What is “Psych Talk”?

All professions have their own language and terminology. Psychology and counseling are no exception. Between theories, concepts, and "mental" hype, the internet is riddled with information. Unfortunately, most of it focusing on "illness vs wellness" and not towards explaining or understanding human experience outside of pathology. I often share terminology with clients as informational nuggets to use in reflection and discovery processes and wanted to include some of that here.

Psych Talk is a new addition to my website. It will be a collection of words or phrases that I find useful in psychological counseling. I'll be including some video discussions in the near future as well. I'll update the list periodically. Feel free to email me any words you would like me to include at: information@DrVic.org



"The cognitive evaluation of a phenomenon or event... determinants of emotional experience".

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

"The portion of the central nervous system involved primarily in involuntary bodily functions, such as those of the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory organs. It is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system... Autonomic responses typically involve... heart rate, salivation, digestion, perspiration, secretion of hormones from the adrenal medulla, bladder contraction...". "Autonomic reactivity is the extent to which an organism responds physiologically to a stimulus, such as a stressor. A pattern of responses of the ANS that is characteristic of an individual throughout life".


"Physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, especially in one's job or career, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself and others. It results from performing at a high level until stress and tension, especially from extreme and prolonged physical or mental exertion or an overburdening workload, take their toll".


"The tendency to gather evidence that confirms preexisting expectations, typically by emphasizing or pursuing supporting evidence while dismissing or failing to seek contradictory evidence".


"Lack of motivation and failure to act after exposure to unpleasant events or stimuli over which the individual has no control (e.g., noise, crowding). Individuals learn that they cannot control their environment, and this may lead them to fail to make use of any control options that are available...".


“Of or referring to the mind or to processes of the mind, such as thinking, feeling, sensing, and the like. Phenomenal or consciously experienced. In contrast to physiological or physical, which refer to objective events or processes, mental denotes events known only privately and subjectively; it may refer to cognitive processes involved in these events, to differentiate them from physiological processes”.


“Awareness of one’s own cognitive processes - thoughts (thinking about what you are thinking), often involving a conscious attempt to control them”.


"A state of physiological or psychological response to internal or external stressors. Stress involves changes affecting nearly every system of the body, influencing how people feel and behave... may be manifested by palpitations, sweating, dry mouth, shortness of breath, fidgeting, faster speech, augmentation of negative emotions...".


"A final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations... a final proposition, condition, or demand... one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action ". (Non psychological term referring to relationships).


"Not subject to any conditions... not limited... absolute, unqualified, unconditional surrender, unconditional love". (Non psychological term referring to relationships).