posts and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Post Reply

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy 

Title: PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy 

Neuroscience tells us that psychotherapy is a complex biological treatment that targets multiple neural pathways eliciting complex brain responses (Javanbakht & Alberini, 2019). Unfortunately, the understanding of which biological mechanisms are responsible for the changes experienced through psychotherapy is limited (Carey et al., 2020). In this post I will discuss the biological aspects known about psychotherapy, how culture and religion can affect individuals’ perspectives of psychotherapy, and legal and ethical considerations to be mindful of when treating patients in group or family settings.

Biological Nature of Psychotherapy

While psychotherapy may not act on a specific neuron or receptor in the brain, it does work by altering regulation processes of the mind to produce desired cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes (Javanbakht & Alberini, 2019). Successful therapy techniques produce lasting and measurable effects in the brain. Furthermore, genetic, anatomical, and functional factors have been linked to certain behavioral manifestations in recent neurobiological research.

As this research continues, it could streamline advances in the effectiveness of psychotherapy (Carey et al., 2020). If the basic mechanisms of psychotherapy can be identified, practitioners will be able to create optimum treatment plans for patients and better anticipate patient responses to therapy to help achieve desired outcomes.

Influences on Perspectives of Psychotherapy

While cultural considerations play important roles in many aspects of healthcare, mental healthcare has been particularly affected by stigmas, cultural norms, and religious beliefs throughout history (Caplan, 2019). One of religions primary functions is to help relieve distress and bring comfort to practitioners. Because of this, the distress associated with mental health conditions is often perceived by religious individuals as the result of moral failings, sins, or lack of piousness. Many cultures today, such as the Hispanic cultures, still view depression and other common mental illnesses as shameful.

This results in a decreased utilization of mental health care services for fear of cultural consequences such being considered “unmarriable” or a “poor provider” for the family. While cultural and religious practices should always be respected, it is important to ensure patients understand that mental illnesses can affect anyone. Practitioners must encourage patients to seek care for mental health conditions without shame, emphasizing that mental health disorders need to be treated just as any other illness needs to be treated.  

Legal and Ethical Considerations in Group Settings

Mental healthcare practitioners are often faced with more legal and ethical considerations than many other healthcare professionals due to the limitations psychological disturbances can impose on a patient’s judgement, insight, and autonomy (Darby & Weinstock, 2018). There is a legal obligation in the healthcare setting to inform all patients of how their healthcare information will be used and in what circumstances this information might be shared, which generally should only be when necessary for patient care. Darby & Weinstock (2018) states that patients and family members often forget the information they have consented to as soon as three hours after paperwork is signed.

Ethically, mental healthcare practitioners should do their best to ensure that the benefit of group therapy is considered necessary for their treatment and should make sure that the patient understands that some information will be shared within the group if they consent to this treatment. It is also important to let patients volunteer information they are comfortable with sharing and reserve in depth conversations about personal information for individual therapy sessions when possible.


Psychotherapy is biologically based treatment that aims to alter brain responses to elicit desired behavioral, cognitive, and emotional responses. This treatment is generally highly effective at treating various mental health disorders and obtaining long lasting effects. While psychotherapy is underutilized by many cultures and religious groups, it has numerous benefits and should be encouraged as a first line treatment option for individuals of all backgrounds experiencing mental health disorders.

Psychotherapy can be performed in individual, group, or family settings with the proper legal and ethical considerations. It is important to consider which setting will be most beneficial for each patient’s treatment. The supporting sources used for this post are considered scholarly because they are written by experts of medical and psychological fields, the information has been reviewed by their peers, and they were published by reputable sources within the last five years. 


Caplan, S. (2019). Intersection of cultural and religious beliefs about mental health: Latinos in the faith-based setting. Hispanic Health Care International, 17(1), 4-10. doi:10.1177/1540415319828265

Carey, T. A., Griffiths, R., Dixon, J. E., & Hines, S. (2020). Identifying functional mechanisms in psychotherapy: A scoping systematic review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11(291).

Links to an external site.

Darby, W. C., & Weinstock, R. (2018). The limits of confidentiality: Informed consent and psychotherapy. Focus (American Psychiatric Publishing)16(4), 395–401.

Javanbakht, A., & Alberini, C. M. (2019). Editorial: Neurobiological models of psychotherapy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13(144).

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy 

Title: PRAC 6645 Biological Basis and Ethical/Legal Considerations of Psychotherapy 

 I agree with your viewpoint that many cultures still do look down upon individuals with mental illnesses and are given negative labels in society. They may conclude that the mental illness started because the individual sinned, didn’t ask for forgiveness, or wasn’t practicing their religion. Also due to the lack of proper education on mental illnesses, this prevents individuals like you mentioned from seeking appropriate care and treatment. I also think that people keep their struggles bottled up because they don’t want to be judged or treated differently from their family or friends.

As I’ve seen in clinical, it is hard for someone whose family has strong religious beliefs to seek therapy in the first place. I had a Jehovah’s Witness patient come in for therapy with her parents and she had conflict with the authoritarian figure her father played in the household. By the end of the session, the patient verbalized that she was scared that what she had shared with her parents today would get her kicked out of the house. Among the African-American community, there has been underutilization of mental health programs even though there has been a growing need.

Some of the contributory factors are cultural stigmas, misconceptions about the effectiveness of treatment, financial limitations, and clinical mistrust (Osazuwa & Moodley, 2023). While providing psychotherapy our goal is to do good and promote the benefit of the patient without inflicting harm. These characteristics include beneficence, non-maleficence, being truthful with your client, promoting their autonomy, providing just care, and encouraging participation in their plan of care (Avasthi et al., 2022). I found my resource discussing culture and psychotherapy through Walden Library. I had filtered my search for peer-reviewed scholarly journals and publication years within the last five years. The article was published in the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration.


Avasthi, A., Grover, S., & Nischal, A. (2022). Ethical and legal issues in psychotherapy. Indian Journal of Psychiatry64(Suppl 1), S47–S61.

Osazuwa, S., & Moodley, R. (2023). “Will there be a willingness to actually engage with it?”: Exploring attitudes toward culturally integrative psychotherapy among Canada’s African Community. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration33(1), 68–85.