Glossary


Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

A

asylum

institution created for the specific purpose of housing people with psychological disorders


aversive conditioning

counterconditioning technique that pairs an unpleasant stimulant with an undesirable behavior


B

behavior therapy

therapeutic orientation that employs principles of learning to help clients change undesirable behaviors


biomedical therapy

treatment that involves medication and/or medical procedures to treat psychological disorders


C

cognitive therapy

form of psychotherapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts lead to feelings of distress, with the aim of helping them change these irrational thoughts


cognitive-behavioral therapy

form of psychotherapy that aims to change cognitive distortions and self-defeating behaviors


comorbid disorder

individual who has two or more diagnoses, which often includes a substance abuse diagnosis and another psychiatric diagnosis, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia


confidentiality

therapist cannot disclose confidential communications to any third party, unless mandated or permitted by law


counterconditioning

classical conditioning therapeutic technique in which a client learns a new response to a stimulus that has previously elicited an undesirable behavior


couples therapy

two people in an intimate relationship, such as husband and wife, who are having difficulties and are trying to resolve them with therapy


cultural competence

therapist’s understanding and attention to issues of race, culture, and ethnicity in providing treatment


D

deinstitutionalization

process of closing large asylums and integrating people back into the community where they can be treated locally


dream analysis

technique in psychoanalysis in which patients recall their dreams and the psychoanalyst interprets them to reveal unconscious desires or struggles


E

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

type of biomedical therapy that involves using an electrical current to induce seizures in a person to help alleviate the effects of severe depression


exposure therapy

counterconditioning technique in which a therapist seeks to treat a client’s fear or anxiety by presenting the feared object or situation with the idea that the person will eventually get used to it


F

family therapy

special form of group therapy consisting of one or more families


free association

technique in psychoanalysis in which the patient says whatever comes to mind at the moment


G

group therapy

treatment modality in which 5–10 people with the same issue or concern meet together with a trained clinician


H

humanistic therapy

therapeutic orientation aimed at helping people become more self-aware and accepting of themselves


I

individual therapy

treatment modality in which the client and clinician meet one-on-one


intake

therapist’s first meeting with the client in which the therapist gathers specific information to address the client’s immediate needs


involuntary treatment

therapy that is mandated by the courts or other systems


N

nondirective therapy

therapeutic approach in which the therapist does not give advice or provide interpretations but helps the person identify conflicts and understand feelings


P

play therapy

therapeutic process, often used with children, that employs toys to help them resolve psychological problems


psychoanalysis

therapeutic orientation developed by Sigmund Freud that employs free association, dream analysis, and transference to uncover repressed feelings


psychotherapy

(also, psychodynamic psychotherapy) psychological treatment that employs various methods to help someone overcome personal problems, or to attain personal growth


R

rational emotive therapy (RET)


relapse

repeated drug use and/or alcohol use after a period of improvement from substance abuse


Rogerian (client-centered therapy)

non-directive form of humanistic psychotherapy developed by Carl Rogers that emphasizes unconditional positive regard and self-acceptance


S

strategic family therapy

therapist guides the therapy sessions and develops treatment plans for each family member for specific problems that can addressed in a short amount of time


structural family therapy

therapist examines and discusses with the family the boundaries and structure of the family: who makes the rules, who sleeps in the bed with whom, how decisions are made, and what are the boundaries within the family


systematic desensitization

form of exposure therapy used to treat phobias and anxiety disorders by exposing a person to the feared object or situation through a stimulus hierarchy


T

token economy

controlled setting where individuals are reinforced for desirable behaviors with tokens (e.g., poker chip) that be exchanged for items or privileges


transference

process in psychoanalysis in which the patient transfers all of the positive or negative emotions associated with the patient’s other relationships to the psychoanalyst


U

unconditional positive regard

fundamental acceptance of a person regardless of what they say or do; term associated with humanistic psychology


V

virtual reality exposure therapy

uses a simulation rather than the actual feared object or situation to help people conquer their fears


voluntary treatment

therapy that a person chooses to attend in order to obtain relief from her symptoms