Glossary of Terms

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Acute
Severe and intense; of abrupt onset; an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care. (MedicineNet)
Acute Psychiatric Crisis
A deterioration of mental health status or an increase in mental health symptoms, along with any of the following criteria: acute (severe, dangerous, or critical) emotional distress; suicidal thoughts or actions; thoughts of harm to oneself or others; physical aggression to others; refusal of psychiatric or medical care because of impaired insight or judgment.
Adaptive
Having the capacity to recognize and adjust behavior according to conceptual and social cues.
Adaptive Developmental Events and Processes
Conceptual, social, behavioral and practical skills needed to function in daily life.
ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity)-impulsivity. (National Institute of Mental Health)
Adolescent
The stage of human development between child and adult, which begins at puberty. Although unique to each individual, the World Health Organization identifies this period generally as between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age.
Anxiety
An intense emotional response caused by an event, environment, person, stressor or thought.
Asylum
“A place of rest or safety” that can take the form of a physical building used for the care of the mentally ill, orphans, or other persons requiring specialized assistance, or protection given by a person, organization or government to someone who is trying to escape harm.
At-Risk
Someone who by virtue of their circumstances is statistically more likely than others to develop unhealthy behaviors, find themselves in physically or emotionally dangerous situations or have less successful outcomes than their peers.
Behavior
A physical act in response to a particular situation or stimulus or the way one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward others.
Behavioral Health
An umbrella term for services provided to people with mental, behavioral, or addictive disorders. Also refers to a type of counseling which includes psychiatric, family, marriage and addictions treatment.
Behavioral Management/Behavior Modification
Represents an approach to therapy that believes a person can improve their emotional state by becoming aware of and changing responses and behaviors.
Bereavement
A state of being sad, grieving, or in mourning after the death or loss of a person or relationship.
Biological
Related through birth.
Caregiver
An individual who provides direct and regular care for another child or adult. A caregiver may be a family member or other kin, a volunteer or a paid professional.
Case Management
A process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet a client's health and human service needs.
Case Study
Intensive observation of a particular individual or small group of individuals. (American Psychological Association)
Child Abuse
According to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-120, child abuse occurs where a child has had physical injury inflicted upon him or her other than by accidental means, has injuries at variance with history given of them, or is in a condition resulting in maltreatment, such as, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment.
Child Guidance Center-Clinic
Out-patient services for children with emotional and behavioral problems. Can include evaluations, treatment, parent education and support for families with adolescents and therapeutic treatment, or study of children, conducted by psychologists, teachers, or other trained professionals.
Child Neglect
According to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-120, child neglect occurs where a child has been abandoned, is being denied proper care and attention physically, emotionally, or morally, or is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to his well-being.
Chronic
Repeated; ongoing.
Clinician
A healthcare professional such as a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or nurse who works directly with patients (as opposed to one who does research or theoretical studies).
Cognitive
Related to thinking, remembering, reasoning, belief processes, and learning.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
A form of psychotherapy where a client’s automatic and unhealthy thinking, behavior, and emotional responses are identified and modified. Built around the concept of practice and repetition, CBT helps people de-stress by learning new methods to change their automatic emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses. Techniques may be cognitive, behavioral, environmental, biological, supportive, interpersonal, or experiential and often include a relaxation or de-stressing component as well like hypnotherapy, massage, meditation, or acupuncture.
Co-morbidity
Having more than one disorder at the same time.
Congregate Care
A shared living environment designed to integrate the housing and services needs of elders and younger disabled individuals. The goal of congregate care is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supportive services in a residential setting. Congregate housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility. (Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs)
Coping
The process of dealing with internal or external demands that are perceived to be threatening or overwhelming.
Counselor
Master’s of Science (MS), A mental health professional who provides guidance in areas such as school problems, drug abuse, family and other relationships and conflict.
Crisis
An event or situation that produces extreme emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress which impairs normal functioning.
Crisis Intervention
A method where one or more people offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience a situation or event that has produced extreme emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress.
Curriculum
A group of courses of study offered by a specific person or institution.
Data Management
The process of controlling information through policies, standards, practices, hardware and software tools.
Developmental
Of, or relating to, the growth of someone or something; the progression from one stage to a later, more complex, or adult stage.
Dysfunctional
Abnormal; impaired; behaving in manner that deviates from normal expectations.
Empirical
Information derived from experiment and observation rather than theory.
Empirically-Supported
Through research and/or clinical trials, a particular method or medication has been shown to be superior to either no treatment at all or another possible treatment.
Evidence-Based
Applying the best available research results (evidence) when making decisions about health care. Health care professionals who perform evidence-based practice use research evidence along with clinical expertise and patient preferences. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
Facilitated
Lead by someone in authority or especially knowledgeable about a subject.
Familial Bond
The connection that unites a biological and/or legal family together. This can extend beyond the immediate genetic or legal family to include friends, caregivers, and others who are considered part of the extended family.
Fee-for-Service Program
A program that charges a fee for individual services provided by the program or clinic, like an office visit, test, or procedure. In a fee-for-service program a different fee is usually charged for each type of service provided, based on the actual cost of providing that service.
Fictive Kin
A version of kinship care, Fictive Kin is the care of children by close family friends.
Foster Parent
A person, at least twenty-one (21) years of age, licensed by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to care for a foster child in a private home, including a prospective adoptive parent who is awaiting the placement of a child, or with whom a child has already been placed, for the purpose of adoption and the adoption has not yet been finalized. (State of Connecticut)
Foster Child
Any person in the care and custody of the commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families who is younger than twenty-one (21) years of age. (State of Connecticut)
Grant-Funded Program
 
Home-Based
Carried out within the home.
Hyperactivity
A physical state of being abnormally active, a.k.a “hyper” Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may: fidget and squirm in their seats; talk nonstop; dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight; have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time; be constantly in motion; and/or have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities. (National Institute of Mental Health)
Impulsivity
A tendency to act suddenly without careful thought. Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may: be very impatient; blurt out inappropriate comments; show their emotions without restraint; act without regard for consequences; have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games; often interrupt conversations or others' activities. (National Institute of Mental Health)
Inter-Disciplinary
Combining or involving two or more academic disciplines, professions or fields of study. (Dictionary.com)
Intervention
An influencing act, by one or more persons, intended to interrupt and modify another person’s behavior.
Intuitive
A perception based on an instinctive feeling independent of reasoning.
Kinship
Any living arrangement in which children do not live with either of their parents and are instead cared for by a relative or someone with whom they have had a prior relationship. The word kin is often used interchangeably with relative; however, when defining kinship care, many state child welfare agencies include persons beyond blood relatives – for example, godparents, family friends, or anyone else with a strong emotional bond to a child. (Rob Green, The Evolution of Kinship Care Policy and Practice)
Licensed Clinician
Mental health professionals who are licensed through the State of Connecticut and provide direct mental health care to clients (as opposed to mental health professionals without direct client care responsibilities like those who work in a laboratory or do research.)
Licensed Therapist
A person who has met the qualifications and passed the test in order to be licensed by the State of Connecticut to practice therapy in the State of Connecticut.
Light-Touch
A subtle, gentle, non-intrusive manner.
Masters-Level Therapist
People who have attained a Master's level degree in one of the following mental health disciplines: Master’s of Social Work (MSW), Master’s of Science (MS), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Registered Art Therapists (ATR), or Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT).
Medication Administration Certification
A program established by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to provide training for medically unlicensed persons to safely administer medications to children in DCF operated and licensed child care facilities and extended day treatment programs. (State of Connecticut)
Mental Health
A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life. (The Free Dictionary)
Mental Illness
A state of emotional and psychological unrest characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, and/or behavior, causing distress and/or impaired functioning.
Modeling
A behavioral therapy technique for learning through observation and imitation of role models.
Multi-Component
 
Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)
A comprehensive therapy method simultaneously involving the child and the rest of the people in their immediate environment including parents/caregivers, family members, extended family and any appropriate additional members, such as and important school or juvenile justice professionals, creating positive short- and long-term change.
Multidisciplinary
Combining or involving two or more academic disciplines, professions or fields of study in an approach to a topic or problem.
Natal
Of or relating to the place or time of one's birth.
Neighborhood-Style Group Home
Residential facilities, usually resembling a private home and located in a residential neighborhood, for providing foster care to a small group of people.
Nurturing
To support and encourage development through physical, emotional and environmental care.
Outpatient
A patient who receives medical treatment without being admitted to a hospital.
Peer
A person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status. (Dictionary.com)
Permanency
Both a process and a result that includes involvement of the youth as a participant or leader in finding a permanent connection with at least one committed adult who provides: a safe, stable and secure parenting relationship; love; unconditional commitment; lifelong support in the context of reunification, a legal adoption, or guardianship, where possible, and in which the youth has the opportunity to maintain contacts with important persons including brothers & sisters. (Seneca Center)
Philosophy
A particular system of belief or thought.
Pre-adoptive
A person who is thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child.
Prenatal
Before birth or related to pregnancy.
Primary Caregiver
The person who has the main responsibility for caring for someone who cannot care fully for themselves. A primary caregiver may be a family member or other kin or a paid professional.
Pro-social
Developing desirable traits in children motivated by empathy or the welfare and/or rights of others such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering.
Psychiatric
Of or relating to mental illness or its treatment.
Psychiatric Clinic
Hospitals or wards specializing in the care and treatment of people with chronic or acute mental disorders.
Psychiatric Crisis
A mental health emergency in which an event or environmental stressor leads to a state of psychological disequilibrium. Crisis is defined on the basis of the severity, not the type of problem facing the individual, and whether any acknowledged trigger factors for a crisis are present. A significant deterioration or relapse in mental condition or illness.
Psychiatric Disorder
A clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that is more neurological (rather than behavioral or psychological) in nature and is associated with present distress or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or loss of freedom. (DSM-IV)
Psychological Trauma
A single event or repeated exposure to events or overwhelming stresses that cause extreme emotional, mental, physical, and/or behavioral distress. It is a normal response to an extreme event.
Psychiatrists
A medical doctor (MD) who has completed a residency in psychiatry and whose primary role is to prescribe medications to help with psychiatric symptoms. (All Things Depression)
Psycho Education
Education intended for patients (and family members) to gain understanding of a specific mental illness and its treatment(s) so they may better manage their own health and wellness with a goal of avoiding relapses.
Psychological
Relating to the mind or emotional state of a person.
Psychotherapy
A talk-based therapy where you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors and how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.
Psychosocial Health
The influence of social environmental variables such as economic, cultural, spiritual, social interactions on an individual’s psychological wellbeing. Often pertains to situations where people have extreme disruptions of environment like disaster, catastrophe or violence.
Psychologist
Usually doctorate level clinicians (PhD or PsyD) whose expertise is in testing/assessment and providing behavioral therapies, but may also be trained in a variety of psychotherapeutic interventions. (All Things Depression)
Recovery
A return to optimal functioning; stabilization.
Residential
The domicile where a person lives, as opposed to a company or business.
Residential Treatment Program
A 24-hour, group living environment under clinical supervision where services ranging from life skills to therapeutic treatment are provided to residents by program staff, social workers, counselors, therapists and others as needed.
Respite
A period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
Reunification
A process of family preservation that works to safely return children who were removed from their families for their protection, back to their families. Quality case plans, family engagement, service coordination, family compliance with case plans, family readiness, and post-reunification services and monitoring are necessary components to reunification.
Self-Regulation
Strategies children and adults use to maintain control over our impulses and responses; mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviors.
Secondary Trauma
Trauma-related stress reactions and symptoms resulting from exposure to another individual’s traumatic experiences, rather than from exposure directly to a traumatic event. Secondary trauma can occur among behavioral health service providers across all behavioral health settings and among all professionals who provide services to those who have experienced trauma (e.g., healthcare providers, peer counselors, first responders, clergy, and intake workers). (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)
Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED)
A diagnosable mental disorder found in persons from birth to 18 years of age that is so severe and long-lasting that it seriously interferes with functioning in family, school, community, or other major life activities. (National Business Group on Health)
Serious Mental Illness (SMI)
A diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that meets the criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and causes functional impairment limiting one or more major life activities. This includes: mood disorders (major depression, dysthymia, mania); anxiety disorders (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder); antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, and other non-affectivepsychoses. (National Business Group on Health)
Social Worker
Master’s of Social Work (MSW) - A mental health professional whose specialized training prepares him or her to consider the social context of people's problems. (American Psychological Association)
Socialization
The skills and habits necessary for engaging with peers and others.
Theoretically-Derived
Based on an assumption or opinion; speculative.
Therapeutic
Having or exhibiting healing powers; tending to make a person healthier; concerned with treatment of illness or disease. (Cambridge Dictionaries Online)
Therapeutic Foster Parent
Specialized training for foster parents to enhance their ability to support the psychological, behavioral, emotional, social and educational needs of children with emotional, behavioral and psychiatric issues placed in their home.
Therapist
A psychoanalyst, psychologist, social worker or counselor who treats people with psychological problems.
Therapy
Treatment intended to relieve or heal mental or psychological disorders.
Trauma
Intense physical and psychological stress reactions to an experience or event. An event that causes a traumatic response in one person may not affect another person. It’s not the event itself that is traumatic; it’s the personal response to it.
Trauma Focused
An understanding of trauma and an awareness of the physical and psychological impact it can have on an individual or group.
Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Model
A model of care employed by behavioral health practitioners and program administrators to understand how trauma can affect individuals, families, and communities. It provides trauma-specific interventions, treatments and strategies to address traumatic stress reactions in individuals, families and communities and decrease inadvertent retraumatization.
Vulnerable
Susceptible to being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt; a person in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect.