Mental Health 101

Need to brush up on some terms and definitions? Was something mentioned in your session, and you’re looking for clarification? You’ve come to the right webpage. This list is full of all-things issues and needs, conveniently listed from A to Z!

Addictions – Addiction to chemicals (including alcohol), or other compulsive behaviors, such as eating, gambling, sex, or internet use.
Related article:  Warning Signs of Relapse.

Adjustment Disorders – Adjustment to stressful life events causing clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms.

Adoption – Concerns related to adoption, such as attachment, identity, or grief issues.

African American Issues – Needs related to African American cultural identity, such as affiliation, isolation, and confronting and coping with discrimination.

Alcohol Abuse/Dependence – Causes and effects of problematic alcohol use that results in negative consequences, loss of control, or difficulty abstaining.

Anger Management – Addressing maladaptive ways of experiencing and expressing anger.

Anxiety – An emotional and physiological state of apprehension and distress that may manifest in different ways, including panic, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, posttraumatic or acute stress, or generalized anxiety.
For an article related to this topic, click here.

Art Therapy – A set of techniques and perspectives that use artistic expression as a means of communication, therapeutic work, and assessment.

Asperger’s Disorder – A pervasive developmental disorder that features impaired social interaction and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.
For resources, click here.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Persistent inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity, in varying combinations in different individuals, that interferes with social, academic, or vocational functioning.

Autism – A pervasive developmental disorder that features marked impairment in social interaction and communication and significantly restricted repertoire of interests and activities.
For resources click, here.

Behavior Modification – A therapeutic approach that utilizes carefully identified reinforcers to influence behavioral change in a desired direction.

Bipolar Disorder – A mood disorder characterized by the presence of at least one manic episode, or by the presence of at least one hypomanic and one depressive episode. Manic or hypomanic episodes involve varying decrees of distinctly elevated mood, with inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increased talkativeness, flight of ideas, and distractibility. Depressive episodes include depressed mood, diminished interest or pleasure, change in appetite, sleep disturbance, psychomotor effects, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration, or thoughts of death and suicidal ideation.

Blindness/Visual Impairment – Coping with stress or loss issues related to blindness or other visual impairment.

Chemical Abuse/Dependency – Causes and effects of problematic drug use that results in negative consequences, loss of control, or difficulty abstaining.

Child Abuse/Neglect – Addressing trauma issues with children and families who have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect.

Childhood Disorders – Any of various disorders occurring in childhood, including mental retardation, learning disorders, communication disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders, tic disorders, separation anxiety, selective mutism, and reactive attachment disorder.

Christian Counseling – A therapeutic approach utilizing Christian teaching and consistent with Christian beliefs.

Chronic Mental Illness – Coping with long-term mental illness, including addressing the impact of long-term effects and planning for future needs.

Chronic Pain – Addressing stress and loss issues related to chronic pain and utilizing new coping mechanisms.

Chronic/Terminal Illness Pain – Addressing stress, grief, and loss issues related to chronic or terminal illness and utilizing adaptive coping skills.
For an article related to this topic, click here.

Clinical Supervision – Providing support, guidance, and exploration of clinical, personal, and ethical issues for professionals, paraprofessionals, and students.

Comorbid Medical Conditions – Addressing psychological, emotional, and behavioral concerns with coexisting medical conditions.

Compulsive Gambling – Causes and effects of problematic gambling behavior that results in negative consequences, loss of control, or difficulty abstaining.
For an article related to this topic, click here.

Conduct Disorder – A pattern of behavior in childhood or adolescence in which there is a consistent defiance of societal norms or infringement on others, which may include aggression, vandalism, deceit, or serious rule violations.

Conflict Resolution – Helping parties to communicate, identify common ground, think creatively, negotiate, and resolve and learn from conflict.

Couples/Marital Therapy – Working with couples to facilitate communication, solve problems, experience greater intimacy, and gain new insights.
Related articles: Reflective Listening, Ways to Save a Marriage with Niceness, How to Stay Connected After the Arrival of a Baby, Give Your Baby the Gift of a Lifetime: A Strong Marriage, and How Marriage Therapy Can Help.
Related video: Building Relationships

Court-Ordered Evaluations/Reports – We do not offer forensic assessments; however, we can provide general psychosocial or behavior-based assessments.

Critical Incident Debriefing – Meeting with individuals in the workplace, school, or community to facilitate communication, process feelings, problem-solve, and educate in the aftermath of a traumatic or otherwise distressing event.

Cultural/Ethnic Issues – Needs related to cultural and ethnic identity, such as affiliation, isolation, and confronting and coping with discrimination.

Delirium – A disturbance of consciousness and change in cognition that develop over a short period of time.

Dementia – A disorder featuring multiple cognitive deficits that include impairment in memory, including dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.

Depression – A mood disorder characterized by depressed mood, diminished interest or pleasure, change in appetite, sleep disturbance, psychomotor effects, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration, or thoughts of death and suicidal ideation.

Developmental Disability – A disability defined by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development, including reciprocal social interaction skills, communication, or the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities.

Disability Assessments – Providing a clinical assessment as part of the required supporting documentation for application for disability benefits.

Divorce – Helping couples navigate the process of separation and divorce, as well as addressing grief and anger issues with children and families who are experiencing the effects of a separation or divorce.

Dissociation – A disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception, which may include dissociative amnesia or fugue, depersonalization disorder, or dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder).

Domestic Violence – Addressing issues of domestic violence with individuals, couples, children, or families, including trauma issues with survivors and behavioral modification with offenders.

Eating Disorders – Severe disruption in eating behavior, including anorexia nervosa, characterized by a refusal to maintain minimally normal body weight, fear of gaining weight, and disturbed body image; bulimia nervosa, characterized by binge eating, inappropriate compensatory purging behavior, and self-evaluation excessively influenced by body shape and weight; or other disordered eating, such as compulsive over-eating.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services (Mandated) – A referral by an employer to assessment or counseling because of a work performance issue, in which the therapist is to provide recommendations to the employer, as well as assistance to the employee.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services (Voluntary) – Services offered by employers to assist employees who are experiencing problems, in which assistance is typically characterized by being a short-term, solution-focused process, with an emphasis on assessment, and appropriate referral, if necessary.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – A therapy that uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, repeatedly activating opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system, which is particularly effective in treating such presenting issues as chronic pain, phobias, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders and poor self-image, stress, worry, stage fright, performance anxiety, and recovery from sexual abuse and other trauma.

Family Therapy – Therapy involving members of a family all meeting together with a therapist, identifying relationship dynamics, with problematic patterns being replicated, offering the opportunity for exploring alternative choices.

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender – Needs related to sexual identity, such as affiliation, isolation, and confronting and coping with discrimination.

For resources, click here.

Grief/Bereavement – Practice of healthy grieving and adjustment to loss and life change.
For an article related to this topic, click here.

Group Therapy – Therapy consisting of a group of individuals bonded by a common intention and meeting together with a therapist or co-therapists, providing opportunities for insight and self-expression, in the context of authentic and empathic give-and-take with others, often focused on a particular presenting issue or a common characteristic.
For resources, click here.

HIV/AIDS Issues – Needs related to HIV/AIDS positive status, such as addressing grief, dealing with health issues, experiencing isolation, and coping with discrimination.
Infertility – Issues related to infertility, such as experiencing grief, exploring family alternatives, and dealing with relationship conflict.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder – A disorder characterized by failure to resist aggressive impulses resulting in serious assaultive or destructive acts.

Learning Disabilities – Disorders diagnosed when an individual’s achievement in specific academic areas falls significantly below that expected for the individual’s age, schooling, and level of intelligence.
Military Lifestyle Issues – Adjustment to changes brought about by enlistment in the armed forces by an individual or a loved one, including long separation from family, issues of control and structure in the military, and trauma and loss issues associated with participation in combat.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Recurrent obsessions (inappropriate or intrusive thoughts, impulses, or images) or compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts intended to reduce anxiety), which are excessive or unreasonable and which cause marked distress, investment of time, or interference with ones functioning or relationships.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder – A recurrent pattern emerging in young people consisting of negative, defiant, disobedient, or hostile behavior toward authority figures, which features loss of temper, arguing, refusal to comply with requests or rules, deliberately annoying and blaming others, irritability, anger and resentment, or spite and vindictiveness.

Panic – A sudden onset of intense apprehension or anxiety, with symptoms that may include shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fear of loss of control.

Parenting Issues – Concerns related to parenting, including coping with stress, improving communication, implementing behavioral limit-setting, and special concerns, such as co-parenting in conjunction with a former spouse.
Related articles: Parents and Teens: Surviving Adolescence Together and Five Tips to Deescalate Mom/Daughter Drama.

Personality Disorders – An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from societal expectations, is pervasive and inflexible, has an early onset, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.

Phase of Life Problem – Problems associated with a particular developmental phase or life circumstance, such as entering school, leaving home, starting a career, or experiencing changes related to marriage, divorce, or retirement.

Phobias – Persistent fear of discernible objects or situations, in which exposure provokes anxiety, usually with the recognition that the fear is excessive, and in which the feared stimulus is either avoided or endured with dread, and which interferes significantly with an individual’s life.

Physical Abuse – Addressing trauma issues with individuals and families who have experienced physical abuse of themselves or a loved one or who have been a physical abuse perpetrator.

Play Therapy – A type of therapy often used with younger children in communication and resolution of issues takes place in the context of play activity, with unobtrusive participation by a play therapist.
Related articles: Talking through Symbolism and Metaphors in Play Therapy and PLAYFUL: Re-Create Yourself by Adding Playfulness to your Life.

Psychosis/Schizophrenia – A class of disorders generally characterized by such symptoms or characteristics as the presence of delusional beliefs, prominent hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, or impairment in reality testing, which grossly interferes with the capacity to meet life demands.

Postpartum Depression – Depressive symptoms experienced after childbirth or in early child-rearing.
Related articles: Understanding Postpartum Depression and Becoming a New Mom: Why do I Feel Inadequate and Empty?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Intense fear, helplessness, or horror after having experienced or witnessed an extremely traumatic event, and the experience of symptoms that may include persistent reexperiencing of the event, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, numbing of general responsiveness, and increased arousal, causing significant distress or impairment.

Public Speaking/Training/Continuing Education – Provision of instruction on virtually any topic or presenting issue, including EAP training sessions, seminars, workshops, presentations, lectures, and multi-media interviews and promotions.


Renting Space for Professional Services – Offices, group spaces, and a lecture room are available for rental for professional services, with flexible hours, and reasonable rates.

School Problems – Addressing a number of school-related issues, including learning disorders, separation anxiety, behavior problems, and social stressors.

Related articles: Bullying and Getting Back to School.
Related videos: Bullying, Back to School Bullying, and Back to School Blues.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – a form of psychotherapy that uses modifications directly at the most basic sensorimotor level (rather than modifications at the conscious goal-oriented behavioral level) as a primary entry point in processing trauma, to resolve the limitations of behavior, thinking and feeling caused by trauma.

Sexual Abuse Assessment – Assessing for the presence of an individual, usually a young person, having been sexually abused.

Sexual Abuse Offenders – Issues related to an individual’s participating as a sexual abuse offender, including history, accountability, and behavior modification.

Sexual Abuse Survivors – Issues related to the survival of sexual abuse, including response to trauma, grief, guilt, and expression and confrontation.

Sexual Disorders – A diverse group of problem areas that involving distress with regard to sexual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Sexual Dysfunction – Disturbances in sexual desire or arousal

Social Skills Training – Providing instruction and problem-solving skills for individuals with social deficits, inexperience, or anxiety.

Somatization Disorder – Patterns of recurring, multiple, clinically significant somatic complaints, which cannot be fully explained by a known medical condition.

Stress Management – Assistance with identifying sources of stress, learning alternative perspectives, and practicing new coping strategies to reduce distressing feelings and unproductive responses to stressors.

Supervision – Clinical supervision provided in groups or individually, for professionals, paraprofessionals, and students, and meeting the requirements for supervised experience as designated by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Time Management – Assistance with planning and utilizing time effectively, with greater gratification and productivity.

Trauma – The experience of a profoundly distressing life event or loss, such as a threat of death, an injury or assault, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, participation in combat, or experiencing an accident or disaster.


Vocational Assessment/Counseling – Help with identifying vocational aptitudes, interests, and values, assessing work behaviors and environments, and matching work preferences to job opportunities.
Women’s Issues – Needs related to women and feminine issues, including attending to communication, identity, and affiliation needs, and coping with discrimination and harassment.