Religion, and Socioeconomics Might Influence One’s Perspective on the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments

Explain how Culture, Religion, and Socioeconomics Might Influence One’s Perspective on the Value of Psychotherapy Treatments

Culture and religion may significantly impact access to psychotherapy and other mental health treatment. Mental health is not widely understood and accepted in all culture, therefore accessibility may not prevalent. For example, mental health is the most neglected health aspect among the Pakistani population. Many patients do not have access to psychiatric services. The incidence of schizophrenia in Pakistan has increased significantly in recent years (Nawaz, Gul, Amin, Huma, & Al Mughairbi, 2020). Studies of Asia revealed mental health problems are the result of somatic and organic factors requiring physical treatment. Mental health causes in China are believed to be the result of  an imbalance of cosmic forces, with the preferred treatment being to restore balance between interpersonal relationships, diet, exercise, and cognitions. Similar findings were identified in Nigeria (Chaudhry, Mani, Ming, & Khan, 2016).

In some cultures, religion may be associated with decreased levels of depression and anxiety. Religion is rooted in trying to understand the meaning of life. Religion provides purpose, meaning, structure and a community with which to connect. These factors can have a large positive impact on mental health, with research suggesting reduced suicide rates, alcoholism, and drug use. It is further identified that 25 % of individuals who practice religion, seek out clergy as their first line treatment for mental health (Ayvaci, 2017). Many cultures rely on religious practices for healing. Although research suggests positive outcomes, results may not be as effective and depending on beliefs, individuals may be reluctant to seek formal treatment.

Socioeconomics may restrict patients’ abilities to access care due to a lack of insurance and long wait lists through community mental health centers. Gaps may exist where some patients may have insurance, but are unable to afford copays, or although they cannot afford services, do not qualify for aid for a variety of reasons. Additionally, mental health care may not be available in rural areas without long commutes, etc. These factors lead to underserved populations for mental health care.