A conversation is needed about the relationship between psychotherapy and bio-psychiatry. There are big business interests between these disciplines. Should we be nervous about the profit-driven concerns involved? Are the narratives they use for behavioral assessments potentially self-serving to their business interests?
Over the last several decades, the question of why we do the things we do has undergone a kind of social revolution. The two most prominent waves of thought trace human behavior to nurture (social context) and nature (genes and brain chemistry). Until recently, the dominant narrative has been nurture and therapeutic psychiatry has been the authoritative discipline for understanding behavior. But breakthroughs in science and medicine shifted mainstream opinion toward nature as the best narrative for explaining behavior.
The new authority is now a big business combination of biopsychology, pharmacology, medicine and the insurance industry.
More objective efforts are needed in working toward a holistic narrative for helping people to understand themselves and their problems. The merging of big business and behavioral research is a slippery and potentially harmful arrangement. Human beings are more complicated than narratives of nurture and nature. Each aspect offers important considerations but neither should be permitted to exclude the other.
More importantly, an additional discipline must be brought into focus. The discipline of theology offers a wider perspective because it honors the fact that God created humans as physical, psychological, social and spiritual beings. It also provides the basis for narratives of human dignity, depravity, redemption and restoration.
Each of these dimensions of reality should be considered in understanding why we do the things we do. Holistic care will not exclude any dimension of human existence.