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an emotionally charged, confiding interaction between a trained therapist and someone who suffers from psychological difficulties

Eclectic Approach

an approach to psychotherapy that, depending on the client's problems, uses techniques from various forms of therapy


Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions


in psychoanalysis, the blocking from consciousness of anxiety-laden material


in psychoanalysis, the analyst's noting supposed dream meanings, resistances, and other significant behaviors in order to promote insight


in psychoanalysis, the patient's transfer to the analyst of emotions linked with other relationships

Psychodynamic Therapy

therapy deriving from the psychoanalytic tradition that views individuals as responding to unconscious forces and childhood experiences, and that seeks to enhance self-insight

Insight Therapies

a variety of therapies which aim to improve psychological functioning by increasing the client's awareness of underlying motives and defenses

Aversive Conditioning

a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state with an unwanted behavior

Client-centered therapy

A humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist used techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathic environment to facilitate clients' growth.

Active Listening

empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies

Unconditional positive regard

according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 610)

Behavior Therapy

therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors


a behavior therapy procedure that conditions new responses to stimuli that trigger unwanted behaviors; based on classical conditioning

Systematic Desensitization

a type of counterconditioning that associates a pleasant relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli

Exposure Therapies

behavioral techniques, such as systematic desensitization, that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imagination or actuality) to the things they fear and avoid

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

An anxiety treatment that progressively exposes people to simulations of their greatest fears

Token Economy

an operant conditioning procedure in which people earn a token of some sort for exhibiting a desired behavior and can later exchange the tokens for various privileges or treats.

Cognitive Therapy

therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and acting; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

a popular integrated therapy that combines cognitive therapy with behavior therapy

Family Therapy

therapy that treats the family as a system. views an individual's unwanted behaviors as influenced by or directed at other family members; attempts to guide family members toward positive relationships and improved communication

Regression Toward the Mean

the tendency for extremes of unusual scores to fall back (regress) toward their average.


provides a way of statistically combining the results of individual research studies to reach an overall conclusion


the study of the effects of drugs on mind and behavior

Evidence-based practice

Clinical decision-making that integrates the best available research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences.

Biomedical Therapy

prescribed medications or medical procedures that act directly on the patient's nervous system

Antipsychotic Drugs

medications that are used to treat schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders

Tardive Dyskinesia

involuntary movements of the facial muscles, tongue, and limbs; a possible neurotoxic side effect of long-term use of antipsychotic drugs that target D2 dopamine receptors

Antianxiety Drugs

drugs used to control anxiety and agitation

Antidepressant Drugs

drugs used to treat depression; also increasingly prescribed for anxiety; different types work by altering the availability of various neurotransmitters

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

a biomedical therapy used primarily in the treatment of depression that involves electrically inductin a brief brain seizure

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

The application of repeated pulses of magnetic energy to the brain; used to stimulate or suppress brain activity.


a chemical that provides an effective drug therapy for the mood swings of bipolar disorders


surgery that removes or destroys brain tissue in an effort to change behavior.


a now-rare psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients. the procedure cut the nerves that connect the frontal lobes to the emotion-controlling centers of the inner brain

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