International Journal of Healing and Caring
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Psychiatric practice is at a critical juncture in its evolution. Its identified model for understanding the complexity of individuals and their conditions has been the biopsycho-social-spiritual model since it was first proposed nearly half a century ago. In practice, this construct is being challenged by a biomedical model which asserts all psychiatric conditions can be reduced to either neurotransmitter or gene-based causation. We explore how models are used in science to approximate larger reality, with a focus on Systems Theory, which is the philosophical foundation for the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model to describe why this model is necessarily more complete than the biomedical model. Several examples are presented to illustrate the practical limitations of the reductionist biomedical model and illuminate the impact of its narrow lens upon the assessment and treatment of patients. We argue that the biomedical model is inadequate as it prevents empowerment of the individual and it fails to recognize top-down causation, which are two identifiable strengths of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model.
Biopsychosocial; Biomedical; Psychopharmacology; Psychiatry
Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling | Psychiatric and Mental Health
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Restoring Wholeness to Psychiatry: Models of Understanding.
International Journal of Healing and Caring, 22(2),
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/psychiatry_fac_articles/3