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techniques employed to improve psychological functioning and promote adjustment to life

Major Treatment Approaches

Insight, Behavior, Biomedical


psychoanalysis, psychodynamic; cognitive(rational-emotive therapy and cognitive behavior therapy); Huanistic (client- centered therapy); group, family, and marital


classical conditioning (systematic desensitization, aversion therapy); operant conditioning (shaping, reinforcement, punishment, extinction); observational learning (modeling)


psychopharmacology; electroconvulsive therapy; psychosurgery


Freudian therapy designed to bring unconscious conflicts, which usually date back to early childhood experiences, into consciousness; also Freud's theoretical school of thought emphasizing unconscious processes


in psychoanalytic theory, the release of tension and anxiety through the reliving of a traumatic incident

5 Methods of Psychoanalysis

Free Association, Dream Analysis, Resistance, Transference, Interpretation

Free Association

reporting whatever comes to mind without monitoring its contents

Dream Analysis

interpreting the underlying true meaning of dreams to reveal unconscious processes


The person's inability or unwillingness to discuss or reveal certain memories, thoughts, motives, or experiences


the patient may displace (or transfer) unconscious feelings about a significant person in his or her life onto the therapist


explanation of a patient's free association, dreams, resistance, and transference; more generally, any statement by a therapist that presents a patient's problem in a new way

Cognitive Therapy

therapy that assumes the focuses on faulty thought processes and beliefs to treat problem behaviors


internal dialogue; the things people say to themselves when they interrupt events

Cognitive Restructuring

process in cognitive therapy to change destructive thinking

Rational-Emotive Therapy

Ellis's cognitive therapy to eliminate self- defeating beliefs through rational examination

A-B-C-D Approach

four steps involved in creating and dealing with maladaptive thinking


Activating Event


Irrational Beliefs


Emotional Consequences


Disputing Irrational Beliefs

Steps to Overcoming Irrational Misconceptions

1. Evaluate Consequences
2. Identify Your Belief System
3. Dispute the Self-Defeating Beliefs
4. Practice Effective Ways of Thinking

Four Thinking Patterns associated with Depression

1. Selective Perception
2. Overgeneralization
3. Magnification
4. All-or-Nothing Thinking

Selective Perception

focus selectively on negative events while ignoring positive events


overgeneralize and draw negative conclusions about their self-worth


exaggerate the importance of undesirable events or personal shortcomings and see them as catastrophic and unchangeable

All-or-Nothing Thinking

see things in black-or-white categories (good or bad, success or failure)

Humanistic Therapy

therapy to maximize personal growth through affective restructuring (emotional readjustment)

Client-Centered Therapy

Roger's therapy emphasizing the client's natural tendency to become healthy and productive; techniques include empathy unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and active listening


Rogerain terms, an insightful awareness and ability to share another's inner experience

Unconditional Positive Regard

Roger's term for a nonjudgemental attitude and genuine caring for another


in Rogerian terms, authenticity or congruence; the awareness of one's true inner thoughts and feelings and being able to share them honestly with others

Active Listening

listening with total attention to what another is saying; it involves reflecting, paraphrasing, and clarifying what the person says and means

Behavior Therapy

group of techniques based on learning principles used to change maladaptive behaviors

Aversion Therapy

pairing an aversive (unpleasant) stimulus with a maladaptive behavior

Systematic Desensitization

a gradual process of extinguishing a learned fear or phobia by working through a hierarchy of fear-evoking stimuli while staying deeply relaxed

Operant Condition Techniques

use shaping and reinforcement to increase adaptive behavior, and punishment and extinction to decrease maladaptive behaviors

Target Behavior

behavior to be acquired


being rewarded for successive approximations of the target behavior


secondary reinforcers like poker chips, credit cards, etc that can be exchanged for primary rewards such as food, treats, etc.

Modeling Therapy

watching and imitating models that demonstrate desirable behaviors

Biomedical Therapies

using physiological interventions (drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychosurgery) to reduce or alleviate symptoms of psychological disorders


the study of drug effects on the mind and behavior

Anti-anxiety Drugs

Medications used to treat anxiety disorders

Anti-psychotic Drug

Chemicals administered to diminish or eliminate hallucinations, delusions, withdrawal, and other symptoms of psychosis; also known as neuroleptics or major tranquilizers

Anti-depressant Drug

chemicals prescribed to treat depression, prescribed to treat depression, some anxiety disorders, and vertain eating disorders (such as bulimia)

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Biomedical therapy based on passing electrical current through the brain; used almost exclusively to treat a serious depression when drug therapy does not work


Operative procedures on the brain designed to relieve severe mental symptoms that have not responded to other forms of treatment


Outmoded medical procedure for mental disorders, which involved cutting nerve pathways between the frontal lobes and the thalamus and hypothalamus

Goal of Therapy: Disturbed Thoughts

troubled individuals typically suffer some degree of confusion, destructive thought patterns, or blocked understanding of their problems. Therapists work to change these thoughts, provide new ideas or information, and guide individuals toward finding solutions to problems

Goal of Therapy: Disturbed Emotions

People who seek therapy generally suffer from extreme emotional discomfort. Therapists help clients understand and control their emotions and relieve the discomfort

Goal of Therapy: Disturbed Behaviors

Therapists help clients eliminate troublesome behaviors and guide them toward more effective lives

Goal of Therapy: Interpersonal and Life Situations Difficulties

Therapists help clients improve their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. They also help them avoid or minimize sources of stress in their lives, such as job demands or family conflicts

Goal of Therapy: Biomedical Disturbances

Troubled individuals sometimes suffer biological disruptions that directly cause or contribute to psychological difficulties (e.g., chemical imbalances that lead to depression). Therapists help relieve these problems, primarily with drugs

Eclectic Approach

Combining techniques from various theories to find the most appropriate treatment

Major Types of Mental Health Professionals

Clinical Psychologists, Counseling Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Social Worker, Psychiatric Nurse, School Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Work with patients suffering from mental disorders, but many also work in colleges and universities as teachers and researchers in addition to having their on private practice

Counseling Psychologist

They generally work in schools or other institutions and focus on problems in living rather than mental disorders


MDs are the only mental health specialists who can regularly prescribe drugs

Psychiatric Social Worker

Work in hospitals or outpatient settings working with people who have psychological problems

Psychiatric Nurse

take care of mental patients in hospital settings and mental health facilities

School Psychologist

psychological assessment and counseling involving school- related issues and problems


an explanation for the cause of behaviors or events

Fundamental Attribution Error

Misjudging the cause of others' behavior as due to internal (dispositional) causes rather than external (situational) ones

Self-serving bias

Taking credit or our successes and externalizing our failures

Cognitive Dissonance

A feeling of discomfort caused by a discrepancy between an attitude and a behavior or between two attitudes


a learned, generally negative, attitude toward members of a group; it includes thoughts (stereotypes), feelings, and behavioral tendencies (possible discrimination)


a set of beliefs about the characteristics of people in a group that is generalized to all group members; also, the cognitive component of prejudice


Negative behaviors directed at members of a group

In-Group Favoritism

viewing members of the in-group more positively than members of an out-group

Out-Group Homogeneity Effect

Judging members of an out-group as more alike and less diverse than members of an in-group

Interpersonal Attraction

Positive feelings toward another

3 Factors in Attraction

Physical Attractiveness, Proximity, and Similarity

Physical Attractiveness

one of the most important factors in our initial liking or loving of others


attraction based on geographic location


we tend to prefer, and stay with, people who are most like us

Need Complementary

Attraction toward those with qualities we admire but personally lack

Need Compatibility

Attraction based on sharing similar needs

Romantic Love

Intense feelings of attraction to another within an erotic context and with future expectations

Companion Love

Strong and lasting attraction characterized by trust, caring, tolerance, and friendship


Changing behavior as a result of real or imagined group pressure

Normative Social Influence

Conforming to group pressure out of a need for acceptance and approval


Cultural rule of behavior prescribing what is acceptable in a given situation

Milgram's Study

Research participants were told to give increasing levels of shocks to someone they had watched being strapped down and connected to this machine. The shock levels gradually increased to more severe shocks and they could here the patient suffering but couldn't see them


Increased arousal and reduced self-conciousness, inhibition, and personal responsibility that sometimes occurs in a group, particularly when the members feel anonymous

Group Polarization

Group's movement toward either riskier or more conservative behavior, depending on the member's initial dominant tendency


Faulty decision making that occurs when a highly cohesive group strives for agreement and avoids inconsistent information


Actions designed to help others with no obvious benefit to the helper

Egoistic Model

Helping that's motivated by anticipated gain- later reciprocation, increased self-esteem, or avoidance of guilt and distress

Altruism Hypothesis

Helping because of empathy for someone in need

Diffusion of Responsibility

The dilution (or diffusion) of personal responsibility for acting by spreading it among all other group members

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