Research Paper on Rising Mental Illness: A Global Challenge for Psychotherapy

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  964 Words
Date:  2023-01-30


Research by the American Psychological Association shows that the rate at which the prevalence of psychiatric problems is spreading across the world is alarming (Schulberg, Raue & Rollman, 2002). These conditions have been led to the increase of the societal disease burden, which is also linked to the increase in medical disorders (Remschmidt, 2003). Psychotherapy is defined as the process of applying clinical methods and interpersonal relationships to change the attitude, behaviour, or personality of a patient. Additionally, psychotherapy also reduces the chances of the patient suffering similar symptoms like the ones exhibited at the time of diagnosis (Schulberg et al., 2002). Psychotherapy can also improve the quality of patients' lives and enable them to fit into society and leads an almost healthy life that doesn't hinder them from forming or maintaining personal relationships.. Studies that seek to answer the question of whether psychotherapy works are classified into efficacy and effectiveness studies. Efficacy studies involve the comparison between a therapy group and a control group. This research report aims to provide evidence from previous research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the treatment of various problems.

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Psychotherapy in Primary Care

Studies have not only proven that has yielded positive results in treating psychiatric disorders but has also proven to be cost-effective. For instance, in the primary care treatment of major and minor depression, psychotherapy has yielded positive results (Schulberg et al., 2002). There are various ambiguities with regard to the diagnosis of depressive disorders; however, researchers have been working on a diagnostic system that would make it possible to diagnose and accurately determine its severity properly. This also led to the adoption of standard diagnostic assessment procedures that have been highly effective in the process of diagnosing and treating depressive disorders (Seligman, 1995). The DSM-III is one of such standardized assessment and treatment manuals designed for cognitive and interpersonal psychological disorders.

The manuals highlight the need for the creation of strong patient-therapist relationship through all the phases of the therapy period. The study also established that the outcome of switching therapists before the full recovery of the patient could be detrimental and could worsen the progress of the patient to recovery (Remschmidt, 2003). According to the American psychological association, psychiatric therapy is highly beneficial in treating cognitive disorders and interpersonal disorders (Schulberg et al., 2002). Efficacy studies have proven the positive results of psychiatric therapy in treating mood and depression disorders among primary care patients.

Effectiveness of Psychotherapy With Children and Young Adults

Various efficacy and effectiveness studies have supported the fact that psychotherapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of psychological problems among children and adolescents (Remschmidt, 2003). However, it is essential to understand which kinds of interventions are more useful for this particular age group. Psychological disorders among students include depression and anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders.

Depression and anxiety disorders have become areas of focus for researchers due to the rate at which such cases are increasing. According to Seligman (1995), the cases increase at 2% for children and 4-8% for young adults. The scholars also note that the recurrence rate is even higher (Remschmidt, 2003). Further, Remschmidt (2003), adds that various clinical trials have shown that cognitive behaviour therapy, systematic behavioural therapy, combined with other supportive therapies such as interpersonal behavioural therapy were effective in the treatment of children aged 13yrs to 18yrs who suffered from major depressive disorders.

Differences in Psychotherapies

Scholars have demonstrated that there are numerous systematic and procedural differences among psychotherapies (Stiles, Shapiro & Elliott, 1986). However, they believe that despite this diversity, there is no significant difference in their effectiveness provided that the psychotherapies are applied in the treatment of disorders for which they are suited. According to the American psychological association, psychotherapists must ensure that they use the manuals specified for the assessment, diagnosis and administration of treatment to their patients (Remschmidt, 2003).

Some scholars are of the contrary opinion as they argue that comparative studies have shown that psychotherapies that are meant to treat behavioural disorders have differential effectiveness. This is supported by various psychological theories that mention that the efficacy of psychotherapy is influenced by the mentality of the therapist and his/her operations (Schulberg et al., 2002). Such characteristics differ from one therapist to the other; they include perception of the therapist on the patient's condition, verbal and non-verbal methods of the therapist and the treatment plan of the therapist. The program is designed by the therapist based on his/her perception of the severity of the patient's condition.


There is a need for future research on the design of a more standardized framework for the treatment of psychiatric problems. This is the only way to treat the full potential of the effectiveness of psychotherapies in the treatment of depression-related disorders. Efficacy and efficiency Studies are in agreement that psychotherapy is useful in the treatment of psychological disorders among children, adolescents and also in primary care (Remschmidt, 2003). Additionally, researchers have argued that psychotherapy for children should be tailored to deal with specific disorders. This calls for a multicomponent therapy procedure that deals with the psychiatric conditions of is age group. Further research is necessary to improve the effectiveness of multicomponent psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults.


Remschmidt, H. (2003). Evidence concerning the effectiveness of psychotherapies with children and adolescents. Current opinion in psychiatry, 16(4), 389-393. Retrieved from

Schulberg, H. C., Raue, P. J., & Rollman, B. L. (2002). The effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating depressive disorders in primary care practice: clinical and cost perspectives. General hospital psychiatry, 24(4), 203-212. Retrieved from

Seligman, M. E. (1995). The effectiveness of psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports study. American psychologist, 50(12), 965. Retrieved from

Stiles, W. B., Shapiro, D. A., & Elliott, R. (1986). Are all psychotherapies equivalent?. American psychologist, 41(2), 165. Retrieved from

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