Treatment of Psychological Disorders


acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

cognitive-behavioral approach focused on mindfulness, active acceptance of difficult emotions, and working toward valued outcomes

active listening

therapeutic technique in which a therapist restates a client's feelings back to them

antipsychotic medication

class of medications that reduces symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions and hallucinations

client-centered therapy

therapy in which a therapist provides empathy and emotional support while the client directs the therapeutic process

cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

hybrid approach to treatment that teaches strategies for managing negative thoughts and changing unhelpful behaviors


release of long-term patients with mental illness back into the community

dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

cognitive-behavioral approach teaching people how to regulate extreme emotions by balancing opposing perspectives

dream analysis

therapeutic technique used to uncover unconscious content by interpreting symbols within dreams

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

treatment for severe depression that involves triggering a brief seizure by passing a weak electric current through the patient's brain

existential therapy

therapy based on the premise that people can maintain their freedom, even in the most extreme circumstances, by choosing how they will respond to their situation

free association

therapeutic technique used to uncover unconscious content by having the client say whatever comes to mind without self-censoring

gestalt therapy

therapy that encourages clients to focus on what is presently occurring in their lives without focusing on past events

insight therapy

form of therapy in which clinicians promote awareness of the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings causing negative behaviors


statistical technique used to combine and analyze data from multiple studies


medical doctor specializing in the use of drug-based treatments and psychotherapy for mental health disorders


doctoral-level psychotherapist or psychological researcher


study of how psychotropic drugs affect a person's mental and physical state and behavior


surgery that alters the physical structure of the brain for the purpose of treating mental illness


any form of talk therapy intended to alleviate mental distress


unconscious tendency to slow down the progress of therapy to avoid facing painful conflicts

systematic desensitization

technique to treat anxiety and phobias through gradual exposure to feared situations

token economy

behavior change system that uses tokens (small rewards) to elicit desired behaviors


process in which a client unconsciously begins interacting with the analyst as if the analyst were a figure from the client's past or present

unconditional positive regard

acceptance and support of clients, regardless of what they say or do, as part of client-centered therapy