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CFC Therapy Dictionary

CFC Therapy has put together an easy to use list of definitions of various therapy terms. These explanations are easy to understand explanations to common therapy terms. If you have any questions feel free to contact CFC Therapy.

Souces of terms:Medicine.net, Mayoclinic.com,WebMD.com
©1996-2010 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.
© 1998-2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved.
© 2005-2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. See the entire definition of ADHD

Anger management: is a process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or holding it in. Anger is a healthy, normal emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this. Although you can learn how to control your frustrations by practicing anger management techniques on your own, the most effective approach is to take an anger management class or to see a mental health counselor. See the entire definition of Anger Management

Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder. It is a condition that goes well beyond out-of-control dieting. The person with anorexia, most often a girl or young woman, initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is thought to be secondary to concerns about control and fears relating to one’s body. The individual continues the endless cycle of restrictive eating, often to a point close to starvation. This becomes an obsession and is similar to an addiction to a drug. Anorexia can be life-threatening. Also called anorexia nervosa.  See the entire See the entire definition of Anorexia

Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.   See the entire definition of Antidepressant

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations , sweating, and feelings of stress . Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated. See the entire definition of Anxiety

Attention: The ability to focus selectively on a selected stimulus, sustaining that focus and shifting it at will.  The ability to concentrate.

Behavior modification: is a treatment approach, based on the principles of operant conditioning, that replaces undesirable behaviors with more desirable ones through positive or negative reinforcement .

Brain: That part of the  central nervous system   that is located within the  cranium  ( skull ). The brain functions as the primary receiver, organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two (right and left) halves called “hemispheres.”

Biofeedback: A method of treatment that uses monitors to feed back to patients physiological information of which they are normally unaware. By watching the monitor, patients can learn by trial and error to adjust their thinking and other mental processes in order to control “involuntary” bodily processes such as blood pressure, temperature, gastrointestinal functioning, and brain wave activity. See the entire definition of Biofeedback

Body image: A term that refers to a person s inner picture of his or her outward appearance. It has two components: perceptions of the appearance of one’s body, and emotional responses to those perceptions. See the entire definition of Body Image

Childhood: (1) The time for a boy or girl from birth until he or she is an adult. (2) The more circumscribed period of time from infancy to the onset of  puberty.

Couples Therapy: is a form of psychological therapy used to treat relationship distress for both individuals and couples. Find out more about couples therapy Couples Therapy treatment in Chicago

Cognitive:  Pertaining to cognition, the process of knowing and, more precisely, the process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging. The study of cognition touches on the fields of  psychology , linguistics, computer science,  neuroscience , mathematics, ethology and philosophy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy: See: Cognitive therapy.

Depression : An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.   See the entire definition of Depression

Dyslexia: A specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols. Dyslexia is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. See the entire definition of Dyslexia

Family: 1. A group of individuals related by blood or marriage or by a feeling of closeness.  2. A biological classification of related plants or animals that is a division below the order and above the genus.  3. A group of genes related in structure and in function that descended from an ancestral gene.  4. A group of gene products similarly related in structure and function and of shared genetic descent.  5. Parents and their children. The most fundamental social group in humans.

Family therapy: A type of psychotherapy designed to identify family patterns that contribute to a behavior disorder or mental illness and help family members break those habits. Family therapy involves discussion and problem-solving sessions with the family. Some of these sessions may be as a group, in couples, or one on one. In family therapy, the web of interpersonal relationships is examined and, ideally, communication is strengthened within the family. Find out more about family therapy Family Therapy treatment in Chicago

Grief: The normal  process  of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job). Emotional reactions of grief can include anger, guilt,  anxiety , sadness, and despair. Physical reactions of grief can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness.

Health: As officially defined by the World Health Organization, a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Heredity: Genetic transmission from parent to child.

Impulsivity: Inclined to act on impulse rather than thought. People who are overly impulsive, seem unable to curb their immediate reactions or think before they act. As a result, they may blurt out answers to questions or inappropriate comments, or run into the street without looking. Their impulsivity may make it hard for a child to wait for things they want or to take their turn in games. They may grab a toy from another child or hit when they are upset.

Interpersonal therapy: A form of psychotherapy in which the focus is on a patient’s relationships with peers and family members and the way they see themselves. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is based on exploring issues in relationships with other people. The goal is to help people to identify and modify interpersonal problems, to understand and to manage relationship problems.

Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modifying the outcome. In medicine, an intervention is usually undertaken to help treat or cure a condition. For example, early intervention may help children with autism to speak. “Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is widely practiced in the United States,” according to the National Institutes of Health. From the Latin intervenire, to come between. See the entire definition of Intervention

Medication: 1. A drug or medicine. 2. The administration of a drug or medicine. (Note that “medication” does not have the dangerous double meaning of “drug.”)

Mourning: The process by which people adapt to a loss as, for example, the death of someone near and dear. Mourning is influenced by cultural customs, rituals, and society’s rules for coping with loss.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): is a type of anxiety disorder in which you have unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). With obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may realize that your obsessions aren’t reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your distress.

Personality disorder: A disorder characterized by the chronic use of mechanisms of coping in an inappropriate, stereotyped, and maladaptive manner. Personality disorders are enduring and persistent styles of behavior and thought, not atypical episodes. The personality disorders encompass a group of behavioral disorders that are different and distinct from the psychotic and neurotic disorders. The official psychiatric manual, the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association , Fourth Edition), defines a personality disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that differs markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment. Personality disorders are a long-standing and maladaptive pattern of perceiving and responding to other people and to stressful circumstances.

Play therapy: refers to a method of psychotherapy with children in which a therapist uses a child’s fantasies and the symbolic meanings of his or her play as a medium for understanding and communication with the child.

Primary: First or foremost in time or development. The primary teeth (the baby teeth) are those that come first. Primary may also refer to symptoms or a disease to which others are secondary.

Psychiatry: The medical specialty concerned with the prevention,  diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness.

Psychodynamic therapy: A type of psychotherapy that draws on psychoanalytic theory to help people understand the roots of emotional distress, often by exploring unconscious motives, needs, and defenses.

Psychology:The study of the mind and mental processes, especially in relation to behavior. There are a number of fields of psychology. Clinical psychology is concerned with diagnosing and treating disorders of the brain, emotional disturbances, and behavior problems. Child psychology is the study of the mental and emotional development of children and is part of developmental psychology, the study of changes in behavior that occur through the life span. Cognitive psychology deals with how the human mind receives and interprets impressions and ideas. Social psychology looks at how the actions of others influence the behavior of an individual.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of a behavior disorder, mental illness, or any other condition by psychological means. Psychotherapy may utilize insight, persuasion, suggestion, reassurance, and instruction so that patients may see themselves and their problems more realistically and have the desire to cope effectively with them.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): is a type of anxiety disorder that’s triggered by a traumatic event. You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you experience or witness an event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror.

Quality of life: An important consideration in medical care, quality of life refers to the patient’s ability to enjoy normal life activities. Some medical treatments can seriously impair quality of life without providing appreciable benefit, while others greatly enhance quality of life.

Relaxation Techniques: in this form of therapy the patient is helped to resolve stresses that can contribute to the particular disorder. Breathing re-training and other skills are taught in which the patient is actively involved in developing skills that are useful for a lifetime. Can take time to achieve results and treatment benefits are limited to active use of the techniques.

Role-play: is a technique that allows the client opportunities to imitate the modeled behaviors, which strengthens what has been learned. Role-play can be defined as practice or behavior rehearsal; it allows the client to receive feedback about the practice as well as encouraging the use of the newly learned skill in real-life situations.

Sense: In biology and medicine, the faculty of sensory reception. The ability to convey specific types of external or internal stimuli to the brain and perceive them. Sensory reception occurs through a process known as transduction in which stimuli are converted into nerve impulses which are relayed to the brain.

Stress: Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.

Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is no universally accepted definition of substance abuse.)

Therapy: The treatment of  disease .

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predisposed to developing the disease, or that causes a certain symptom to occur in a person who has a disease. For example, sunlight can trigger rashes in people with lupus

Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of  oneself and one’s surroundings, lack of the ability to  notice or respond to stimuli in the environment. A person  may become unconscious due to oxygen deprivation, shock,  central nervous system depressants such as alcohol and  drugs, or injury. 2. In psychology, that part of thought  and emotion that happens outside everyday awareness.

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