Glossary of Terms


ADD/ADHD: A disorder marked by persistent symptoms of inattention (such as distractibility, forgetfulness, or disorganization) or by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity (such as fidgeting, speaking out of turn, or restlessness) or by symptoms of all three that are not caused by any serious underlying physical or mental disorder

Addiction: A disorder marked by compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, cannabis or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal and cessation of use. Can also include process addictions (such as gambling)

Adoption: Relating to the psychological well being of those involved in an adoption process. Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another from that person's biological or legal parent(s) and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent(s)

Anger Management: A system of therapeutic techniques and exercises by which someone with excessive or uncontrollable anger can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state

Anxiety: A disorder marked by intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder

Autism Spectrum: A group of developmental disorders (such as Autism and Asperger's Syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors and/or restricted interests

Binge Eating: Issues pertaining to the frequent consuming of large amounts of food very quickly

Chronic Mental Illness: A repeated and persistent behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant impairments in functioning and quality of life

DUI Services: Services offered to individuals that have had a DUI charge and need to complete DUI education and/or treatment hours. Services focus on substance use

Depression: A disorder marked by excessive sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant change in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and/or thoughts of suicide

Domestic Violence: Relating to the psychological well being of those involved with domestic violence. Domestic violence is the inflicting of physical injury by one family/household member on another. Often there is a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior

Dual Diagnosis: The condition of simultaneously experiencing a mental illness and a substance use disorder. Also referred to as comorbid or co-occurring disorders

Eating Disorders: Any of several psychological disorders (such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia) characterized by serious disturbances of eating behavior

First Responders: Relating to the psychological well being of individuals who are responsible for immediately responding to an emergency to provide assistance (such as a police officer, firefighter or an EMT)

Gambling: Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you're willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.

Geriatric: Relating to the psychological well being of older adults, often defined as those 65 years old and older

Grief/Loss: A multifaceted, psychological process in response to the loss of a bond or affection, such as loss through death

Illness/Medical Issues: Relating to the psychological well being of those dealing with physical health complications, such as cancer or diabetes

In Home Counseling/Therapy: Therapeutic services provided at the consumer’s home

Infertility: Issues arising from the inability to conceive children or young

Intervention Services: Aim to help the family of an addict convince their loved one of the damage their addictive behavior is causing and that outside help is necessary to address the addiction.

LGBTQ: Relating to the psychological well being of those of various sexual identities such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer/Questioning

Marital: Relating to the interpersonal functioning and well being of a couple

Men's Issues: Relating to issues prevalent among the male gender

Mental Health: Relating to an individual’s psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual well being

Mood Disorders: Disorders characterized by marked impairments in mood (such as elevation or reduction). Specific disorders include Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

OCD: A disorder marked by uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that create impairments in functioning and quality of life

Pain Management: Relating to the psychological well being of those that experience persistent physical pain lasting longer than expected or anticipated

Perinatal: Relating to the psychological well being of mothers during pregnancy and/or postpartum. Includes the treatment of Perinatal Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Personality Disorders: Disorders relating to mental, emotional, and behavioral patterns developed throughout an individual’s life, often emerging in adolescence and early adulthood, that are considered deviant and/or nonadaptive and create impairments in life functioning, often in relationships with others

Psychotic Disorders: Disorders characterized by defective or absent connection with reality. Includes symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, catatonia, and disorganized speech/thinking

Reactive Attachment Disorder: A disorder emerging in infancy or early childhood occuring when healthy attachments are not established with parents and/or caregivers. Symptoms include social withdrawal, mood impairments, difficulty being consoled, and failure to seek support from others to get needs met

Religious/Spiritual: Treatment methods and interventions that directly address and promote an individual’s religion and/or spirituality in order to support overall well being

Self Injury: A set of behaviors that involve hurting oneself (such as cutting, burning, punching, or banging oneself) as a coping mechanism in response to emotional suffering

Sexual Addiction: A progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts

Sexual Disorder: A disorder related to difficulties with persistent, recurring deficiency with or absence of sexual desire that causes marked distress or difficulties in interpersonal relationships and is not attributable to an existing medical or psychological condition

Suboxone: A medication prescribed for recovery from opioid addiction

Trauma: The psychological response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing.

Veterans: Relating to the psychological well being of individuals who are current/former members of the armed forces. May also include their loved ones.

Women's Issues: Relating to issues prevalent among the female gender.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A model of therapy that emphasizes the use of mindfulness and acceptance to increase psychological flexibility to reduce emotional distress and improve ability to commit to value-driven living

Attachment/Relational Therapy: A model of therapy that supports the capacity to build stronger and more intimate bonds through an attuned and collaborative therapeutic experience

Bio Feedback: An intervention aimed at increasing greater awareness of physiological processes and functions in order to harness greater control over them. Often used to reduce physical ailments such as migraines and chronic pain

Client Centered: A model of therapy that places focus on the client through a non-directive approach (i.e therapist refrains from asking questions, making diagnoses, meaning making). Also known as person-centered

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A model of therapy aimed at challenging and changing distorted cognitions and behaviors that lead to suffering

Cognitive Processing Therapy: CPT is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma.

Couples: Relating to the interpersonal functioning and well being of a couple

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A model of therapy that teaches specific skills to improve mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness to reduce emotional suffering and increase ability to live life worth living

EMDR: A treatment approach that uses eye movement to reduce the emotional intensity of past traumatic events to improve the ability to effectively process these events and manage related responses

Eclectic: A therapeutic approach that adapts to the unique needs of the client by integrating various therapeutic models and treatment interventions

Exposure Response Prevention: A treatment approach that seeks to reduce/eliminate a maladaptive response to a specific stimuli that causes significant anxiety through exposure to the stimuli and change of the ritualized response

Expressive: A treatment approach that uses creative arts to examine and process thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Family: Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members.

Family Systems: A form of psychotherapy that involves all the members of a nuclear or extended family. Relating to the functioning and well being of a family unit

Gestalt: A client-centered, existential model of therapy that focuses on the present experience as it is verses how it is perceived to be based on past experiences

Gottman: A model of couples’ therapy developed by John Gottman, Ph.D. that focuses on cultivating healthy, long-lasting relationships

Group: A therapeutic approach that aims to support the individual through a group (3+ individuals) experience

Meditation: A mindfulness practice that aims to focus attention on a single point of reference, such as the breath, body sensation, or word/phrase

Mind Body Connection: A therapeutic approach that focuses on the connection between mental well being (thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs) and physical well being

Mindfulness: A therapeutic approach that focuses on increasing one’s awareness and acceptance of the present moment, including thoughts, feelings, and body sensations

Motivational Interviewing: A therapeutic approach that is client-centered and directive in order to resolve ambivalence and promote change

Narrative Therapy: A therapeutic approach that focuses on conceptualizing problems in the form of narrative and composing a new narrative utilizing client values, skills, and knowledge

Neurofeedback: Neurofeedback, also called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography —in an attempt to teach self-regulation of brain function

Neuropsychological Testing: Therapeutic tools that examine cognitive processes to make inferences about brain functioning, including neurological and psychiatric diagnosing to assist in treatment

Play Therapy: A therapeutic model that utilizes play to assist in the expression and processing of thoughts and feelings

Psychodynamic: A model of therapy that seeks to reveal, explain, and interpret unconscious mental processes

Psychological Testing: Tests and Assessments. Tests and assessments are two separate but related components of a psychological evaluation. Psychologists use both types of tools to help them arrive at a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Testing involves the use of formal tests such as questionnaires or checklists.

Psychopharmacology: The use of medications to assist in changing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Rapid Resolution Therapy: A treatment approach that follows a pragmatic methodology to eliminate symptoms and responses related to prior trauma

Sand Tray: A treatment approach that utilizes a sandbox, toy figures, and related materials to nonverbally reflect an individual’s thoughts and feelings

Solutions Focused Therapy: A model of therapy aimed at developing solutions to identified problems through direct questioning and goal setting

Somatic Experience: A treatment approach that focuses on body sensations as a means to reduce and eliminate symptoms of and responses to past trauma

Strengths Based Therapy: A model of therapy that focuses on individual strengths to solve perceived problems

Trauma Informed: A therapeutic approach that acknowledges an individual’s trauma history throughout the therapeutic progress (assessment, treatment planning, treatment)

Yoga: A therapeutic approach that utilizes elements of yoga (such as postures, breathing exercises, meditation and guided imagery) to restore psychological well being