What is “PsychTalk”?

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. Making sense of it is not as straight forward as a list of steps, symptoms, diagnoses, or criteria. Additionally, much of the information focuses on an "illness vs wellness" model that does not explain, nor help us understand, the human experience outside of pathology. And, understanding is something we all want; the whys and hows.

Given the positive responses I've received to my practical approach and an overwhelming amount of request from clients to do a podcast, I finally took the plunge. Although, the full scope of what I do is beyond the space on this site, or a podcast, there are pieces that are foundational.

In PsychTalk I cover three primary areas:

  • experiences in counseling
  • understanding diagnostics and labels (is it mental or normal?)
  • the practical side of psychological terminology

I often share terminology and research with clients as nuggets to use in reflection and discovery processes. Information that goes beyond "disorder", "therapy", or "treatment". Information that empowers without labeling. That's mainly what this is about.

Understanding is central to the human experience. It is what differentiates us from other animals and part of the reason the internet works - it gives information to fuel understanding. The model I use is a non-diagnostic model. What that means is that I incorporate raw psychological research rather than a system defined prepackaged model. This is not to say that EBPs (evidence-based practices) aren't useful. However, they are the fast-food of mental health whereas comprehensive psychological counseling requires more of a pot-roast approach. A bit more prep work with the separate ingredients and then some extra time to simmer after searing the star of the show... and yes, counseling can feel very much like being in a hot pan of oil. Believe it or not, that can actually be a good thing as long as you stick around for the stewing and chewing.

So, I do hope to see you back from time to time to check it all out ...

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APA CITE for podcast:

Lännerholm, V. (Host). (2020). PsychTalk with DrVic. [Audio podcast]. https://drvic.org/psychtalk-w-drvic/

APA CITE format for each episode: 

Lännerholm, V. (Host). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode (No. ____ ). [Audio podcast episode]. In PsychTalk with DrVic. https://drvic.org/psychtalk-w-drvic/ or https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1111583.rss

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Common Terminology and Definitions

APPRAISAL

"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".

BURNOUT

"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".

CODEPENDENCY

"Codependency is the state of being mutually dependent. For example, a relationship between two individuals where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. Characterized by a dysfunctional and one-sided relationship pattern. One person is psychologically dependent on, or controlled, by a person who has a pathological addiction and enables them to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior".

CONFIRMATION BIAS

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

LEARNED HELPLESSNESS

"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...".

MENTAL

“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”.

METACOGNITION

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

STRESS

"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...".

ULTIMATUM

"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).

UNCONDITIONAL

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