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the treatment of psychological disorders through talking and other psychological methods.


medical doctors who have completed special training in treatment of psychological disorders


among therapists, those whose education includes completion of master's or usually a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology, often followed by additional specialty training.


a method of psychotherapy that seeks to help clients gain insight by recognizing and understanding unconscious thoughts and emotions.

client-centered therapy

a therapy that allows the client to decide what to talk about, without direction, judgement, or interpretation from the therapist.

unconditional positive regard

a therapist s attitude that conveys a caring for and acceptance of the clients as a valued person.


the therapist's attempt to appreciate and understand how the world looks from the client's point of view.


an active listening method in which a therapist conveys empathy by paraphrasing clients statements and noting accompanying feelings.


a consistency between the way therapists feel and the way they act toward clients

gestalt therapy

an active treatment designed to help clients get in touch with genuine feeling and disown foreign ones.

behavior therapy

treatments that use classical conditioning principles to change behavior.

behavior modification

treatments that use operant conditioning methods to change behavior.

cognitive-behavior therapy

learning based treatment methods that help clients change the way they think, as well as the way they behave.

systematic desensitization

a behavioral treatment for anxiety in which clients visualize a graduated series of anxiety-provoking stimuli while remaining relaxed.


demonstrating desirable behaviors as a way of teaching them to clients

assertiveness and social skills training

methods for teaching clients how to interact with others more comfortably and effectively.

positive reinforcement

a therapy method that uses rewards to strengthen desirable behaviors.

token economy

a system for improving the behavior of institutionalized clients in which desirable behaviors are rewarded with tokens that can be exchanged for desired items or activities.


the gradual disappearance of a conditioned response or operant behavior through non reinforcement.


a procedure for reducing anxiety that involves keeping a person in a feared, but harmless, situation.

aversive conditioning

a method that uses classical conditioning to create a negative response to a particular stimulus.


a therapy method that weakens undesirable behavior by following it with an unpleasant stimulus.

rational-emotive behavior therapy

a treatment designed to identify and change self-defeating thoughts that lead to anxiety and other symptoms of disorder.

cognitive therapy

a treatment in which the therapist helps clients to notice and change negative thoughts associated with anxiety and depression.

group therapy

psychotherapy involving several unrelated clients

family therapy

treatment of 2 or more individuals from the same family

couples therapy

a form of therapy focusing on improving communication between partners.

empirically supported therapies

treatments whose effects have been validated by controlled experimental research.

electro-convulsive therapy

brief electrical shock administered to the brain, usually to reduce depression that does not respond to drug treatment.


surgical procedures that destroy tissue in small regions of the brain in an effort to treat psychological disorders.


drugs that alleviate the symptoms of severe disorders such as schizophrenia


drugs that relieve depression


drugs that reduce feeling of anxiety

community psychology

a movement to minimize or prevent psychological disorders through changes in social systems and through community mental health programs.

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