AT, Jung’s analytical therapy; BT, behaviour therapy; CT, cognitive therapy; ET, existential therapy; GT, gestalt therapy; LT, logotherapy; MMT, multimodal therapy; PA, Freud’s psychoanalysis; PCT, person-centred therapy; REBT, rational emotive behaviour therapy; RT, reality therapy; TA, transactional analysis.
ABCDE theory (REBT) A theoretical model for understanding psychological distress and change in which A = Adversities or activating events in a persons life, B = Beliefs, both rational and irrational, C = Consequences, both emotional and behavioural, D = Disputing irrational beliefs, and E = Effects and/or effective philosophy of life.
Active imagination (AT) is a technique devised by Jung to help people get in touch with unconscious material. Clients begin by concentrating on a starting point. Then they allow their unconscious to produce a series of images, which may make a complete story.
Activity scheduling (CT) Activity scheduling involves planning and timetabling specific activities with clients. A principle of activity scheduling is to state what activity the client agrees to engage in rather than how much they will accomplish.
Actualizing tendency (PCT) is an active process representing the inherent tendency of the organism to develop its capacities in the direction of maintaining, enhancing and reproducing itself.
Adult (TA) An ego state oriented towards objective, autonomous data-processing and probability estimating.
Anima and the animus (AT) The anima is the personification of the feminine nature in a man’s unconscious, whereas the animus is the personification of the masculine nature in a woman’s unconscious.
Archetypes (AT) are ‘primordial images’ and ‘primordial thoughts’ rather than the representations of the images or thoughts themselves. Archetypes provide instinctive patterns for mental activity.
Assertive training (BT) involves training clients in the appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviours for expressing both negative and positive thoughts and feelings. Contemporary assertive training often focuses on thinking assertively as well as on behaviour.
Automatic thoughts (CT) are less accessible to awareness than voluntary thoughts, but not so deeply buried as beliefs and schemas. Automatic thoughts are part of people’s internal monologue — what and how they talk to themselves — can take the form of words, images, or both, occur very rapidly, and are usually at the fringe of awareness.
Autonomy (TA) refers to the capacity for non-script behaviour which is reversible, with no particular time schedule, developed later in life, and not under parental influence.
Awareness technique (GT) is a concentration technique in which clients are asked to become aware of their body language, their breathing, their voice quality and their emotions as much as of any pressing thoughts.
BASIC I.D. (MMT) Human personality can be divided into seven discrete, yet interacting, modalities or dimensions: behaviour, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal, and drugs/biology.
Basic needs (RT) Choice theory sees humans as driven by five basic needs that are genetic in origin: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.
Behavioural assessment (BT) sometimes known as functional analysis, allows therapists to identify the context, antecedents and consequences of the responses they wish to treat. When conducted after initial sessions, behavioural assessment aims to assist both in evaluating treatment effectiveness and in deciding whether to continue, discontinue or alter treatment.
Being (ET) ‘Being’ as a participle of a verb implies that someone is in the process of becoming something, When used as a noun ‘being’ can mean potential.
Bridging (MMT) A rapport enhancement technique in which therapists deliberately tune in to the clients’ preferred modalities before gently helping them cross bridges into other modalities that may prove more productive.
Child (TA) The Child or archaeopsychic ego state is a set of feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour patterns which are archaic relics of an individuals childhood. The Child ego state is exhibited in two major forms: the adapted Child, which follows parental directives, and the natural Child, which is autonomous.
Choice theory (RT) or internal control psychology explains that, for all practical purposes, humans choose everything they do, including the misery they feel.
Choice theory language (RT) Language which assumes personal responsibility for one’s total behaviour, for instance using active verbs like depressing, and allows others’ freedom of choice to assume responsibility for their total behaviour.
Classical conditioning (BT), also known as respondent conditioning, is a form of learning whereby existing responses are attached to new stimuli by pairing these stimuli with those that naturally elicit the response.
Cognitive-behaviour therapy A term describing therapies that extend behaviour therapy to have a major focus on changing covert thoughts as well as overt behaviours: examples include cognitive therapy, rational emotive behaviour therapy, and multimodal therapy.
Cognitive distortions (CT) are information processing errors that both characterize and maintain psychological distress: for instance, arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization and dichotomous thinking.
Cognitive vulnerability (CT) refers to humans’ cognitive frailty. Because of their schemas, each person has a set of unique vulnerabilities and sensitivities that predispose them to psychological distress.
Collaborative empiricism (CT) Therapists and clients collaborate together in the scientific endeavour of examining the evidence to confirm or negate the clients cognitions, all of which are viewed as testable hypotheses.
Collective unconscious (AT) At its deepest levels the unconscious is a vast collective and universal historical storehouse whose contents belong to mankind in general. The contents of the collective unconscious have never been in consciousness, but owe their existence to heredity.
Complexes (AT), which are an important feature of the personal unconscious, are accumulations of associations, sometimes of a traumatic nature, that possess strong emotional content - for example, the mother complex.
Conditions of worth (PCT) The internalisation or introjection of others’ evaluations, which do not truly reflect the persons actualizing tendency but may serve to impede it.
Congruence (PCT) Consistency between the thoughts and feelings the therapist experiences and her or his professional demeanour. Not putting on a professional facade.
Contact boundary (GT) is the boundary between organism and environment where all feelings, thoughts and actions take place. Contacting the environment represents forming a gestalt, whereas withdrawal is either closing a gestalt completely or mobilizing resources to make closure possible.
Counselling A relationship in which counsellors assist clients to understand themselves and their problems better. Then, where appropriate, counsellors use various interventions to assist clients to feel, think, communicate and act more effectively. The term ‘counselling’ is often used interchangeably with psychotherapy. Since there are many different theoretical orientations, it may be more accurate to speak of counselling approaches than counselling.
Death anxiety (ET), the fear of ceasing to be, can be both conscious and unconscious. It is the fundamental source of anxiety, whether it be neurotic, normal or existential. Strong death anxiety is likely to be repressed.
Decision (TA) A childhood commitment to a certain form of behaviour, which later forms the basis of character.
Defence mechanisms (PA) are infantilisms which operate unconsciously to protect the ego and may impede realistic behaviour long after they have outlived their usefulness. Examples include repression, reaction formation, projection, fixation and regression.
Dereflection (LT) Dereflection aims to counteract hyper-reflection, or excessive attention, by assisting clients to ignore their symptoms: for example, a woman dereflects excessive self-observation regarding sexual performance by becoming more focused on her partner.
Disputing (REBT) involves challenging and questioning unsubstantiated hypotheses that clients hold about themselves, others and the world.
Dream analysis (AT) Dreams are utterances or statements from the unconscious and are comparable to texts that appear unintelligible, but the therapist has to discover how to read them. An understanding of myths and symbols is fundamental for analysing dreams.
Dreamwork (GT) Dreams are existential messages, not just unfinished situations, current problems or symptoms. There are four stages to dreamwork: sharing the dream, retelling the dream in the present tense, talking to the different actors in the dream, and conducting a dialogue between different elements in the dream.
Eclecticism (MMT) The practice of drawing from different counselling and therapy approaches in formulating client problems and implementing treatment interventions. A distinction can be made between theoretical eclecticism and practical or technical eclecticism.
Ego (PA) The ego or 1’ acts as an intermediary between the id and the external world and strives to bring the reality principle to bear upon the id in substitution for the pleasure principle.
Ego disturbance (REBT) arises from the demanding and irrational belief ‘I must do well and win approval for all my performances’ because it leads to people thinking and feeling that they are inadequate and undeserving persons when they do not do as well as they ‘must’.
Ego state (TA) A consistent pattern of feeling and experience directly related to a corresponding consistent pattern of behaviour.
Empathy (PCT) The therapists capacity to comprehend accurately the clients inner world or internal frame of reference and to sensitively communicate back this understanding.
Excitement (GT) The energy people create, which coincides with the physiological function of excitation.
Existential (ET) The word ‘existence’ is derived from the Latin word existere, literally meaning ‘to stand out, to emerge’. Existential approaches to therapy are concerned with the science and processes of being.
Existential defence mechanisms (ET) In addition to conventional defence mechanisms, there are specific defences for each of the four ultimate concerns — death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness - to defend people against these fundamental fears.
Existential frustration (LT) results when the will to meaning is frustrated. Apathy and boredom are the main characteristics of existential frustration.
Existential guilt (ET) Three forms of existential guilt are failure to live up to one’s potential; distorting the reality of one’s fellow humans; and ‘separation guilt’ in relation to nature as a whole.
Existential psychodynamics (ET) Existential conflicts and existential anxiety flow from peoples inescapable confrontations with the givens of existence - death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness.
Existential ultimate concerns (ET) Four existential ultimate concerns are death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. Each concern begets a different existential conflict.
Existential vacuum (LT) describes a state in which people complain of an inner void. They suffer from a sense of meaninglessness, emptiness and futility.
Experiments (CT) Beliefs are treated as testable hypotheses. Together therapists and clients set up cognitive and behavioural experiments that encourage clients to test the reality of their beliefs.
Experiments (GT) Therapists and clients develop experiments in which clients try out different ways of thinking and acting. Repeatedly clients are encouraged to ‘Try this and see what you experience.’
External control psychology (RT) involves choosing to control and allow oneself to be controlled by others. Choosing to coerce, force, compel, punish, reward, boss, manipulate, motivate, criticize, blame, complain, nag, badger, rank, rate, and withdraw.
Feminist therapy Approaches to counselling and therapy that address women’s problems and issues in the context of constricting gender role socialization and power imbalances in society. Feminist therapy emphasizes egalitarian therapist-client relationships, valuing women’s experiences, liberating women from sex-role stereotypes, and working against oppression.
Flooding (BT) In contemporary flooding techniques, therapists arrange for clients to be exposed to relatively strong fear stimuli which, either real or imagined, are presented continuously.
Free association (PA) Clients must tell their analysts everything that occurs to them, even if it is disagreeable and even if it seems meaningless. The object of free association is to help lift repressions by making unconscious material conscious.
Frustration (GT) Providing situations in which clients experience being stuck in frustration and then frustrating their avoidances still further until they are willing to mobilize their own resources.
Game (TA) An ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined predictable outcome or payoff.
Gestalt (GT) means form or shape and among the meanings of the German verb gestalten are to shape, to form, to fashion, to organize and to structure. Other terms for gestalt are pattern, configuration or organized whole.
Happiness (CHT) On one level happiness is freedom from want and having the basic necessities of life. On another level, happiness consists of feelings of contentment, self-worth and well-being arising from connecting with the positive core of one’s own or another’s being. Being the generator, giver or recipient of thoughts and actions reflecting innate goodness.
Homeostasis (GT) Homeostasis or organismic self-regulation is the process by which the organism satisfies its needs by restoring balance when faced with a demand or need which upsets its equilibrium.
Id (PA) The id or ‘it’ contains everything that is inherited and fixed in the constitution. Filled with energy from the instincts, the id strives to bring about the satisfaction of instinctual needs on the basis of the pleasure principle.
Incongruence (PCT) A discrepancy between the self as perceived and the actual experience of the organism.
Individuation (AT) is the process by which the person becomes differentiated as a separate psychological individual, a separate whole as distinct from the collective psychology.
Inelegant and elegant change (REBT) Inelegant change largely consists of some kind of symptom removal. Elegant change goes further than developing an effective new philosophy that supports removal of specific symptoms to assisting clients to develop and implement an effective philosophy of life.
Instincts (PA) represent somatic or biological demands upon the mind, which are grouped into two basic instincts, Eros and the destructive instinct.
Integration (MMT) Attempting to blend together theoretical concepts and/or practical interventions drawn from different therapeutic approaches into coherent and integrated wholes.
Interpretation (PA) involves offering constructions or explanations. Interpreting dreams represents an important - sometimes the most important - part of the analysts work.
Introjections (GT) are experiences which are swallowed as a whole rather than being properly digested and assimilated. The outcome of introjection is that undesirable as well as desirable thoughts, feelings and behaviours get retained.
Irrational beliefs (REBT) are rigid, dogmatic, unhealthy, maladaptive beliefs that mostly get in the way of people’s efforts to achieve their goals. Such beliefs are characterized by demands, musts and shoulds.
Lifeskills (CHT) Sequences of choices affirming or negating psychological life that people make in specific skills areas. The main categories of lifeskills are mind skills and communication/action skills.
Lifeskills therapy (CHT) Therapy for conventional adaptation. Assisting clients to attain the mind, communication and action skills required for functioning effectively in the societies of which they are a part.
Logotherapy (LT) is an education for responsibility that seeks to unblock clients’ will to meaning. It is the treatment of choice for persons suffering from noogenic or existential neurosis.
Low frustration tolerance (REBT) or discomfort disturbance arises from the grandiose belief that people think they are so special that conditions must be easy and satisfying for them.
Medical ministry (LT) A term for how logotherapists work with somatogenic cases where the somatic cause cannot be removed. Where possible, logotherapists assist the non-diseased part of clients in finding meaning in the attitude that they take towards their suffering.
Men’s therapy An underdeveloped area of counselling and therapy focusing on men’s problems and issues. Many feminist therapy goals and principles are applicable to men’s therapy, which is sometimes considered feminist therapy’s missing half.
Modality Profile (MMT) A BASIC I.D. chart listing problems and interventions within each modality.
Modes (CT) are networks of cognitive, affective, motivational and behavioural schemas. Modes are fundamental to personality since they interpret and adapt to emerging and ongoing situations.
Multicultural therapy Approaches to counselling and therapy that take into account the cultures and worldviews of clients and therapists. Such approaches include making existing Euro-American therapies more culture-sensitive, developing multicultural counselling and therapy competences, and using non-Western therapeutic approaches.
Multimodal Life History Inventory (MMT) A fifteen-page inventory that asks numerous questions about antecedent events and maintaining factors, with the answers being divided into BASIC I.D. categories.
Observational learning (BT) Learning behavioural and cognitive skills by observing models, including observing how the models’ behaviours get reinforced.
Operant conditioning (BT) A form of learning in which the person or animal has to operate on the environment to produce a response. Responses are maintained, modified or extinguished by the likelihood of eliciting reinforcing consequences.
Non-being (ET) The opposite of being is non-being or nothingness. Death is the most obvious form of non-being. However, there are numerous other threats to being in the form of loss of potentiality through anxiety and conformity and through lack of clear self-awareness.
Noogenic neurosis (LT) refers to those cases where the existential vacuum leads to clinical symptomatology. Existential frustration plays a large part in noogenic neuroses.
Openness to experience (PCT) Allowing all significant sensory and visceral experiences to be perceived, the capacity for realistic perception without defensiveness.
Organismic valuing process (PCT) refers to a persons continuous weighing of experience and the placing of values on that experience in terms of its ability to satisfy the actualizing tendency.
Quality world (RT) A personal picture album consisting of detailed pictures of what an individual wants to satisfy her or his needs. The pictures in peoples quality worlds fall into three categories: (1) the people they most want to be with; (2) the things they most want to own or experience; and (3) the ideas or systems of belief that govern much of their behaviour.
Paradoxical intention (LT) In paradoxical intention, clients are invited to intend precisely that which they fear. Their excessive fear or hyper-intention is replaced by a paradoxical wish: for instance, fear of perspiring is replaced by trying as hard as possible to perspire.
Parent (TA) The Parent or exteropsychic ego state is a set of feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours which resemble those of parental figures. The Parent ego state may be seen in one of two forms: the controlling Parent and the nurturing Parent.
Participant modelling (BT) involves therapists repeatedly modelling feared activities, for instance handling snakes or dogs. Then joint performance with therapists may enable clients to start engaging in activities which would be too threatening to engage in on their own. Ultimately clients perform the feared activities on their own.
Persona (AT) A concept derived from the mask worn by actors in antiquity. At one level, the persona is the individuals system of adaptation or way of coping with the world. At a different level, the persona is not just an individual mask, but a mask of the collective psyche.
Personal unconscious (AT) The contents, which are definitely personal, fall into two main categories: material that lost its intensity either because it was forgotten or repressed; and material which never possessed sufficient intensity to reach consciousness but has somehow entered the psyche for instance, some sense-impressions.
Preconscious (PA) The preconscious is latent and capable of becoming conscious, while the unconscious is repressed and is unlikely to become conscious without great difficulty.
Psychodynamics (PA) The concept of psychical or mental energy and its distribution among the id, ego and super-ego is central to psychoanalysis.
Psychotherapy Literally ‘mind healing’. More accurate to speak of ‘the psychotherapies’ since there are many different theoretical and practical approaches to psychotherapy.
Rational beliefs (REBT) Healthy, productive and adaptive beliefs that are consistent with social reality, and are stated as preferences, desires and wants.
Rational coping statements (REBT) range from articulating simple words of encouragement to generating longer statements containing preferential thinking. This step often, but not necessarily, follows vigorous disputing.
Rational-emotive imagery (REBT) In rational emotive imagery (REI) clients: (1) vividly imagine an adversity; (2) once feeling unhealthily upset, hold on to the image for a minute or two; and (3) then tell themselves strongly and repetitively sensible rational beliefs or coping statements.
Reattribution techniques (CT) test automatic thoughts and underlying beliefs by considering alternative ways of assigning responsibility and cause.
Reciprocal inhibition (BT) encompasses all situations in which the elicitation of one response appears to bring about a decrement in the strength of evocation of a simultaneous response.
Reinforcement (BT) The presentation of a reward or the removal of an aversive stimulus following a response. Reinforcement always increases the future probability of the reinforced response. Schedules of reinforcement can be either intermittent or non-intermittent.
Relationships of choice (MMT) Not only matching the nature of therapeutic relationship to the client, but also matching it to the clients observed needs at different times in therapy.
Schemas (CT) are structures that consist of peoples fundamental beliefs and assumptions. They are relatively stable cognitive patterns that influence, through their beliefs, how people select and synthesize incoming information.
Script (TA) A life plan based on a decision made in childhood, reinforced by the parents, justified by subsequent events, and culminating in a chosen alternative. The purpose of script analysis is to get clients out of their script and thus to behave autonomously.
Search for meaning (LT) The basic human need is a search for meaning rather than a search for the self. Identity is only achievable through being responsible for the fulfilment of meaning. Work, love, suffering, the past and the supra-meaning are each sources of meaning.
Second-order BASIC I.D. assessments (MMT) When impasses occur in treating clients, second-order BASIC I.D. assessments allow a more detailed review of behaviours, affective responses, sensory reactions, images, cognitions, interpersonal factions, and drugs/biological factors in relation to the area in which change is proving difficult.
Self (AT) The self is the central archetype, the archetype of order. The self, which expresses the unity of personality as a whole, encompasses both conscious and unconscious components.
Self-actualizing (GT) is a process involving an effective balance of contact and withdrawal at the contact boundary and the ability to use energy or excitement to meet real rather than phoney needs.
Self-actualizing (PCT) A process of living and of personal development, based on the individuals organismic valuing process, that genuinely reflects their unique actualizing tendency.
Self-concept (PCT) is the self as perceived and the values attached to these perceptions, or what a person refers to as 1’ or ‘me’.
Self-transcendence (LT) The human capacity to reach out beyond the boundaries of oneself by either fulfilling a meaning or encountering another person lovingly.
Shadow (AT) The shadow archetype reflects the realm of humans’ animal ancestors and, as such, comprises the whole historical aspect of the unconscious. For the most part, the shadow consists of inferior traits of personality that individuals refuse to acknowledge.
Socratic dialogue (CT) A Socratic style of questioning assists clients to expand and evaluate how they think. Typical questions are: ‘Where is the evidence?’; ‘Where is the logic?’; Are there other ways of perceiving the situation?’; and ‘What would be the worst thing that could happen?’
Stimulus control (BT) entails modifying in advance the stimuli or cues associated with mal adaptive responses and/or establishing cues associated with adaptive responses.
Structural analysis (TA) consists of diagnosing and separating one feeling-thinking-and-behaviour pattern or ego state from another.
Structural Profile (MMT) Clients rate themselves across each of the BASIC I.D. modalities on a seven-point scale, with 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest.
Super-ego (PA) The super-ego is a residue formed within the ego in which parental influence is prolonged. Parental influence may be defined broadly to include cultural, racial and family influences,
Systematic desensitisation (BT) involves three elements: (a) training in deep muscular relaxation; (b) the construction of hierarchies of anxiety evoking stimuli; and (c) asking the client, when relaxed, to imagine items from the anxiety-evoking hierarchies.
Technical eclecticism (MMT) Technically eclectic therapists use procedures from different sources without necessarily subscribing to the theories or disciplines that spawned them.
Thresholds (MMT) Peoples differing capacities to tolerate negative stimuli such as pain, frustration, stress, cold, noise and pollution. Physiologically, people react to a variety of arousing stimuli with differing and distinctive patterns of autonomic nervous system activity.
Token economies (BT) Reinforcement programmes that use tokens as tangible conditioned reinforcers which may be exchanged for back-up reinforcers such as prizes, opportunities to engage in special activities, food or other purchases. An example is that of points for good classroom behaviour being exchangeable for prizes of differing value.
Total behaviour (RT) is always the sum of the following four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology. Acting and thinking are under voluntary control; feeling and physiology can only be changed by altering acting and thinking.
Tracking (MMT) refers to the careful assessment of the ‘firing order’, the ordering of the chain reaction of the different modalities, to assist therapists in selecting and prioritising treatment interventions.
Transaction (TA) In transactional analysis a stroke or unit of recognition is viewed as the fundamental unit of social interaction. An exchange of strokes constitutes a transaction. Transactions take place between ego states. Transactions between ego states may be complementary, crossed and/or ulterior.
Transference (PA) Clients perceive their analysts as reincarnations of important figures from their childhoods and transfer onto them moderate to intense feelings and emotions appropriate to these earlier models.
Unconditional positive regard (PCT) consists of two dimensions: first, prizing and feeling positively towards clients and, second, non-judgemental acceptance of clients’ experiencing and disclosures as their subjective reality.
Unconditional self-acceptance (REBT) Clients can always choose to accept themselves just because they are alive and human, whether or not they perform well or are approved of by others.
Unconscious (PA) The unconscious, or unconscious proper, consists of material that is inadmissible to consciousness through repression. The censorship on unconscious material coming into awareness is very strong indeed.
WDEP system (RT) Each letter represents a cluster of skills and techniques for assisting clients to make better choices in their lives: W, asking clients what they want; D, asking clients what they are doing and their overall direction; E, asking clients to conduct a searching self-evaluation; and P, asking clients to make plans to fulfil their needs more effectively.
Will to meaning (LT) The fundamental motivating drive since people are confronted with the need to detect and find meaning literally until their last breaths.