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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Addiction
Defined as the dependence, physical or psychological, on a drug, oftentimes associating with tolerance and withdrawal.

Acting Out
Expressing unconscious emotional conflicts or feelings with actions rather than words. The person expressing is usually unaware of the meaning of such acts.

Affect
The initial emotional state of a person, which he or she can recognize subjectively, and can also be recognized objectively by onlookers.

Affective Disorders
Usually referred to as mood disorders. Some examples are Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Depressive Disorder, N.O.S., Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood, Bipolar Disorder, and others.

Anxiety
A mood characteristically provoked by fear or apprehension, resulting from tension caused by conflicting ideas or motivations. Anxiety manifests through mental and somatic symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, hyperventilation, and faintness.

Behavior Therapy / Modification
Modifies behavior by reinforcing good behavior and suppressing bad behavior. The therapist uses techniques of reward and punishment including aversion therapy, desensitization, or guided imagery. Behavior therapy is used in private and institutional therapy, in group and individual settings, to treat such disorders as drug addiction, alcoholism, and phobias.

Body Image
How a person sees oneself, inwardly and outwardly.

Client-Centered Therapy
A therapeutic approach, emphasizing acceptance of the client and unconditional positive reinforcement.

Clinical Psychology
Psychologists that work in hospitals, clinics and private practices. Their main concern is the diagnoses and treatment of learning and emotional problems.

Cognitive Therapy
The process of studying the thinking, concept formation, and problem solving efforts of a patient, with emphasis on how the client thinks.

Denial
A defense mechanism that is unconscious to the body, characterized by the refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, and feelings.

Depression
An extreme mood of sadness and guilt, becoming oftentimes immobile due to lethargy or apathy, with an inability to enjoy normal living and activities.

Family Therapy
Identifying and correcting disruptive and unhealthy patterns of set demands and expectations that some family members have for others.

Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders.

Psychology
The study of the way people think and behave.  The field of psychology has a number of subdisciplines devoted to the study of different levels and contexts of human thought and behavior.

Psychotherapy
Treating abnormal or disordered behaviors using psychological methods.

Rationalization
A form of false reasoning to avoid unresolved conflicts.

Self-Actualization
Occurs when a person realizes his or her individual human potential and worth.

Self-Awareness
Self-consciously focusing attention inwardly.

Therapy
The process used to treat disease, injury, or mental disorder.

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