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AP Psychology

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

antidepressant drugs

drugs which gradually elevate mood and help bring people out of a depression; include trycyclics, MAO inhibitors, and SSRIs

antipsychotic drugs

drugs which are used to gradually reduce psychotic symptoms, including hyperactivity, mental confusion, hallucinations, and delusions

aversion therapy

a behavior therapy based on principles of classical conditioning in which an aversive stimulus is paired with a stimulus that elicits an undesirable response

behavior therapies

a form of therapy based on learning in which the therapist makes direct efforts to alter problematic reseponses (e.g., phobias) and maladaptive behavior (e.g., drug abuse), with the goal of changing the patient's overt behavior; uses the principles of classical conditioning, operant learning, and observational learning to modify maladaptive behaviors

biomedical therapies

a form of therapy practiced by a physician or someone with prescription authority which involves interventions into a patient's biological functioning, including drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy

client-centered therapy

an insight therapy that emphasizes providing a supportive emotional climate for the client, who play a major role in determining the pace and direction of the therapy; emphasizes the client's natural tendency to become healthy and productive.

clinical social worker

a trained professional who works as part of a treament team with a psychologist or psychiatrist

clinical/counseling psychologist

specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders and everyday behavioral problems

cognitive therapy

the use of specific strategies to correct habitual thinking errors that underlie various types of disorders; therapy that treats problem behaviors and mental processes by focusing on faulty thought processes and beliefs

cognitive-behavioral treatments

the use of varied combinations of verbal interventions and behavior modification techniques to help clients change maladaptive patterns of thinking


a behavior therapy that uses classical conditioning to evoke new responses to stimuli that are triggering unwanted behaviors; includes exposure therapies and aversive conditioniong

deep brain stimulation (DBS)

a technique in which a thin electrode is surgically implanted in the brain and connected to an implanted pulse generator so that various electrical currents can be delivered to brain tissue adjacent to the electrode


transferring the treatment of mental illness from inpatient institutions to community-based facilities that emphasize outpatient care

dream analysis

the therapist interprets the symbolic meaning of the client's dreams


drawing ideas from two or more systems of therapy instead of committing to just one system

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

a biomedical treatment in which electric shock is used to produce a cortical seizure accompanied by convulsions

evidence-based practice

clinical decision-making that integrates the best available research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences

exposure therapies

behavioral techniques, such as systematic desensitization that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imagined situations or in actuality) to the things they fear and avoid

family therapy

therapy that treats the family as a system. Views an individual's unwanted behavior as influenced by, or directed at, other family members

free association

clients spontaneously express their thoughts and feelings exactly as they occur, with as little censorship as possible; the analyst then studies these associations for clues about what exists in the client's unconscious

group therapy

the simultaneous psychological treatment of several clients in a group

humanistic therapy

focuses on removing obstacles that block personal growth and potential

insight therapy

a form of therapy in which a patient engages in complex verbal interactions with a therapist, either individually or within a group, with the goal of increased insight into the nature of the patient's difficulties and to examine possible solutions; 'talk therapy' intended to enhance patients' self-knowoedge and thus promote healthful changes in personality and behavior


the therapist's attempts to explain the inner significance of the client's thoughts, feelings, memories, and behaviors


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

mood stablizers

drugs used to control mood swings in patients with bipolar disorder mood disorders

positive psychology

a branch of psychology that uses theory and research to better understand the positive, adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence

psychiatric nurse

a trained professional who works as part of a treament team with a psychologist or psychiatrist


physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders


an insight therapy that emphasizes the recovery of unconscious conflicts, motives, and defenses through techniques such as free association and transference; a Freudian therapy designed to bring unconscious conflicts, which usually date back to childhood experiences, into consciousness

psychodynamic therapy

therapy deriving from the psychoanalytic tradition that views individuals as responding to unconscious forces and childhood experiences, and seeks to enhance self-insight


drug therapy; the treatment of mental disorders with medication


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


all the diverse approaches used in the treatement of mental disorders and psychological problems

rational emotive therapy

cognitive therapy that seeks to eliminate emotional problems through the rational examination of irrational beliefs

repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

the appplication of repeated pulses of magnetic energy to the brain; used to stimulate or suppress brain energy


largely unconscious defensive maneuvers intended to hinder the progress of therapy

social skills training

a behavior therapy designed to improve interpersonal skills that emphasizes modeling, behavioral rehearsal, and shaping

spontaneous remission

recovery from a disorder that occurs without formal treament

systematic desensitization

a behavior therapy used to extinguish or reduce phobic clients' anxiety responses through counterconditioning

tardive dyskinesia

a neurological disorder marked by involuntary writhing and tic-like movements of the mouth, tongue, face, hands, or feet; a severe and lasting problem that can be a side effect of long-term treatment with traditional antipsychotic drugs

therapeutic climate

an atmosphere of emotional support created by a client-centered therapist, based on genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathy

therapeutic process

the therapist provdes feedback to the client through clarifying the client's statements and highlighting themes

transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

a technique that permits scientists to temporarily enhance or depress activity in a specific area of the brain


occurs when clients unconsciously start relating to their therapists in ways that mimic critical relationships in their lives

unconditional positive regard

a caring, accepting, nonjudgmental attitude which is intended to help clients develop self-awareness and self-acceptance

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