Attachment (a.k.a. Emotional bonding) – A close and strong emotional bond between infants and parents/caregivers.
Bibliotherapy – Use of books to impart helpful information, either alone or as an adjunct to other forms of therapy. The book content may often provide catharsis or help individuals gain more insight about their own thoughts and feelings, while reading can provide an additional coping skill.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – A therapeutic modality developed by Aaron Beck which emphasizes the importance of thinking and belief systems in determining feelings and behavior. The therapist assumes an educational role in helping clients understand their distorted beliefs and change them into healthier alternatives, while finding new ways to solve problems.
Cognitive therapy – The use of learning principles in therapy in order to change maladaptive thoughts, beliefs and feelings.
Contact comfort – A pleasant and reassuring feeling that human or animal infants get from touching or clinging to something warm and soft (usually the mother).
Critical period – A period of development, characterized by increased sensitivity to environmental factors and a time during which certain event must take place in order for normal development to take place.
Developmental milestone - A significant marker in personal development.
Developmental task – A skill that must be mastered, or a personal change that must take place, in order for optimal development to occur at a particular developmental stage.
Double standard – Applying different standards for judging the appropriateness of male and female behavior.
Effective parents – Parents who supply firm and consistent guidance as well as love and affection.
Emotional tone – Underlying emotional state that the individual is experiencing at any given moment.
Empathy – A capacity for taking another person’s point of view and ability to feel what someone else is feeling.
Empirical evidence – Facts or scientific information gained by direct observation or experience.
Group therapy – Psychotherapy conducted with a group of people.
Insecure-avoidant attachment – A pattern of attachment where one person (infant) avoids the connection with another (caregiver). For example, the infant shows disinterest in the caregiver’s presence, departure or subsequent return. This concept was extensively studied by Mary Ainsworth.
Insecure-resistant/ambivalent attachment – A pattern of attachment characterized by anxiety and uncertainty. The infant appears very upset at separation from the caregiver, but upon reunion both seeks and resists contact. This concept was extensively studied by Mary Ainsworth.
Intelligence – An overall capacity to think rationally, act purposefully and deal effectively with the environment.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – A mood disorder in which the person has suffered at least one depressive episode, characterised by sadness, hopelessness, helplessness
Mental Disorder – A significant impairment in psychological functioning.
Meta-analysis – A statistical method that combines the results of many studies on the same subject.
Mood Disorder – A major disturbance in mood or emotion, such as depression or mania
Mood – A low-intensity, long-lasting emotional state.
Motivation – Mechanisms within an organism that initiate, sustain and direct activities and behavior.
Neonate – A new-born infant during the first weeks after birth.
Parental responsiveness – Caregiving that is based on sensitivity to a child’s feelings, needs, rhythms and signals.
Person-centered therapy (PCT) – A nondirective therapy (also called client-centered therapy) developed by Carl Rogers which focuses on drawing insights from conscious thoughts and feelings. The therapist is genuine and empathetic, providing care and understanding, taking a positive view of individuals. The goal is for the person to be able to accept himsel/herself and become fully functioning.
Placebo effect – Changes in behavior due to expectations that a drug, or some other treatment, will have this effect, when in fact the person has only taken a placebo (sham drug) with no real chemical effects.
Reel Therapy – The use of movies to aid psychotherapy clients in understanding and resolving their own issues.
Sample – A portion of a population.
Secure attachment – A positive and stable emotional bond (often in the context of infant -mother/caregiver interactions).
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – The sudden death of an infant younger than one year that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.