a b c d e f g h i k l m n o p r s t u
v w z
barbituates: A class of synthetic sedative drugs that are addictive
and in large doses can cause death by almost completely relaxing the diaphragm.
baseline: The state of a phenomenon before the independent variable
is manipulated, providing a standard against which the effects of the
variable can be measured.
bedlam: A term that describes a scene or place involving a wild
uproar or confusion. The term is derived from the scenes at Bethlehem
Hospital in London, where unrestrained groups of mentally ill people interacted
with each other.
behaviour genetics: The study of individual differences in behaviour
that are attributable to differences in genetic makeup.
behaviour modification: A term sometimes used interchangeably
with behaviour therapy.
behaviour rehearsal: A behaviour therapy technique in which a
client practices new behaviour in the consulting room, often aided by demonstrations and role-play
by the therapist.
behaviour therapy: A branch of psychotherapy narrowly conceived
as the application of classical and operant conditioning to the alteration
of clinical problems, but more broadly conceived as applied experimental
psychology in a clinical context.
behavioural assessment: A sampling of ongoing cognitions, feelings,
and overt behaviour in their situational context. Contrast with projective
test and personality inventory.
behavioural medicine: An interdisciplinary field concerned with
integrating knowledge from medicine and behavioural science to understand
health and illness and to prevent as well as to treat psychophysiological
disorders and other illnesses in which a person’s psyche plays a role.
See also health psychology.
behavioural observation: A form of behavioural assessment that
entails careful observation of a person’s overt behaviour in a particular
behavioural pediatrics: A branch of behavioural medicine concerned
with psychological aspects of childhood medical problems.
behaviourism: The school of psychology associated with John B.
Watson, who proposed that observable behaviour, not consciousness, is
the proper subject matter of psychology. Currently, many who consider
themselves behaviourists do use mediational concepts, provided they are
firmly anchored to observables.
bell and pad: A behaviour therapy technique for eliminating nocturnal
enuresis; if the child wets, an electric circuit is closed and a bell
sounds, waking the child.
best practices model: An approach to treatment that focuses on
the most efficacious interventions as determined by empirical research.
bilateral ECT: Electroconvulsive therapy in which electrodes are
placed on each side of the forehead and an electrical current is passed
between them through both hemispheres of the brain.
binge eating disorder: Categorized in DSM-IV as a diagnosis in
need of further study; includes recurrent episodes of unrestrained eating.
biofeedback: Procedures that provide an individual immediate information
on minute changes in muscle activity, skin temperature, heart rate, blood
pressure, and other somatic functions. It is assumed that voluntary control
over these bodily processes can be achieved through this knowledge, thereby
ameliorating to some extent certain psychophysiological disorders.
biological paradigm: A broad theoretical view that holds that
mental disorders are caused by some aberrant somatic process or defect.
bipolar I disorder: A term applied to the disorder of people who
experience episodes of both mania and depression or of mania alone.
bisexuality: Sexual desire or activity directed toward both men
blocking: A disturbance associated with thought disorders in which
a train of speech is interrupted by silence before an idea is fully expressed.
body dysmorphic disorder: A somatoform disorder marked by preoccupation
with an imagined or exaggerated defect in appearance, for example, facial
wrinkles or excess facial or body hair.
borderline personality disorder: People with a borderline personality
are impulsive and unpredictable, with an uncertain self-image, intense
and unstable social relationships, and extreme mood swings.
brain stem: The part of the brain connecting the spinal cord with
the cerebrum. It contains the pons and medulla oblongata and functions
as a neural relay station.
brief reactive psychosis: A disorder in which a person has a sudden
onset of psychotic symptoms—incoherence, loose associations, delusions,
hallucinations—immediately after a severely disturbing event; the symptoms
last more than a few hours but no more than two weeks. See schizophreniform
brief therapy: Time-limited psychotherapy, usually ego-analytic
in orientation and lasting no more than twenty-five sessions.
Briquet’s syndrome: See somatization
bulimia nervosa: A disorder characterized by episodic uncontrollable
eating binges followed by purging either by vomiting or by taking laxatives.