Background: Epigenetic modifications appear to be dynamic and they might be affected by environmental factors. The possibility of influencing these processes through psychotherapy has been suggested.
Objective: To analyse the impact of psychotherapy on epigenetics when applied to mental disorders. The main hypothesis
is that psychological treatments will produce epigenetic modifications related to the improvement of treated symptoms.
Method: A computerised and systematic search was completed throughout the time period ranging from 1990 to 2019 on
the PubMed, ScienceDirect and Scopus databases.
Results: In total, 11 studies were selected. The studies were evaluated for the theoretical framework, genes involved, type
of psychotherapy and clinical challenges and perspectives. All studies showed detectable changes at the epigenetic level,
like DNA methylation changes, associated with symptom improvement after psychotherapy.
Conclusion: Methylation profiles could be moderating treatment effects of psychotherapy. Beyond the detected epigenetic changes after psychotherapy, the epigenetic status before the implementation could act as an effective predictor of response.