Psychological interventions terminology

This factsheet aims to provide clear definitions of commonly used terminology in the field of psychological therapy. Workers in the alcohol and other drugs field may find this useful when explaining various treatment approaches to their clients.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches skills relevant to reducing or quitting cannabis use and managing other psychosocial or health problems that impact on treatment outcomes.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) addresses ambivalence about quitting and seeks to strengthen motivation to change. The key clinical skills are using a non-confrontational,

non-judgemental approach to guide the person towards awareness, commitment and action.

Behavioural and cognitive skills are skills for different ways of behaving and thinking.

Psychosocial refers to the psychological development of the individual in relation to his or her social environment and/or the influence of social factors on mental health and behaviour.

Intensive family-based interventions are those where there is frequent contact between the therapist and the family as a whole, the parents or an individual family member.

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is a family therapy approach that understands and works on the influences of parents, the family as a whole, peers and community on the development and maintenance of problematic behaviours. It addresses each of these. It is comprehensive and intensive in that there is frequent contact with the therapist over a short (usually three to six month) period of time.

Contingency management is a type of treatment used in the mental health or substance use fields where there are rewards for positive behaviour (e.g. program attendance, clean urines). These rewards often consist of vouchers that have a monetary basis and can be exchanged for retail goods and services such as restaurant gift certificates, clothing, sports equipment, movie theatre tickets and electronics.

Factsheet published January 1, 2010. Updated October 1, 2011.