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Help for Parents of Troubled Teens Including Information on Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Wilderness Therapy Programs
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Glossary
Help for Troubled Teen Families


12-step programs: A system of recovery that that follows an evolving 12-step rule program.

Accommodations (scholastic): Public Schools are required to make adjustments to accommodate children and adults with disabilities.

ADD: See Attention Deficit Disorder

Adderall: Stimulant medication used to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder.

ADHD: See Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity

Adjustment disorder: Conditions with emotional or behavioral symptoms that are in response to identifiable psychological and social stress.

Adolescence: The period from the onset of puberty until the beginning of adulthood.

Affective Disorder: See Mood Disorders

Alcoholism: Addiction to alcohol.

Amphetamines: Drugs that produce a euphoric high by stimulating and increasing the availability of dopamine, causing increased arousal and excitement.

Antisocial personality disorder: A condition characterized by impulsive antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing, and sometimes violence, and lack of shame and guilt.

Anorexia Nervosa: Anorexia is an eating disorder primarily in females that is characterized by the inability to consistently maintain adequate body weight, an intense fear of becoming obese, and an unrealistic, negative body image.

Anxiety: Extreme apprehensiveness related to uncertainty.

Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders can cause intense feelings of anxiety and tension even when there is no apparent danger and the symptoms can cause distress and Interfere with daily activities. Asperger's syndrome: Asperger's Syndrome, also known as Asperger's Disorder or Autistic Psychopathy, is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) that is characterized by severe impairment in social interaction and the development of restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior.

Attachment: The bond between infants and their caregivers.

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD): A developmental disorder that is characterized by inappropriate degrees of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Autism: A childhood disorder that usually appears before the age of 30 months that is characterized by withdrawal, self-stimulation, language and learning disorders.

Behavior: Directly observable and measurable human actions.

Behavior modification: The use of rewards or punishments to reduce or eliminate problematic behavior, or to teach individuals new responses.

Binge eating disorder: People with binge eating disorder, or compulsive overeating frequently consume large amounts of food while feeling a lack of control over their eating.

Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a method of controlling bodily functions using electronic equipment to continuously monitor a physical response, such as breathing, and convert these measurements into signals that a person can read and understand.

Bipolar Disorder / Manic Depression: A mood disorder that involves extreme mood swings from mania-high to depression-low.

Borderline Personality: An impulsive, usually unstable personality style that is characterized by social and relationship problems.

Bulimia: An eating disorder characterized by the uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food (binging) followed by purging methods such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse

Checklist: A list of symptoms of a particular disorder.

Childhood Depression: Similar to depression in adults, children may show depression by being unable to enjoy activities that they once enjoyed, complaining about physical ailments, or may seem bored and have problems concentrating, among other symptoms.

Clinical Psychologists: Mental health professionals who have earned a doctoral degree in psychology and have received extensive clinical training.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A form of psychological therapy that focuses on directly changing both cognitive processes and behavior

Cognitive restructuring: A type of cognitive therapy that teaches an individual how to identify negative, irrational beliefs and replace them with truthful, rational statements.

Cognitive Therapy: Any therapeutic approach that teaches people new beliefs, new expectations, and new ways of thinking.

Comorbidity: The presence of co-existing or additional diseases or disorders

Compulsion: Repetitive behavior or rituals.

Compulsive overeating: Compulsive overeating is an eating disorder which involves binge eating but without the purging aspects of bulimia.

Compulsive Personality: Individuals who are unusually rigid in their behavior.

Conduct Disorder (CD): A persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others and important social norms and rules are violated.

Co-occurring disorders: See Comorbidity

Coping: Attempts by individuals to deal with the source of stress and/or control their reactions to it.

Counselor, LCPC: A Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor is a mental health professional trained in the application of psychotherapy techniques.

Day treatment: Therapeutic or medical treatment on an outpatient, daily basis.

Delusions: Systematized false beliefs, often of grandeur or persecution.

Denial: A defense mechanism in which a feeling or wish is blocked by the person because the conscious admission of the thought or feeling would be too painful.

Depressants: Drugs that reduce the activity of the central nervous system, leading to a sense of relaxation, drowsiness, and lowered inhibitions.

Depression: A mood disorder characterized by extreme sadness and feelings of hopelessness.

Detoxification: The treatment that is designed to free an addict from his or her addiction.

Development: The more-or-less predictable changes in behavior associated with increasing age.

Developmental Disorders: Serious delays in the development of one or more areas of development and functioning.

Diagnosis: The determination that is made on the nature of a disease or disorder.

Diagnostic: Refers to something that is used to determine the cause of an illness or disorder.

Disorder: An irregularity: disease, ailment or disturbance.

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter involved in various brain structures, including those that control motor action.

Drama Therapy / Psychodrama: Drama therapy is defined by the National Association for Drama Therapy as "the systematic and intentional use of drama/theater processes, products, and associations to achieve the therapeutic goals of symptom

relief, emotional and physical integration and personal growth."

Drug testing: A method using urine or blood to determine the amounts and the types of drugs that are in an individual's body or bloodstream.

Drug therapy: A medical therapy that uses chemicals to treat abnormal behavior.

DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fourth Edition. The American Psychiatric Association's authoritative compendium of differential diagnoses for psychiatric disorders.

Dyslexia: Describes a reading disability that is characterized by impaired word recognition or decoding skills or reading comprehension difficulties.

Eating disorder: A group of disorders characterized by physiological and psychological disturbances in appetite or food intake.

Educational Advocate: A person who can serve as a go-between and an interpreter of the laws of special needs students and who is an expert in IEP evaluations and planning procedures and processes.

Educational Consultant: An educational consultant is someone who advises on educational planning, placement for at-risk students, and general counseling on educational placement.

Educational Psychology: The field in which principles of learning, cognition, and other aspects of psychology are applied to improve education.

EEG Biofeedback Therapy: EEG biofeedback therapy, also known as neurofeedback, is a type of biofeedback therapy specifically utilizing brain-wave information

Emotional Disturbance / Behavioral Disorder: A term to classify children who exhibit extreme and/or unacceptable behavior problems.

Emotional Growth School: Emotional growth schools are highly structured environments that stress academics and teach coping skills.

Environmental Psychology: The effects of the physical environment on behavior and mental processes.

Experiential Therapy: A method of therapy that is 'hands on' for both the therapist and the individual being treated: some examples of this are equine therapy and outdoor adventure programs.

Explosive Disorder: The failure to resist aggressive impulses resulting in destruction of property or other violent acts.

Exposure Therapy: A form of behavioral therapy that slowly exposes a person to whatever triggers their problem.

Family Therapy: A therapeutic method that involves the entire family unit.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A condition affecting the children of mothers who consume large quantities of alcohol during pregnancy; it can involve learning disabilities, attentional

difficulties, and physical and emotional disability.

Flashback: An overwhelming memory of an event or trauma.

Generic: A drug not protected by a trademark; it signifies the drug's scientific name rather than the brand name.

Group Therapy: Psychotherapy conducted in groups.

Hyperactivity: Behavior, mostly in children, that is marked by high levels of activity and restlessness.

Hypomania: An episode in which the individual experiences a mild form of mania consisting of emotional highs, scattered thoughts, and over-activity.

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Act, which identifies specific categories of disabilities under which children may be eligible for special education and related services.

Identification: The tendency to base one's identity and actions on individuals who are successful in gaining satisfaction from life.

IEP: Individual Education Plan; a written statement of a child's educational program that identifies the school accommodations and services a child needs so that he or she may grow and learn during the school year.

Inhalants: Toxic substances that produce a sense of intoxication when inhaled.

Inpatient treatment: Treatment on a 24/7 basis in a residential or live-in facility.

Intelligence: The ability of a person to reason, to learn from experience, and to cope with daily living.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ): A measure of an individual's intelligence potential based on a set of norms derived from standardized tests.

Intervention: A clinical process facilitated by a trained professional whose objective is to interrupt the cycles of addiction in an individual.

Language Disorder: A deficiency or lag in the ability to express ideas or understand language.

Learning Disabilities: Impairment in a specific mental process that affects learning.

Learning Specialist: Professional who assesses people to determine if they have learning disabilities or are eligible for Special Education, and provides remedial help to them.

Life Events: Psychologically significant events that occur in a person's life, such as divorce, childbirth, or change in employment.

Mania: A mood disorder characterized by racing thoughts, pressured speech, irritability or euphoria, and marked impairments in judgment. See Bi-polar disorder.

Manic-depression: See Bi-Polar Disorder

Marriage Therapy: A form of treatment in which a therapist treats both husband and wife and the partnership as a whole.

Maturation: Systematic physical growth of the body, including the nervous system.

Medication trial: In medication therapy, a trial period that tests the dosages and the effects of any new medication that is introduced.

Medication therapy: Treating diseases or disorders through the use of medications.

Modeling: Learning based on observation of the behavior of another.

Mood Disorder: Psychological disorders such as depression and bi-polar that involve depression and/or abnormal elation.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a safe imaging technique utilizing magnetic resonance used to obtain detailed views of brain structure and function.

Multi-modal treatment: Multi-modal treatment or therapy is a combination of both medication and behavior modification.

Narcotics: Powerful and highly addictive depressants.

Neurofeedback: Also known as EEG Biofeedback Therapy, it is sometimes used to improve attention control abilities.

Neurotransmitters: Chemical substances produced by axons that transmit messages across the synapses.

NIH: The National Institutes of Health.

Nutrition Therapy: A method of treating disorders and diseases through the use of carefully monitored nutritional diets.

Obedience: Doing what one is told to do by people in authority.

Obsession: Repeating and persistent thoughts, impulses, and images that are unwanted and case anxiety or distress.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This disorder is characterized by anxious thoughts or rituals.

Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists evaluate, treat, and consult with individuals whose abilities to cope with the tasks of everyday living are threatened or impaired by physical illness or injury, psychosocial disability, or developmental deficits.

Opiates: Narcotic drugs derived from the opium poppy.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior.

Outdoor therapy: Programs in which adolescent participants are placed by parents or custodial authorities to change destructive, dysfunctional, or problem behaviors, through clinically supervised therapeutic activities in outdoor settings.

Outpatient treatment: Treatment where patients are not required to stay overnight at the facility.

Panic attacks/panic disorder: A stress-related, brief feeling of intense fear that causes physiological reactions such as rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, and dizziness.

Paxil: An antidepressant medication

Perception: The process of organizing and interpreting information received from the outside world.

Personality: The typical ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that makes each person unique.

Personality Disorders: Psychological disorders characterized by personality patterns that cause the inability to get along with others.

Phobia: Abnormal and persistent fear of very specific situations or things.

Positive reinforcement: A consequence of behavior that in turn leads to an increase in the probability of that behavior's reoccurrence.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An anxiety disorder in which symptoms develop following an extremely distressing event such as sexual assault or military combat.

Psychiatric Social Workers: Trained mental health professionals who understand the effects of environmental factors of mental disorders.

Psychiatrists: Mental health professionals who have earned their M.D. degree, psychiatrists are experts in medication therapies, diagnoses, psychotherapy, or psychoanalysis.

Psychologist: A professional who holds a degree in psychology and is licensed to furnish diagnostic, assessment, preventative, and therapeutic services to individuals.

Psychosis / Psychotic Disorders: An extreme disorder marked by distorted perceptions of reality and n many cases accompanied by hallucinations and delusions.

Psychopharmacology: The management of psychiatric illness using medication such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medications.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of mental disorders, emotional problems, and personality difficulties through talking with a therapist.

Psychoanalysis: A method of psychological treatment that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.

Psychoanalytic Method: The means to bring forth unconscious motives and conflicts into the consciousness.

Psychoeducational Diagnostician: Mental health professionals who provide assessments and make recommendations for the treatment of ADD and/or learning disabilities.

Psychotherapist: A mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor who practices psychotherapy.

Puberty: The stage in physical development at which the individual is first physically capable of sexual reproduction.

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD): A disturbance that involves social interactions due sometimes to the result of the neglect of the child's basic physical and emotional needs.

Recovery: Personal process of discovery, release, and change in the lives of an individual, whether recovering from addiction to substances, compulsion, or some other dysfunction. Generally, Recovery (with a capital "R") refers more to the results of the 12-Step Program and self-help support groups that follow that method.

Recovery programs: A systematic method to facilitate and create continuity in the recovery of individuals.

Rehabilitation: To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education

Remedial education: Education that focuses on fixing deficiencies, teaching basic skills and content mastery.

Residential Treatment Program: The definition of an RTP varies from state to state, however it can be defined as a facility operated for the primary purpose of providing residential psychiatric care to individuals.

Residential Treatment School: A residential treatment program or school provides a full professional staff that includes therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists

Ritalin: A stimulant medication used to treat ADD.

School Phobia: An inappropriate fear of attending school, causing anxiety.

School Psychologist: A psychologist who aids schools by testing children to determine eligibility for placement in special education programs and who consults with teachers and parents.

Sedatives: Depressants that in mild doses produce a state of calm relaxation.

Self-medication: Self-treatment of disturbances and disorders using medications, drugs, and alcohol among other methods.

Separation Anxiety: Intense anxiety experienced by children whenever they are separated from their parents.

Sleep disorders: Any of a variety of disturbances of sleep.

Social norms: Guidelines provided by every culture for judging acceptable and unacceptable behavior

Social Phobia: Anxiety caused by social or performance situations.

Social skills training: The use of techniques of operant conditioning to teach social skills to persons who lack them.

Special Education: Resource programs and all other special accommodations that support, modify or supplement the standard education program of public school.

Speech Disorders: Unintelligible or impaired oral communication.

Stimulant: Drugs that increase the activity of the central nervous system, providing a sense of energy and well-being.

Stress: Any event or circumstance that strains or exceeds an individual's ability to cope.

Substance Abuse: The continued use of alcohol or other drugs even while knowing that the continued use is creating problems socially, physically, or psychologically.

Support groups: Any group without a physician that offers support and help through common experience to an individual; examples are 12-step programs, Internet support groups, and Weight Watchers.

Therapeutic Residential Boarding School: Fully accredited schools with emotional growth programs

Therapeutic Wilderness Program: A method of experiential therapy that challenges the individual, helps promote cooperation, and helps build self-esteem.

Trauma: The psychiatric definition of "trauma" is "an event outside normal human experience." It is a sudden and potentially life threatening event. See Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Tourette's Syndrome: Tourette's Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and/or inappropriate vocal outbursts.





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