Terminology

Anxiety

Anxiety is an unpleasant physical and emotional state, often about a future threat. It involves worrying thoughts, feelings of dread or fear and physical symptoms such as tension, concentration difficulties and restlessness.

Assertiveness

Assertiveness is the ability to demonstrate confidence and self-assurance without aggression. If a person struggles with assertiveness, they may often appear as passive and submissive to others, ignoring or denying their own rights or needs.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

An ASD is a condition that affects a person’s social interaction, communication and behaviour. Features of ASD usually develop in childhood, although they may not be detected until later in life. Broadly, key signs and symptoms include difficulties understanding the emotions of others, making repetitive movements and distress if set routines are disrupted.

Body image issues

A person with difficulties relating to their body image will typically spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. They may also have a distorted view of their appearance, for example excessive focus and preoccupation on relatively minor flaws or a belief that they look abnormal. It does not mean a person is vain or self-obsessed.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a form of psychological therapy that helps an individual identify events, thoughts and emotions that explain a problem they experience (e.g. the reason a person may hurt themselves). It is an exceptionally collaborative intervention where a person is very actively involved in their own therapy. It is used to help people with a variety of problems including personality difficulties, abuse issues and self-harming behaviours.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that aims to identify an individual’s unhelpful thinking styles and change their behaviour or responses to situations. It teaches an individual to recognise the cycle and connection between their thoughts, their feelings (physical and emotional) and their behaviours or actions. CBT is used to help people with a variety of problems including anxiety, depression, PTSD and eating disorders.

Clinical Neuropsychology

Clinical Neuropsychologists deal with the assessment and rehabilitation of people with brain injury or other neurological disease such as strokes, dementia, tumours and degenerative brain diseases. They hold a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with a further diploma in neuropsychology and are registered with the HCPC.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and promote psychological wellbeing. They deal with mental and physical health problems and work with adults and children. They hold a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and are registered with the HCPC.

Depression

Depression involves various symptoms including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, tearfulness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities as well as physical symptoms such as fatigue, poor sleep, loss of appetite and aches and pains. In all cases these symptoms will be persistent and long-lasting, rather than just a few days of feeling unhappy.

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is an attitude towards food that causes an individual to change their eating behaviour due to excessive focus upon their weight and shape. An individual may starve themselves, make themselves sick, use laxatives or overeat.

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychological therapy that is used to treat the symptoms of PTSD. It aims to process the distressing memories associated with the traumatic event whilst supporting the individual to develop coping mechanisms.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a psychological therapy that works with families and couples to help them move towards change and manage difficulties. It views the systems within the family and interactions within it as crucial to the change process. Family therapy is frequently used in work with children and adolescents as well as with certain conditions such as psychosis.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychologists work with the psychological aspects of legal processes, including applying theory to criminal investigations, understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour, and the treatment of criminals. They hold a masters degree and are registered with the HCPC.

Genearlised Anxiety Disorder

GAD involves chronic worry; once one issue is resolved, another worry will occur. Symptoms include racing thoughts, difficulties concentrating. The worry is frequently about the worst possible conclusion to a situation.

Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is an obsessive worry about health that impacts upon an individual’s ability to function. Unexplained physical symptoms may co-exist with anxiety (e.g. chest pain and headaches) that the individual assumes is a sign of serious illness. Frequent reassurance is sought from medical professionals.

Health Care Professions Council

A regulatory body that safeguards the public. It is a criminal offence for someone to claim they are registered with the HCPC if they are not or to use a protected title when they are not entitled to.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD involves obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. Obsessions are thoughts that preoccupy an individuals’ mind that are experienced as distressing and frightening. Compulsions are behaviours that an individual engages in to prevent the obsession from coming true as well as to reduce the anxiety they experience about the obsession itself.

Occupational Psychology

Occupational psychologists help organisations and their workforce. They cover areas such as how to motivate staff, help individuals gain new skills, or return to work after periods of absence. They hold a masters degree and are registered with the HCPC.

Panic

Panic is a sudden rush of physical symptoms (e.g. nausea, sweating, rapid heart rate) and emotional symptoms (e.g. fear, anxiety) that can occur at any time. A panic attack can be extremely frightening but they are not dangerous.

Personality difficulties

A person with personality difficulties will often differ from others in ways that they think or how they relate to others. It can often leave a person feeling overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness or emptiness and struggling with relationships with others. On occasions an individual with personality difficulties may hurt themselves, misuse alcohol or drugs.

Phobias

A phobia is an intense and overwhelming fear of something (e.g. an object, place, situation or animal) due to an unrealistic sense of danger associated with it. A phobia is greater than a fear and is can impact upon a person’s ability to function, such as avoiding the thing that causes them such anxiety to a point that it restricts their everyday life.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety caused by an extremely frightening event in which an individual is exposed to or is threatened with significant harm, death or is witness to this in relation to someone else. This type of anxiety is often experienced via nightmares, images of the event, sleep disturbance and will impact upon a person’s daily functioning.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem is used to encompass the beliefs we have about ourselves, such as the person we are, our abilities, the positive and negative things about us. When a person struggles with self-esteem, their beliefs about themselves will be negative and they will focus heavily upon their weaknesses or mistakes.

Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy is a psychological therapy that aims to adapt deep rooted negative thoughts that are based in past experiences, often from childhood.