Glossary Terms

Venture into the soothing clarity of our glossary. Like smooth stones in a Zen garden, each term brings a sense of order and comprehension

Systemic Therapy

A type of psychotherapy that seeks to address people not on an individual level, as had been the focus of earlier forms of therapy, but as people in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics.


A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.

Attachment Theory

A psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans, particularly long-term female-centric caregiving bonds.


An individual's overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth.


The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.


A type of therapy involving conversations with a therapist to understand and change thought patterns that lead to problematic behaviors.


The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health, particularly during periods of stress.


In psychoanalysis, the process by which emotions and desires originally associated with one person, such as a parent or sibling, are unconsciously shifted to another person, especially to the analyst.

Domestic Violence

The abuse of power perpetrated mainly (but not only) by men against women in a relationship or after separation.

Eating Disorders

Any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Sexual Assault

Any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to.

Body Image

The perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception.


The redirection of a psychotherapist's feelings toward the client—or, more generally, as a therapist's emotional entanglement with a client.

Trauma-Informed Care

An approach in mental health care that assumes an understanding of the pervasive nature of trauma and promotes environments of healing and recovery rather than practices and services that may inadvertently re-traumatize.


The realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment, specifically focusing on the synthesis of opposites as a cornerstone of its philosophy.


The process of becoming stronger and more confident, particularly in controlling one's life and advocating for one's rights.

Emotional Regulation

The ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.

Feminist Therapy

A form of psychotherapy rooted in the understanding of the social, cultural, and political context of women's lives, emphasizing the therapeutic relationship, empowerment, and gender equity.


An umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender.


A framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.) might combine to create unique modes of discrimination and privilege.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.


A branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health conditions.

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others.

Reproductive Coercion

Behaviors that interfere with contraception use and pregnancy.

Person-Centered Therapy

A counseling approach that requires the client to take an active role in their treatment with the therapist being nondirective and supportive. It encourages self-exploration and self-acceptance.


A professional service provided by trained individuals to help people manage and overcome mental and emotional problems or improve their quality of life.


The practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment.


A term used to identify a person who does not identify within the traditional gender binaries of male or female.

Object Relations Theory

A variation of psychoanalytic theory that diverges from Sigmund Freud's belief that humans are motivated by sexual and aggressive drives, suggesting instead that humans are primarily motivated by the need for contact with others—the desire for relationships.

Postpartum Depression

A type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes.


A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Positive Psychology

The scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal wellbeing. It studies "positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions... it aims to improve quality of life."

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A type of psychotherapy that helps individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns that have a harmful influence on behavior and emotions.

Gender Identity

An individual's personal sense of having a particular gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A mental health condition triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event.

Body Positivity

A social movement initially created to empower and shed light on plus size women and men, advocating the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race, or appearance.


The time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles, often diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period.

Maternal Mental Health

The psychological well-being of mothers during pregnancy, postpartum period, and beyond.

Empower. Your. Mind.  
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