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the treatment of mental or emotional problems by psychological means


a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders

behavior therapy

psychotherapy that seeks to extinguish or inhibit abnormal or maladaptive behavior by reinforcing desired behavior and extinguishing undesired behavior

psychodynamic psychotherapies

a general approach to treatment that explores childhood events and encourages individuals to develop insight into their psychological problems

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

drug therapy

The use of medication to treat a mental illness.


brain surgery on human patients intended to relieve severe and otherwise intractable mental or behavioral problems

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

a biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthetized patient

aversive conditioning

a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state (such as nausea) with an unwanted behavior (such as drinking alcohol); conditioning to avoid an aversive stimulus

systematic desensitization

a technique used in behavior therapy to treat phobias and other behavior problems involving anxiety

client-centered therapy

A humanistic therapy based on Carl Roger's beliefs that an individual has an unlimited capacity for psychological growth and will continue to grow unless barriers are placed in the way.

family therapy

any of several therapeutic approaches in which a family is treated as a whole


behavioral therapy used to rid someone of fears through classical conditioning - forced extinction. A person afraid of snakes may be exposed to a fear provoking but harmless situation until they get over their fear.

implosive therapy

a type of prolonged intense exposure therapy in which the client imagines exaggerated scenes that include hypothesized stimuli

antipsychotic drugs

drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of severe thought disorder

antidepressant drugs

Medications that gradually elevate mood and help bring people out of a depression.

antianxiety drugs

drugs which relieve tension, apprehension, and nervousness, e.g., Valium and Xanax and other drugs in the benzodiazepine family, also known as tranquilizers

lithium carbonate

a chemical used to counteract mood swings of bipolar disorder

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