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interaction between therapist and someone suffering from psychological problem, with goal of providing support or relief from problem

psychodynamic psychotherapy

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


reluctance to cooperate with treatment for fear of confronting unpleasant unconscious material


event that occurs in psychoanalysis when the analyst begins to assume a major significance in the client's life and the client reacts to the analyst based on unconscious childhood fantasies

interpersonal psychotherapy

form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping clients improve current relationships

behavior therapy

type of therapy that assumes that disordered behavior is learned and symptom relief is achieved through changing overt maladaptive behaviors into more constructive behaviors

exposure therapy

approach to treatment that involves confronting an emotion-arousing stimulus directly and repeatedly, ultimately leading to a decrease in emotional response

systematic desensitization

procedure in which a client relaxes all muscles of his/her body while imagining being in increasingly frightening situations

cognitive therapy

form of psychotherapy that involves helping a client identify and correct any distorted thinking about self, others, or the world

cognitive restructuring

teaches clients to question the automatic beliefs, assumptions and predictions that often lead to negative emotions and to replace negative thinking with more realistic and positive beliefs

person-centered therapy

approach to therapy that assumes all individuals have a tendency toward growth and that this growth can be facilitated by acceptance and genuine reactions from the therapist

gestalt therapy

existentialist approach to treatment with the goal of helping the client become aware of his or her thoughts, behaviors, experiences and feelings to "own" or take responsibility for them

antipsychotic drugs

medications that are used to treat schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders


study of drug effects on psychological states and symptoms

electroconvulsive therapy

treatment that involves inducing a mild seizure by delivering an electrical shock to the brain

transcranial magnetic stimulation

treatment that involves placing a powerful pulsed magnet over a person's scalp, which alters neuronal activity in the brain


surgical destruction of specific brain areas


treatment for seasonal depression that involves repeated exposure to bright light


inert substance or procedure that has been applied with the expectation that a healing response will be induced

iatrogenic illness

disorder or symptom that occurs as a result of a medical or psychotherapeutic treatment itself

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