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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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Object: in psychoanalysis, the term is very often used to refer to that which might provide for the satisfaction of a drive. The psychoanalytical ‘object’ may be a real object, a person or even representations of either objects or persons. In children of pre-school age, the construction of the libido object is the necessary requisite for the engendering of the first affective relationship.

Objective Test (personality test): an instrument used to analyze the personality, based on questions aimed at investigating specific areas of the mind.

Obnubilation: a state of consciousness, ranging from a clouding of thoughts to stupor close to a comatose state. Obnubilation is always present in mental confusion, regardless of its cause. A very mild form of obnubilation can often occur during the orgasmic reflex.

Obsession: an invasive, repetitive thought, impulse or image, which presents itself in the mind with remarkable frequency and, to the individual experiencing such thoughts, would appear to be irrational and uncontrollable. See Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Occipital lobe: the rear part of each cerebral hemisphere, situated behind the parietal lobe and above the temporal lobe. Active in receiving and analyzing visual information.

Oedipus Complex: a term adopted by S. Freud to refer to the concept postulated by psychoanalysis whereby during infancy (pre-school age) a male child will eventually tend to identify with the father following resolution of a desire relating to his mother. The concept involves sentiments of an ambivalent nature, whereby a child would appear to desire the death of the parent of the same sex and subsequently take the place of the same, and the desire to exclusively possess the parent of the opposite sex.

Oral phase: a term used by Freud to refer to the first stage of psycho-sexual development of infants in the first 18 months of life, during which a child experiences pleasure in the oral area.

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