Behavioral Health

Mental illness, addiction, obesity, and other behavioral disorders are too often misunderstood as failures of will. The understanding that dysfunctional behavior is fully caused by the interaction of genetic, environmental, and situational factors reduces the stigma associated with behavioral disorders, while pointing the way toward effective prevention and treatment. Naturalism.Org supports the development of psychotherapeutic and self-change techniques which apply naturalism to enhance psychological well-being. Properly presented, challenging conventional wisdom about human agency is a powerful tool for increasing self-efficacy, autonomy, and mental health.

Articles in this Section


  • The articles in this section apply a naturalistic, cause and effect understanding of human agency to the problem of drug-induced addiction. Drugs, including alcohol and nicotine, are often the source of behavioral problems since they have immediate and powerful effects on the neural pathways that govern behavior. Addiction is explicable as a physical, brain-based phenomenon. But understanding that the voluntary choice to use addictive substances is equally physical and brain-based, albeit influenced by situational factors, is key to effective and compassionate approaches to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. These points get covered in an article titled "To help addicts, look beyond the fiction of free will" written for The Scientist.

Related Content from Other Sections

  • Naturalism and Well-Being, Article
    Chapter for "Beyond Religion," Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks
  • Commitment Group Concept, Article
    A commitment group helps its members make and keep commitments toward a common goal.
  • Causality Consulting: Practical Philosophical Consultation, Article

    Causality Consulting offers practical philosophical consultation based on worldview naturalism, in particular the understanding that behavior, motivation and well-being are completely caused phenomena. Applying the principles of a naturalistic, science-based worldview to one's personal life can foster self-compassion and self-efficacy.

  • Medicine and Morality: Reconciling the Conflicts, Article
    The medical approach should take priority over the moral in cases where behavioral disorders seriously compromise the capacity to conform to ethical norms.
  • Naturalism and Self-Control, Talk

    How can naturalism help us make better choices, be more creative, be more productive, and achieve our goals? A presentation for Boston Causality Club.

  • Comment on Szasz' "Pharmacracy", Article
    There is no conflict between a scientific understanding of behavior on the one hand and choice and responsibility on the other.