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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HIP (Human Information Processing): a theory relating to the elaboration of information by the human brain.

Humanistic psychology (Maslow and Rogers): a psychological approach which emphasizes the self-realization of the individual.

Huntington’s Chorea: a degenerative disorder of motor functions, as occurs in Parkinson’s Disease. The disorder differs from Parkinson’s Disease on account of its rarity, a strong genetic component and especially the appearance of severe dementia. Onset of the disease occurs around age 45. Death will occur approximately 15 years following the appearance of the earliest symptoms.

Hurler’s syndrome: a syndrome caused by an accumulation of mucopolysaccharides, which causes dwarfism, blindness and mental retardation.

Hyperactivity: a difficulty in organizing complex actions (with a tendency to rapidly switch from one activity to another), waiting for one’s turn in group situations, and also in respecting rules, and the rhythm and territory of other people. See Hyperactivity Disorder.

Hypersomnia: a strong desire to sleep for most of the day. Also present in Major Depression.

Hypervigilance: a perpetual state of raised psycho-physical arousal.

Hypnosis: a momentary and functional modification of the state of consciousness, in which it is possible to effect changes (also momentary and functional) in the areas of behaviour, perception and memory. See ‘Hypnotherapy’.

Hypochondriasis: a disorder characterised by an erroneous interpretation of real, physical signs and symptoms, which engenders worry or a persistent conviction of having a serious disease and non-responsiveness with respect to adequate medical advice. See Somatoform Disorders.

Hysteria: a serious neurosis characterised by alterations of the state of consciousness (See ‘Dissociation’) and symptoms of the sensory and motor type. The subject loses contact with reality and reacts in a clearly ‘histrionic’ manner with dramatic tension in evidently harmless and insignificant situations: for example, swooning and falling to the floor. The disorder also presents symptoms such as intense physical pain, temporary blindness, paralysis of the limbs, speech problems and amnesia.

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