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treatment in which a trained professional - a therapist - uses psychological techniques to help a person overcome psychological difficulties and disorders, resolve problems in living, or bring about personal growth.

biomedical therapy

therapy that relies on drugs and other medical procedures to improve psychological functioning

Clinical psychologists

psychologists with PhD or PsyD who have also completed a postgraduate internship. They specialize in assessment and treatment of psychologial difficulties

Counseling psychologists

psychologists with a PhD or EdD who typically treat day-to-day adjustment problems, often in a university mental health clinic


MDs with postgraduate training in abnormal behavior. Because they can prescribe medication, they often treat the most severe disorders


either MDS or psychologists who specialize in psychoanalysis, the treatment technique first developed by freud

Licensed Professional Counselors or clinical Mental Health Counselors

professionals with a master's degree who provide therapy to individuals, couples, and families and who hold a national or state certification

Clinical or Psychiatric Social Workers

professionals with a master's degree and specialized training who may provide theray, usually regarding common family and personal problems

Psychodynamic therapy

therapy that seeks to bring unresolved past conflicts and unacceptable impulses from the unconscious into the conscious, where patients may deal with the problems more effectively.

defense mechanisms

psychological strategies to protect themselves from unacceptable unconscious impulses


Freudian psychotherapy in which the goal is to release hidden unconscious thoughts and feelings in order to reduce their power in controlling behavior.

free association

Psychoanalysts using this technique tell patients to say aloud whatever comes to mind, regardless of its apparent irrelevance or senselessness, and the analysts attempt to recognize and labe the connections between what a patient says and the patient's unconscious.

dream interpretation

examining dreams to find clues to unconscious conflicts and problems in psychoanalysis

manifest content

in dream interpretation, the surface description of a dream

latent content

in dream interpretation, the true unconscious meaning of the dream


an ability or unwillingness to discuss or reveal particular memories, thoughts, or motivations


the transfer of feelings to a psychoanalyst of love or anger that had been originally directed to a patient's parents or other authority figures.

behavioral treatment approaches

treatment approaches that build on tha basic processes of learning, such as reinforcement and extinction, and assume that normal and abnormal behavior are both learned

aversive conditioning

a form of therapy that reduces the frequency of undesired behavior by pairing and aversive, unpleasant stimulus with undesired behavior.

systematic desensitization

a behavioral technique in which gradual exposure to an anxiety-producing stimulus is paired with relaxation to extinguish the response of anxiety

hierarchy of fears

a list, in order of increasing severity, of the things you associate with your fears


a behavioral treatment for anxiety in which people are confronted, either suddenly or gradually, with a stimulus that they fear

graded exposure

patients are exposed to a feared stimulus in gradual steps

operant conditioning principles

based on the notion that we should reward people for carrying out desirable behavior and extinguish undesirable behavior by either ignoring it or punishing it

token system

rewards a person for desired behavior with a token such as a poker chip or some kind of play money

contingency contracting

the therapist and client draw up a written agreement. The contract states a series of behavioral goals the client hopes to achieve. It also specifies the positive consequences for the client if the client reaches goals

observational learning

the process in which the behavior of other people is modeled, to systematically teach people new skills and ways of handling their fears and anxieties

dialectival behavior therapy

a form of treatment in which the focus is on getting people to accept who they are, regardless of wether ir matches their ideal

Cognitive treatment approaches

treatment approaches that teach people to think in more adaptive ways by changing their dysfunctional cognitions about the world

Cognitive-behavioral approach

a treatment approach that incorporates basic principles of learning to change the way people think

rational-emotive behavior therapy

a form of therapy that attempts to restructure a person's belief system into a more realistic, rational, and logical set of views by challenging dysfunctional beliefs that maintain irrational behavior

A-B-C model of rational-emotive behavior therapy

(A) - negative activating conditions that lead to (B)
(B) - irrational belief system that leads to (C)
(C) - emotional consequences

cognitive appraisal

clients are asked to evaluate situations, themselves, and others in terms of their memories, values, beliefs, thoughts, and expectations. During the course of treatment, therapists help clients discover ways of thinking more appropirately about themselves and others

humanistic therapy

therapy in which the underlying rationale is that people have control of their behavior, can make choices about their lives, and are essentially responsible for solving their own problems

nondirective counseling

the therapist does not interpret or answer the questions the client has raised. instead, the therapist clarifies or reflects back what the client has said

person-centered therapy

therapy in which the goal is to reach one's potential for self-actualization

unconditional positive regard

expressing acceptance and understanding, regardless of the feelings and attitudes the client expresses


understanding of a client's emotional experiences

interpersonal therapy (IPT)

short-term therapy that focuses on the context of current social relationships

Group therapy

therapy in which people meet in a group with a therapist to discuss problems

family therapy

an approach that focuses on the family and its dynamics

spontaneous remission

recovery without treatment

eclectic approach to therapy

therapists use a variety of techniques, integrating several perspectives, to treat a person's problems

drug therapy

control of psychological disorders through the use of drugs

antipsychotic drugs

drugs that temporarily reduce psychotic symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, and delusions
block dopamine receptors

atypical antypsychotic

the newest generation of antipsychotics include rizperidone, olanzapine, and paliperidone

antidepressant drugs

medications that improve a severely depressed patient's mood and feeling of well-being

tricyclic drugs

(antidepressant) increase the availability of norepinehrine at the synapses of neurons

MAO inhibitors

(antidepressant) prevent the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) from breaking down neurotransmitters

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

(antidepressant) targer the neurotransmitter serotonin, permitting it to linger at the synapse (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa)

St. John's wort

an herb that some have called a "natural" antidepressant

mood stabilizers

drugs used to treat mood disorders that prevent manic episodes of bipolar disorder


(mood stabilizer) a form of mineral salts, has been used very successfully in patients with bipolar disorders
can alter transmission of impulses within neurons

antianxiety drugs

drugs that reduce the level of anxiety a person experiences, essentially by reducing excitability and increasing feelings of well-being
Increase activity of neurotransmitter GABA
(Xanax, Valium)

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

a procedure used in the treatment of severe depression in which an electric current of 70 to 150 volts is briefly administered to a patient's head

transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

a depression treatment in which a precise magnetic pulse is directed to a specific area of the brain


brain surgery once used to reduce the symptoms of mental disorder but rarely used today

prefrontal lobotomy

surgically destroying or removing parts of a patient's frontal lobes, which, surgeons thought, controlled emotionality

community psychology

a branch of psychology that focuses on the prevention and minimization of psychological disorders in the community


the transfer of romer mental patients from institutions to the community

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