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psychology 101 – psychological therapies terms

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action therapies
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therapies in which the main goal is to change disordered or inappropriate behavior directly.
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antianxiety drugs
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drugs used to treat and calm anxiety reactions, typically minor tranquilizers.
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antidepressant drugs
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drugs used to treat depression and anxiety.
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antipsychotic drugs
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drugs used to treat psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and other bizarre behavior.
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arbitrary inference
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distortion of thinking in which a person draws a conclusion that is not based on any evidence.
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authenticity
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the genuine, open, and honest response of the therapist to the client.
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aversion therapy
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form of behavioral therapy in which an undesirable behavior is paired with an aversive stimulus to reduce the frequency of the behavior.
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behavior modification or applied behavior analysis
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the use of learning techniques to modify or change undesirable behavior and increase desirable behavior.
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behavior therapies
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action therapies based on the principles of classical and operant conditioning and aimed at changing disordered behavior without concern for the original causes of such behavior.
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bilateral cingulotomy
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surgical technique that destroys part of the cingulate gyrus. Used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and chronic pain.
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bilateral ECT
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electroconvulsive therapy where the electrodes are placed on both sides of the head and forehead.
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biomedical therapy
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therapy for mental disorders in which a person with a problem is treated with biological or medical methods to relieve symptoms.
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Carl Rogers
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1902-1987. Humanist psychologist who focused on the role of the self-concept and positive regard on personality development.
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cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
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action therapy in which the goal is to help clients overcome problems by learning to think more rationally and logically.
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cognitive therapy
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therapy in which the focus is on helping clients recognize distortions in their thinking and replace distorted, unrealistic beliefs with more realistic, helpful thoughts.
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contingency contract
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a formal, written agreement between the therapist and client (or teacher and student; parent and child) in which goals for behavioral change, reinforcements, and penalties are clearly stated.
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counter-conditioning
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replacing an old conditioned response with a new one by changing the unconditioned stimulus.
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cybertherapy
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psychotherapy that is offered on the Internet. Also called online, Internet, or Web therapy or counseling.
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directive
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therapy in which the therapist actively gives interpretations of a client’s statements and may suggest certain behavior or actions.
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dream interpretation
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the analysis of the elements within a patient’s reported dream as a means of revealing unconscious conflicts and desires.
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eclectic therapies
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therapy style that results from combining elements of several different therapy techniques.
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electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
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form of biomedical therapy to treat severe depression in which electrodes are placed on either one or both sides of a person’s head and running an electric current through the electrodes that is strong enough to cause a seizure or convulsion.
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empathy
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the ability of the therapist to understand the feelings of the client.
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extinction techniques
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the removal of a reinforcer to reduce the frequency of a behavior.
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eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR)
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controversial form of therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and similar anxiety problems in which the client is directed to move the eyes rapidly back and forth while thinking of a disturbing memory.
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family counseling
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a form of group therapy in which family members meet together with a counselor or therapist to resolve problems that affect the entire family.
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flooding
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technique for treating phobias and other stress disorders in which the person is rapidly and intensely exposed to the fear-provoking situation or object and prevented from making the usual avoidance or escape response.
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free association
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Freudian technique in which a patient was encouraged to talk about anything that came to mind without fear of negative evaluations.
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Fritz Perls
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1893-1970. Developed and popularized Gestalt therapy.
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Gestalt therapy
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form of directive insight therapy in which the therapist helps the client to accept all parts of his or her feelings and subjective experiences, using leading questions and planned experiences such as role-playing.
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group therapy
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type of therapy in which a group of clients meet together with a therapist.
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humanistic therapy
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psychotherapy focused on conscious, subjective experiences of emotion and people’s sense of self.
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insight therapies
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therapies in which the main goal is helping people to gain insight with respect to their behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
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latent content
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the symbolic or hidden meaning of dreams.
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magnification and minimization
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distortions of thinking in which a person blows a negative event out of proportion to its importance (magnification) while ignoring relevant positive events (minimization).
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manifest content
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the actual content of one’s dream.
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modeling
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learning through the observation and imitation of others.
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nondirective
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therapy in which the therapist remains relatively neutral and does not interpret or take direct actions with regard to the client, instead remaining a calm, nonjudging listener while the client talks.
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overgeneralization
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distortion of thinking in which a person draws sweeping conclusions based on only one incident or event and applies those conclusions to events that are unrelated to the original.
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participant modeling
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technique in which a model demonstrates the desired behavior in a step-by-step, gradual process while the client is encouraged to imitate the model.
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personalization
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distortion of thinking in which a person takes responsibility or blame for events that are unconnected to the person.
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person-centered therapy
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a nondirective insight therapy based on the work of Carl Rogers in which the client does all the talking and the therapist listens.
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prefrontal lobotomy
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psychosurgery in which the connections of the prefrontal lobes of the brain to the rear portions are severed.
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psychoanalysis
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an insight therapy based on the theory of Freud, emphasizing the revealing of unconscious conflicts.
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psychodynamic therapy
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a newer and more general term for therapies based on psychoanalysis, with an emphasis on transference, shorter treatment times and a more direct therapeutic approach.
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psychopharmacology
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the use of drugs to control or relieve the symptoms of psychological disorders.
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psychosurgery
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surgery performed on brain tissue to relieve or control severe psychological disorders.
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psychotherapy
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therapy for mental disorders in which a person with a problem talks with a psychological professional.
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rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
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cognitive-behavioral therapy in which clients are directly challenged in their irrational beliefs and helped to restructure their thinking into more rational belief statements.
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reflection
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therapy technique in which the therapist restates what the client says rather than interpreting those statements.
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reinforcement
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the strengthening of a response by following it with a pleasurable consequence or the removal of an unpleasant stimulus.
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resistance
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occurring when a patient becomes reluctant to talk about a certain topic, either changing the subject or becoming silent.
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selective thinking
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distortion of thinking in which a person focuses on only one aspect of a situation while ignoring all other relevant aspects.
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self-help groups (support groups)
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a group composed of people who have similar problems and who meet together without a therapist or counselor for the purpose of discussion, problem solving, and social and emotional support.
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Sigmund Freud
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1856-1939. Founder of the psychoanalytic school of thought which focuses on the role of the unconscious on behavior.
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systematic desensitization
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behavior technique used to treat phobias, in which a client is asked to make a list of ordered fears and taught to relax while concentrating on those fears.
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therapeutic alliance
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the relationship between therapist and client that develops as a warm, caring, accepting relationship characterized by empathy, mutual respect, and understanding.
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Therapy
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treatment methods aimed at making people feel better and function more effectively.
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time-out
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an extinction process in which a person is removed from the situation that provides reinforcement for undesirable behavior, usually by being placed in a quiet corner or room away from possible attention and reinforcement opportunities.
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token economy
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the use of objects called tokens to reinforce behavior in which the tokens can be accumulated and exchanged for desired items or privileges.
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transference
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in psychoanalysis, the tendency for a patient or client to project positive or negative feelings for important people from the past onto the therapist.
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unconditional positive regard
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referring to the warmth, respect, and accepting atmosphere created by the therapist for the client in client-centered therapy.
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unilateral ECT
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electroconvulsive therapy where the electrodes are placed on only one side of the head and the forehead.