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Psychotherapy

Treatment in which a trained professional—a therapist—uses psychological techniques to help a person overcome psychological dificulties and disorders, resolve problems in living, or bring about personal growth.

Biomedical Therapy

Therapy that relies on drugs and other medical procedures to improve psychological functioning.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Therapy that seeks to bring unresolved past conflicts and unacceptable impulses from the unconscious into the conscious, where patients may deal with the problems more effectively.

Psychoanalysis

Freudian psychotherapy in which the goal is to release hidden unconscious thoughts and feelings in order to reduce their power in controlling behavior.

Transference

The transfer of feelings to a psychoanalyst of love or anger that had been originally directed to a patient's parents or other authority figures.

Behavioral Treatment Approaches

Treatment approaches that build on the basic processes of learning, such as reinforcement and extinction, and assume that normal and abnormal behavior are both learned.

Aversive Conditioning

A form of therapy that reduces the frequency of undesired behavior by pairing an aversive, unpleasant stimulus with undesired behavior.

Systematic Desensitization

A behavioral technique in which gradual exposure to an anxiety-producing stimulus is paired with relaxation to extinguish the response of anxiety.

Exposure

A behavioral treatment for anxiety in which people are confronted either suddenly or gradually with a stimulus that they fear.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

A form of treatment in which the focus is on getting people to accept who they are regardless of whether it matches their ideal.

Cognitive Treatment Approaches

Treatment approaches that teach people to think in more adaptive ways by changing their dysfunctional cognitions about the world and themselves.

Cognitive-behavioral Approach

A treatment approach that incorporates basic principles of learning to change the way people think.

Rational-emotive Behavior Therapy

A form of therapy that attempts to restructure a person's belief system into a more realistic, rational, and logical set of views by challenging dysfunctional beliefs that maintain irrational behavior.

Humanistic Therapy

Therapy in which the underlying rationale is that people have control of their behavior, can make choices about their lives, and are essentially responsible for solving their own problems.

Person-centered Therapy

Therapy in which the goal is to reach one's potential for self-actualization.

Interpersonal Therapy

Shortterm therapy that focuses on the context of current social relationships.

Group Therapy

Therapy in which people meet in a group with a therapist to discuss problems.

Family Therapy

An approach that focuses on the family and its dynamics.

Spontaneous Remission

Recovery without treatment.

Drug Therapy

Control of psychological disorders through the use of drugs.

Antipsychotic Therapy

Drugs that temporarily reduce psychotic symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, and delusions.

Antidepressant Drugs

Medications that improve a severely depressed patient's mood and feeling of wellbeing.

Antianxiety Drugs

Drugs that reduce the level of anxiety a person experiences essentially by reducing excitability and increasing feelings of well-being.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

A procedure used in the treatment of severe depression in which an electric current of 70-150 volts is briefly administered to a patient's head.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

A depression treatment in which a precise magnetic pulse is directed to a specific area of the brain.

Psychosurgery

Brain surgery once used to reduce the symptoms of mental disorder but rarely used today.

Community Psychology

A branch of psychology that focuses on the prevention and minimization of psychological disorders in the community.

Deinstitutionalization

The transfer of former mental patients from institutions to the community.

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