The medical model and psychotherapy
Psychotherapy, as we understand it today, originally formed in the field of medicine. Gradually, however, it became a distinct discipline, practiced also by psychologists and other professionals. Today, we may question the extent to which the medical model - the ideological framework that shapes physicians’ thinking, action, values, and attitudes - corresponds to the essence of psychotherapy and contemporary empirical knowledge. From the psychotherapy perspective, some characteristics of the medical model can be viewed as problematic. These include: (a) the tendency to concentrate on pathology and its treatment; (b) the assumption of the specific effects of treatment procedures; (c) the technicist concept of treatment; and (d) disregarding the wider psychosocial and socio-cultural context of the problem. The author argues that psychotherapy is a discipline that not only exceeds the medical model but often stands in an active opposition to it.
Tomáš Řiháček, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
e-mail: tomas.rihacek [at] gmail.com