Most modern psychiatrists subscribe to the psychosocial (or more specifically, the biopsychosocial model) of mental well-being, but in our society, the biological and medical models all too often take precedence. As a result, it’s critical to understand the theory behind the psychosocial model of well-being and how it promotes recovery.
What Is the Psychosocial Model?
While the word “psychosocial” has been around for well over a century, its meaning has morphed over that time. One of the most important things to understand, however, is that the word primarily arose from the emergence of psychology and sociology as distinct academic disciplines in the late 19th century.
The psychosocial model today aims to reconcile the insights from both psychology and sociology to provide a more holistic understanding of mental health. Since the psychosocial model considers both an individual’s psychological makeup along with the social context out of which it arises, it provides a more comprehensive and effective method for understanding mental distress and identifying treatment options.
The Benefits of a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Model
The psychosocial model accounts for a broader range of factors than many other models of mental well-being. By understanding an individual’s mental state in relation to social milieu, the psychosocial model works to dispel the myth that an individual’s mental distress exists exclusively in the mind, independent of context or environment.
As a result, a psychosocial understanding of mental well-being opens the door to treatment modalities that not only empower individuals to develop cognitive coping skills, but also understand how their social context influences their challenges. This is a critical step because many people don’t fully understand the relationship between mental well-being and their environment that limits their capacity to be successful and satisfied with treatment.
What Is the Biopsychosocial Model?
One of the fundamental tenets of the psychosocial model is that mental well-being cannot be separated from an individual’s social environment. The biopsychosocial model builds on that theory by also emphasizing the importance of understanding an individual’s biological makeup alongside social context and psychological constitution. In doing so, the biopsychosocial model provides a holistic perspective for understanding the relationship between mental well-being and social support.
The Benefits of the Biopsychosocial Model
The biopsychosocial model accounts for an even wider range of factors than the psychosocial model by threading together the biological, psychological, and social factors that lead to long-term mental imbalances, enabling individuals and professionals to:
- Pinpoint patterns in the individual’s life, environment, and family history as they relate to mental well-being.
- Gain deeper insight into how physiological, psychological, and social factors improve quality of life.
- Employ a broader range of treatment opportunities and levels of treatment to help individuals develop the skills and access the social support they need to heal.
Many people don’t understand the relationship between their mental state and social environment; even fewer account for the relationship between biology, psychology, and social context, making the biopsychosocial model one of the most complete models for understanding and improving quality of life.
At PCH, we take a holistic approach to mental well-being. We want to know what happened to you, not what’s “wrong” with you. Our Approach
Because the psychosocial model accounts for and treats both cognitive and social sources of mental distress, treatment often works best by employing modalities that build internal coping skills while providing insights into the relationship between environment and mental well-being. Some of the most effective modalities include:
- Family therapy
- Process group
- Trauma group
- Recovery group
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Exposure and response prevention
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction
- Occupational therapy
How Does the Psychosocial Model Compare to Other Models?
Until the emergence of the psychosocial model of mental well-being, the biological and medical models dominated the discussion. The biological model labels most problems as “mental illness,” which starts and ends within the brain, ignoring many of the underlying factors that contribute to mental issues. The biological model goes hand in hand with the medical model, which ultimately seeks to diagnose and prescribe standardized treatment methodologies based on a labeled mental illness, emphasizing medications over therapy and wellness.
Discover the Impact of Psychosocial Therapy at PCH
The psychosocial model is only now beginning to enter the public consciousness as the most viable alternative to a medical model of mental health. The team at PCH is spearheading that movement in Los Angeles and across the nation. Whether you want to learn more about what makes our psychosocial rehabilitation different or you’re ready to talk about the next steps for treatment, message or call our caring psychosocial specialists today.