3 Models of mental health and disorder

Mind the care training

The biological (medical) model

The medical (biological) model is the dominant view of mental disorder in Western society. The basic idea is that mental disorders are rooted in physical problems and that they require physical treatments to alleviate them.

To make sense of this we must bear in mind that psychiatrists are trained as medical doctors first. All medical doctors, from General Practitioners to anaesthetists and gynaecologists have been trained to treat physical disorders with physical interventions such as medications and surgery. Psychiatrists come from the same basic perspective and psychiatry itself has developed from that same, physical root.

So, according to the biological (medical) model of mental disorder all psychiatric problems are caused by physical imbalances or abnormalities. That’s why psychological problems get physiological treatments such as medications (chemicals used to change physical processes) or even surgery.

It is important to say that most psychiatrists in practice today see…

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