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PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY GLOSSARY

The glossary/dictionary that you can find in this section of our site gathers all the technical terms that are currently used in psychology and psychotherapy. Each term presents a brief and clear description.


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Behaviourism: behaviourism may be seen from either the theoretical or clinical points of view. In general, behaviourist theories are based on the principle that all ‘abnormal’ behaviour is learned and maintained in the same way as so-called ‘normal’ behaviour and is the result of learning processes. The three main approaches of behaviour therapy are: 1. applied behaviour analysis; 2. the neo-behaviourist model of the mediation of the stimulus and response; and, 3. socio-cognitive theory.

Benzodiazepam (BDZ): psychotropic medication belonging to the class of medicine mainly administered in the symptomatic treatment of anxiety of any origin.

BFQ (Big-Five Questionnaire): a personality questionnaire developed in Italy (Caprara et al., 1993), which involves the investigation of 5 broad areas of the personality considered as fundamental: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience.

Biofeedback: a procedure which provides an individual with information in real time concerning modifications occurring at muscular level, in skin temperature, the heart rate, blood pressure and other functions with the aim of promoting voluntary control over such functions.

Bradykynesia: a generalized slowing down of motor activity.

Bulimia Nervosa: a mental disorder which occurs with continuously repeated binge-eating characterised by eating in a certain period of time (e.g., in two hours) a quantity of food significantly greater than that which most people would eat in the same time interval in similar circumstances, and by the sensation of losing control during such an episode (e.g., the sensation of not being able to stop eating or controlling what and how much one is eating). People suffering from Bulimia N. revert to inappropriate compensatory behaviour to prevent an increase in weight, such as self-induced vomiting, the abuse of laxatives, diuretic substances, enteroclysms, fasting or excessive physical exercise.

Burnout: the pathological result of a stress-generating process which affects those working in the helping professions, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and nurses. The disorder involves a gradual psychophysical deterioration due to an incapacity to sustain and manage a prolonged, enormous quantity of stress caused by their work.

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