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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


Sigmund Freud's therapeutic technique. Freud believed the patient's free associations, resistances, dreams, and transferences- and the therapist's interpretations of them- released previously repressed feelings, allowing the patient to gain self-insight


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 realationships

client-centered therapy

a humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses 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. a feature of Rogers' client-centered therapy

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. includes systematic desensitization and aversive conditioning

exposure therapies

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

systematic desensitization

a type of counterconditioning that associates a pleasant relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli; commonly used to treat phobias

aversive conditioning

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

token economy

an operant conditioning procedure that rewards desired behavior. a patient exchanges a token of some sort, earned for exhibiting the desired behavior, 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 (changing self-defeating thinking) with behavior therapy (changing behavior)

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


a procedure for statistically combining the results of many different research studies


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

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


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


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

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