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Glossary of Terms

Below please find a variety of terms that will help you as you try to learn more about different mental health symptoms and issues.

12-Step Philosophy

The Twelve Steps are defined by Alcoholics Anonymous as:

  • We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  • Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Other recommended behaviors include attending meetings, obtaining a sponsor, and staying away from the people, places, and things that trigger substance abuse

Acute Services

A program that utilizes a medical model of treatment. For many people dealing with complicated medical and psychological problems, acute services offer an opportunity for our medical staff to more closely monitor the patient and appropriately oversee their condition.

Aftercare Program

Aftercare provides continued support someone who is transitioning back into their community. Alumni attend a free weekly support session and discuss issues that may have come about at home, school or in the community.


An addictionologist is a medical doctor that has earned a specialized certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. A physician who specializes in the treatment of addiction remains current on new treatments available to patients.

Aftercare Program

Aftercare provides continued support someone who is transitioning back into their community. Alumni attend a free weekly support session and discuss issues that may have come about at home, school or in the community.

Alcohol Abuse

Excessive use of alcohol and alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol Addiction

Habitual intoxication; prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol such that abrupt deprivation leads to severe withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol treatment at River Point provides a holistic approach to the person seeking treatment. Treatment will begin with a comprehensive assessment by our medical and clinical team members. Treatment will include a Twelve Step Program that is cognitively and behaviorally based. Psycho educational groups, self help groups, and medications will also be provided to achieve and maintain abstinence.


Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and body image distortion. Individuals with anorexia often control body weight by voluntary starvation, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures, such as diet pills or diuretic drugs. It primarily affects adolescent girls and young adults in the Western world and has one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric condition, with approximately 10% of people diagnosed with the condition eventually dying due to related factors.


Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, or before taking a test or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person's ability to lead a normal life. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health programs are designed to help individuals and their families find ways to improve their ability to be productive, cope with life's problems and have fulfilling relationships. Our goal is to provide people with new skills to deal with problems, reduce conflicts and live normal daily lives.

Binge/Compulsive Overeating

Related to bulimia, but usually does not involve purging episodes. It appears to be the most common eating disorder. People with binge eating have guilt and shame about their eating and weight. It, like other eating-related disorders, is symptomatic of deep-seated issues that reflect poor self-image, conflict with perceived social expectations for the female body and feelings of powerlessness.

Bi-Polar (Manic Depression)

Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression. It's a serious illness, one that can lead to risky behavior, damaged relationships and careers, even suicidal tendencies -- if it's not treated.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood (poles) -- from mania to depression. Between these mood swings, a person with Bipolar disorder may experience normal moods.

"Manic" describes an increasingly restless, energetic, talkative, reckless, powerful, euphoric period. Lavish spending sprees or impulsive risky sex can be irresistible. Then, at some point, this high-flying mood can spiral into something darker -- irritation, confusion, anger, feeling trapped.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, more commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder. It is a psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by an intentional purging. This purging is done in order to compensate for the excessive intake of the food and to prevent weight gain. Purging typically takes the form of vomiting; inappropriate or excessive use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication; excessive physical exercise; or fasting.

Chemical Dependency

A pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment. This can be both a physical and/or an emotional dependence on the substance. Some symptoms of dependency may include: a need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect, a physical withdrawal when the substance is not administered and the person continues to use the substance despite the fact that the person knows it is harmful to them.


A codependent is loosely defined as someone who cares “too much” while caring for a person who depends on him or her. Symptoms of codependence are controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of feelings, excessive caretaking, hypervigilence or physical illness related to stress. Codependence is often accompanied by depression, as the codependent person succumbs to feelings of frustration or sadness over his or her inability to improve the situation.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the premise that our moods and feelings are influenced by our thoughts and that psychological disturbances are frequently caused by habitual errors in thinking. Cognitive therapy corrects the distorted way of thinking. Behavior is then combined to test the reality of distorted thoughts. This is what many people refer to as “talk” therapy.


A state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individual's social functioning and/or activities of daily living. Although a low mood or state of dejection that does not affect functioning is often colloquially referred to as depression, clinical depression is a clinical diagnosis and may be different from the everyday meaning of "being depressed." Many people identify the feeling of being depressed as "feeling sad for no reason", or "having no motivation to do anything." One suffering from depression may feel tired, sad, irritable, lazy, unmotivated, and apathetic. Clinical depression is generally acknowledged to be more serious than normal depressed feelings. It often leads to constant negative thinking and sometimes substance abuse.


Is the removal of toxic substances from the body. There are significant risks to stopping some drugs and alcohol, “cold turkey”. The detoxification process involves abstinence to clear the drug from the body, accompanied by social and environmental support during the associated physiological and psychological changes. At River Point, we have medicines which can make the detoxification more comfortable for our patients.

Drug Abuse

Excessive use of drugs.

Drug Addiction

An addiction to a drug (especially a narcotic drug).

Drug Treatment

Drug treatment at River Point provides a holistic approach to the person seeking treatment. Drug treatment can include the abuse or dependence of the following: Alcohol, Amphetamines, Marijuana, Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Options, Sedatives, and Prescription Medication.

Dual Diagnosis

When a person is affected by both an emotional or psychiatric illness and chemical dependency, they are suffering from co-occurring conditions also referred to as dual diagnosis.

Eating Disorders

A disorder of the normal eating routine

EMDR-(Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used.

Family Program

The family program is designed to give family members a chance to understand the illness, its impact on the family system and the roles they play in both the illness and the recovery process. With the whole family working together on these issues, the patient’s chance for success improves dramatically, as does the outlook for individual family members to break the cycle of maladaptive behaviors that are passed down through generations. During the treatment process, both the patient and the family members will receive recommendations for aftercare based on their individual needs.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Program is intended for clients who need a level of intensity which cannot be met in the traditional outpatient services setting, but do not warrant the structure, and security of a residential setting. This level of care also allows patients to transition from a residential setting to their home environment, and continue in their recovery process. Our Intensive Outpatient Program meets five days a week, for three hours each session. Length of treatment varies based on individual needs.

Joint Commission Accredited


The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Since 1951, The Joint Commission has maintained state-of-the-art standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations. The Joint Commission’s comprehensive accreditation process evaluates an organization’s compliance with these standards and other accreditation requirements. Joint Commission accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.


Mental Health

The psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment.

Mood Disorders

A mood disorder is a condition whereby the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances. The two major types of mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

A multidisciplinary team is a group of healthcare professionals who work together to provide holistic treatment to our patients. This means we have physicians, psychologists, nurses, therapists, nutritionists and other specialists who will work together to make recommendations on the patient’s care.


A nutritionist is a person who advises people on dietary matters relating to health, well-being and optimal nutrition.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder sufferers usually have a series of intense episodes of extreme anxiety, known as panic attacks. A panic event may be triggered by an especially stressful situation, or it may occur for no particular reason. These events usually last for several minutes. Some individuals deal with these events on a regular basis—sometimes daily or weekly. Because of the constant fear of having another panic attack, individuals with panic disorder are often extremely uncomfortable in social situations

Partial Hospitalization Program

PHP is a comprehensive, short-term outpatient program that provides support and treatment for adults facing emotional or mental difficulties, and who may have substance abuse problems. It features coordinated, intensive treatment that is more concentrated than traditional outpatient care. The structured format provides medical monitoring, plus therapeutic groups and activities.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event, especially if you felt your life was in danger. Even if you were not injured or in danger, you can still get PTSD if you felt physically threatened or you witnessed violence.

Psychiatric Hospital

A hospital for the care and treatment of patients affected with acute or chronic mental illness. Also called mental hospital.


Psychiatry is a medical specialty dealing with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental illness. Its primary goal is the relief of mental suffering associated with disorder and improvement of mental well-being. This may be based in hospitals or in the community and patients may be voluntary or involuntary. Psychiatry adopts a medical approach but may take in to account biological, psychological, and social/cultural perspectives.


A psychologist is a scientist and/or clinician who studies psychology, the systematic investigation of the human mind, including behavior and cognition. Psychologists are usually categorized under a number of different fields, the most well-recognized being clinical psychologists, who provide mental health care, and research psychologists, who collect information on people's minds.

Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment, also may be referred to as rehab by insurance companies, is a level of care which allows patients to participate in therapy groups in a safe, comfortable environment. The average length of stay is 4-6 weeks depending on each patient’s customized treatment plan. An important component of the residential program is the family week which provides education, coping strategies and healing to the entire family.

Spiritual Wellness Therapies

At River Point, we meet people where they are spiritually. We believe that it is important for us to nurture spiritual growth while a patient is in treatment. Our schedule provides time for meditation, spiritual groups, bible studies and any other spiritual enrichment as requested by the patient. We strive to ensure that individuals from all religious or spiritual backgrounds are comfortable at River Point.

Substance Abuse

When a person uses a substance as a coping skill, they are abusing a substance. Generally substance abuse is thought to mean alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs. However, caffeine or food can also be substances of abuse.


Trauma is a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury. Trauma can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature.


The United States military's health care plan for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. The TRICARE benefit is also available to some members of the Selected Reserve and their dependents.


Help is Just a Phone Call Away

We cannot offer diagnosis, counseling or recommendations online, but an Assessment and Referral specialist is available 24 hours/7 days a week at 904.724.9202. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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