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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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Lapsus: an error of speech, which is bizarre, illogical and apparently made casually and for no reason at all. A so-called lapsus linguae or ‘slip of the tongue’ might for example consist in pronouncing a certain word in the place of another word. According to S. Freud, a lapsus reflects subconscious content, which would normally be repressed by conscious censoring mechanisms.

Latency period: the fourth stage of psycho-sexual development, lasting from age 4-5 until puberty. During this period children momentarily leave aside their sexual drives to concentrate energy on productive activities such as nurturing friendships, school work, sports etc.

Latent content: in psychoanalysis, the term refers to the presumed true meaning of dreams concealed beneath a manifest content.

Libido: in psychoanalysis, the energy which provides force to constructive human activities and endeavours. The energy underlying sexuality. The opposite of ‘destrudo’.

Lobotomy: a surgical procedure, whereby certain nerve pathways between the cerebral lobes are cut in the hope that this may produce a positive modification of behaviour. It was once believed this was an effective treatment for schizophrenia

Logamnesia: a condition in which a person is incapable of recognising written or spoken words. A common symptom of aphasia.

Logorrhea: an abnormal and rapid flow of words used to compose incoherent speech. A symptom of maniacal episodes (See Bipolar Disorder).

Long-term memory (LTM): the memory which stores all of the memories a person has collected over his/her lifetime: also those of the most remote periods.

Ludic (function): referring to play and recreational activities which in certain contexts might allow an individual to relive, at the symbolic level, the problems and conflicts of daily living.

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