ABC theory of psychopathology
Albert Ellis's theory of psychopathology, in which A refers to activating conditions, B to belief systems and C to emotional consequences.
Biological treatment of depression that increases the amount of norepinephrine and/or serotonin available in synapses.
Medications used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic states, which have sedating effects and reduce positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.
The things people say spontaneously to themselves, which can lead to irrational feelings and behaviours.
In cognitive-behavioural therapy, the process of assessing the symptom and the stimuli or thoughts associated with it.
A therapeutic approach developed by Carl Rogers, based on the assumption that psychological difficulties result from incongruence between one's concept of self and one's actual experience, and that empathy is curative.
A psychologist who delivers services in a health care setting such as a hospital or mental health facility.
Approach in clinical psychology in which practitioners integrate an understanding of classical and operant conditioning with a cognitive-social perspective.
A psychological treatment that focuses on the thought processes that underlie psychological symptoms.
Psychotherapy in which psychologists combine techniques from different approaches to fit the particular case.
Studies that assess the outcome of psychotherapy as it is practised in the field rather than in the laboratory.
Studies that assess psychotherapy outcome under highly controlled conditions, such as random assignment of patients to different treatment or control groups, careful training of therapists to adhere to a manual, and standardised length of treatment.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
A last-resort treatment for severe depression, in which an electric shock to the brain is used to induce a seizure.
empty chair technique
A technique associated with Gestalt therapy, in which clients practise emotional expression by imagining that the person to whom they would like to speak is seated in an empty chair.
Behaviour therapy techniques based on classical conditioning in which the patient is confronted with the actual phobic stimulus.
A psychological treatment that attempts to change maladaptive interaction patterns among members of a family.
Cognitive-behavioural technique designed to eliminate phobias, in which the patient confronts the real phobic stimulus all at once.
The therapeutic technique for exploring associational networks and unconscious processes involved in symptom formation.
A map of a family over three or four generations, drawn by a therapist to explore possible similarities between current difficulties and the family's past.
A psychological treatment based on the assumption that psychological distress results from losing touch with one's emotions and one's authentic inner voice, and that focusing on the 'here and now' is curative.
A modified version of the behaviourist flooding technique for treating anxiety, in which stimuli are real but are presented to the patient in a gradual manner.
A treatment method in which multiple people meet together to work toward therapeutic goals.
Psychological treatments that focus on the patient's conscious or lived experience and on the way each person uniquely experiences relationships and the world.
In learning theory, the ability to perceive a connection between a problem and its solution; in psychodynamic treatments, the understanding of one's own psychological processes.
Psychotherapy that uses an approach developed from theories that cut across theoretical lines.
A therapeutic technique whereby the therapist helps the patient understand his or her experiences in a new light.
Antidepressant medication that keeps the chemical MAO from breaking down neurotransmitter substances in the presynaptic neuron, which makes more neurotransmitter available for release into the synapse.
A statistical technique that allows researchers to combine findings from various studies and make comparisons between the effects of treatment and no treatment.
Professionals drawn together from a range of specialities to carry out required tasks in a health facility.
The tendency of members of a couple to respond to negative comments or actions by their partner with negative behaviours in return.
A cognitive-behavioural technique in which the therapist models desired behaviour and gradually induces the patient to participate in it.
An intensive therapeutic process in which the patient meets with the therapist three to five times a week, lies on a couch, and uses free association, interpretation and transference.
A form of psychotherapy based on psychodynamic principles, in which the patient meets the therapist somewhat less frequently than in psychoanalysis and sits face to face with the therapist.
rational-emotive behaviour therapy
A psychological treatment in which the therapist helps uncover and alter the illogical thoughts that provoke psychological distress.
Preventing the patient from producing responses that allow avoidance of the feared stimulus.
The model whereby psychology students are taught the science of psychology and later trained as applied psychologists.
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
A class of antidepressant medications, including Prozac, that blocks the presynaptic membrane from taking back serotonin, and hence leaves it acting longer in the synapse.
Groups that are leaderless or guided by a non-professional, in which members assist each other in coping with a specific problem, as in Alcoholics Anonymous.
A technique that involves teaching behaviours or procedures for accomplishing specific goals.
social skills training
A cognitive-behavioural technique that involves instruction and modelling, and was designed to help people develop interpersonal competence.
A cognitive-behavioural procedure in which the patient is induced to approach feared stimuli gradually, in a state that inhibits anxiety.
A serious, unpredictable, irreversible side effect of prolonged use of antipsychotic medications, in which a patient develops involuntary or semivoluntary twitching, usually of the tongue, face and neck.
The patient's degree of comfort with the therapist, which allows him or her to speak about emotionally significant experiences.
The phenomenon in which the patient displaces thoughts, feelings, fears, wishes and conflicts from past relationships, especially childhood relationships, onto the therapist.
A class of medications for depression that compensates for depleted neurotransmitters.
unconditional positive regard
An attitude of total acceptance expressed by the therapist toward the client in client-centred therapy.