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Definitions/Glossary - scan down this page


Abbreviations and Glossary:   

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  (Underlined letters are hyperlinks to below)


AADP: American Association of Drugless Practitioners  

ABD: All but Dissertation -- the informal designation of Ph.D. (ABD), for "All But Dissertation," not an actual degree but an informal convention.

ABPP: American Board of Professional Psychology Certified 

ABMPP: American Board of Medical Psychotherapists and Psychodiagnosticians

ACA: American Counseling Association

ACS: Approved Clinical Supervisor

ACSM-HFI: American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Instructor 

ACSW: Licensure varies by state. A clinical social worker may be a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers or listed in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Register of Clinical Workers.

ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

ADC II: Is a Texas Credential signifying that a person is board certified at the masters degree level. Alcohol Drug Counselor, Level II

ADA: American Dietetic Association

ADTR: Academy of Dance Therapists Registered


AED: Academy for Eating Disorders 


AFAA: Aerobics and Fitness Personal Trainer Certification & Group Exercise Certification


ANAD: Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (Association)


AOBTA: American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia


APRN-BC: Advanced Practice Nurse, Board Certified


APSW: Advanced Practice Social Worker -- Adult Protective Social Workers


ARFID: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder


ATR: Art Therapist Registered


ATR-BC: Art Therapist Registered -- Board Certified


BANT: British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy


BBD: Body Dysmorphic Disorder


BC-DMT: Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist


BCBA: Board Certified Behavior Analyst


BCD: Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, clinical social workers with a masters degree, more than five years of experience in mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, who have passed an examination and met the other requirements for national certification by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE). Annual recertification is required. 


BC-DMT: Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist


BCETS: Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress


BCIA-C: Biofeedback Certification Institute of America Certified


BCN: Board Certified in Neurofeedback


BCPC: Board Certified Professional Counselor


BCPCC: Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors


BCW: Bachelor of Community Welfare


BSN: Bachelor of Science in Nursing


CAAC: Certified Advanced Addiction Counselor


CAC: Certified Addiction Coach


CADC: Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor


CADAC: Certified Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor


CAP: Certified Addiction Professional


CARF: Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, to advocate and promote quality rehabilitation services, the organization is now known simply as CARF.


CAS: Certified Addition Specialist


CASAC: Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor


CBT: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy


CCBT: Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist


CCC: Canadian Certified Counsellor


CCH: Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist


CCHT: Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist


CHt: Certified Hypnotherapist


CCN: Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist


CCSAS: Certified Clinical Sexual Addiction Specialist


CCSD: Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics


CCSW: Certified Clinical Social Worker 


CED-RD: Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian 


CD: Certified Dietitian


CD-N: Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist


CDEs: Certified Diabetes Educators


CDMS: Certified Disability Management Specialist


CDE: Certified Diabetes Educator


CDN: A certified dietitian or certified dietitian-nutritionist integrates and applies principles derived from nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, food management, and behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain people's health. 


CDPT: Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee


CDVC: Certified Domestic Violence Counselor


CEAP: Certified Employee Assistance Professional


CEDA: Certified Eating Disorders Associate


CEDCAT: Certified Eating Disorders Creative Arts Therapist


CEDRD: Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian: A certification offered by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals; designed to demonstrate knowledge in the treatment of eating disorders.


CEDRN: Certified Eating Disorders Registered Nurse


CEDS: Certified Eating Disorder Specialist: A certification offered by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals; designed to demonstrate knowledge in the treatment of eating disorders.


CEDS/S: Certified Eating Disorder Specialist Supervisor: A certification offered by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals; designed to demonstrate knowledge in the treatment of eating disorders.


CEDT: Certified Eating Disorder Therapist


CEO: Chief Executive Officer

CET: Certified Experiential Therapist. It is a certification granted be the American Society of Experiential Therapists.


CFCS: Certified Family and Consumer Scientist 


CFT: Certified Fitness Trainer


CGP: Certified Group Psychotherapist, offered by the American Group Psychotherapy Association or Certified Group Practitioner 


CGT: Certified Gestalt Therapist


CHES: Certified Health Education Specialist


CHC: Certified Health Counselor


CHHC: Certified Holistic Health Counselor


CHHP: Certified Holistic Health Practitioner


CHT: Certified Hypnotherapist


CHTP:  Certified Healing Touch Practitioner


CLT: Certified Lymphedema Therapist


CMT: Certified Massage Therapist


CMFT: Certified Marriage and Family Therapist


CN: Certified Nutritionist


CN: Clinical Nutritionist


CNC: Certified Nutrition Consultant


CNS: Certified Nutrition Specialist


Counselor: A generic term for someone who counsels


CPC: Certified Professional Coach


CPCC: Certified Professional Co-Active Coach


CPLC: Certified Personal Life Coach


CPNP:  Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


CPT: Certified Personal Trainer


CPWLC: Certified Professional Weight Loss Coach


CRAT: Certified Rational Addictions Therapist


CRC: Certified Disability Manager


CRRTT: Certified Rapid Reduction Technique Therapy


CS: Clinical Specialist or Clinical Supervisor


CSAT: Certified Sex Addiction Therapist


CSCS: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist


CSP: Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition


CSRC: Certified Subconscious Restructuring Life Coach/Counselor or Certified Sexual Reorientation Coach


CSSD: Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics


CSW: Certified Social Worker 


CSWCM: Certified Social Work Case Manager


CTRT: Certified Trauma Resolution Therapist


CWC: Certified Wellness Coach


CYT: Certified Yoga Therapist


DAPA:  Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association


DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy


DFAACAP: Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


DFAPA: Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association


DTR: Dance/Therapist Registered   It signifies to the public and professional communities that an individual is prepared to practice dance/movement therapy in a clinical, educational, or rehabilitative setting.

DCSW: Doctorate in Clinical Social Work


D.O.: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine,  Psychiatrist


DNBAO:  Diplomate of the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics


DNP: Doctorate in Nursing Practice


DPNAP: Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice. Elected individuals who have spent a significant portion of their professional career in the practice and direct delivery of health care services.


Dr.: Doctor could be an M.D, a Ph.D., a Psy.D., Ed.D., D.O., or a DCSW


DrPh: Doctor of Public Health


DSc: Doctor of Science


DSW: Doctor of Social Work or DCSW Doctor of Clinical Social Work


Eclectic: Employing individual elements from a variety of treatment styles

Ed. D.: Doctorate of Education


Ed.M.: Master of Education


EDNOS: Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified


Ed.S.: Educational Specialist

EFT: Emotional Freedom Therapist

Emetophobia:  Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated. It is considered to be one of the most common phobias in the world. (Wikipedia)

EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapeutic process that has people find relief from a wide range of emotional and personal problems especially trauma.


EPC: Certified Eating Psychology Counselor, The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Colorado 


ERS: Environmental and Resource Studies or Environmental and Rural Science


E-RYT: Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher

FAAFP: Fellow American Association of Family Practice


FAAP: Fellow American Academy of Pediatrics


FABMPP: Fellow American Board of Medical Psychotherapists & Psychodiagnosticians 


FACP: Fellow of the American College of Physicians


FADA: Fellow of the American Dietetic Association


FAED: Food avoidance emotional disorder


FAED: Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders


FAEDA: Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorder Association


FAND: Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


FAPA: Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association


FBT: Family-based Treatment


FDN: Functional Diagnostic Nutrition


FIAEDP: Fellow International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals


FIPA: Fellow of the International Psychoanalytic Association


FNP: Family Nurse Practitioner


FSAM: Fellow Society for Adolescent Medicine


GAD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder


Gastroparesis: Gastroparesis causes anorexia in the physical sense, but is due to a malfunctioning of the stomach muscle. The stomach does not contract because the vegas nerve no longer works to signal the stomach to function. Food does not digest, leaving one nauseated and unable to gather any nutrient value from it. This can cause one to often spontaneously and without warning vomit undigested food hours after eating. This disease is most common in people with diabetes.


GCFP: Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner 


GCP: Good Clinical Practice or Member of the Guild Complementary Practitioners


HAES: Health At Every Size


HFS:  stands for Health Fitness Specialist. Its an abbreviation deemed from the American College of Sports Medicine for those who have completed the requirements (education/testing) for this level of distinction


HSPP: Health Service Provider in Psychology


IAEDP: The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals


IAYT: International Association of Yoga Therapists


ICADC: Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor


IEATA: The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association


IFEDD: International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians


IFT: Intensive Family Therapy


IMDHA: International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association


IMF: Intern in Marriage and Family Therapy


JCAHO: The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) sets standards for healthcare organizations and issues accreditation to organizations that meet those standards.  JCAHO conducts periodic on-site surveys to verify that "an accredited organization substantially complies with Joint Commission standards and continuously makes efforts to improve the care and services it provides."


JD: Doctor of Jurisprudence (an attorney)


LAC: Licensed Addiction Counselor


L.Ac.: Licensed Acupuncturist


LADAC: Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor


LADC:  Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor


LAMFT: Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist


LAPC: Licensed Associate Professional Counselor


LCAS: Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist


LCADC: Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor


LCAT: Licensed Creative Arts Therapist


LCDC: Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor


LCMFT: Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist


LCMHC: Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor


LCP: Licensed Clinical Psychologist


LCPC: Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker: A mental health professional with a Masters Degree (MSW) in social work and two years of supervised clinical experience.


LCSW-C:  Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical: Masterís in Social Work, Clinical


LCSW-R: In New York State, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW) is a person who has a Master's Degree in Social Work from an accredited university and has passed the state's licensure exam. The "R" designation is only awarded after a licensed Clinical Social Worker has had a minimum of 6 years of postgraduate professional supervision, and has met strict credentialing guidelines. The "R" designation allows for third party insurance reimbursement. Prior to September 1, 2004 the license, Certified Social Worker (CSW) was issued by New York State, the Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW) license replaces it. 


LD: Licensed Dietician


LDN: Licensed Dietician/Nutritionist


LGBTQ: (or GLBT) refers collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people.


LGSW: Licensed Graduate Social Worker


LICSW: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker  These are masters-level clinical social workers with advanced experience who have met state requirements for licensure.


LISAC: Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor


LISW: Licensed Independent Social Worker


LISW-CP: Licensed Independent Social Worker - Clinical Practice


LISW-S: Licensed Independent Social Worker - Supervisor


LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


LMFTA: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate


LMHC: Licensed Mental Health Counselor


LMHCA: Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate


LMHP: Licensed Mental Health Practitioner


LMNT: Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist


LMSW: Licensed Master Social Worker


LMSW-ACP: Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Clinical Practitioner

LN: Licensed Nutritionist


LLC: Legal structure called a Limited Liability Company Corporation. These initials are not indicating additional education or training.


LLP: (1) Limited Liability Partnership (2) Limited License Psychologist 3) Licensed Psychological Practitioner

LP: Licensed Psychologist


LPA: Licensed Psychological Associate


LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor: A type of counseling license generally held by a Masters level graduate or professional. The requirements for this type of licensure are less than that for a Psychologist or Psychiatrist licensure. 


LPCC:  Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor


LPCI: Licensed Professional Counselor Intern


LPCS: Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor


LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse


LRCP: Licensed respiratory care practitioner


LRD: Licensed Registered Dietitian


LSCSW: Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker


LSLP: Licensed Speech Language Pathologist


LSWA: Licensed Social Work Associate: Bachelorís in Social Work, Basic 


MA: Master of Arts--a university graduate degree requiring one or two years of additional study above the requirements for a bachelors degree (BA or BS)

MACP: MA in Counseling Psychology or MA in Community Psychology or MA in Clinical Psychology

MAEd: Masters Degree in Education

MAPC: Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

MAIOP: Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology

MBA: Master of Business Administration

MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT or LMFT): Designation given to persons with specialized training in Marriage and Family Counseling. Requires masters level training and strong emphasis on family systems and family therapy but not limited to family therapy alone.

MC: Masters in Counseling

MCJ: Masters Degree in Criminal Justice

M.D.: Medical Doctor


M.Div.: Masters level degree in Divinity. Individuals holding this degree have learned counseling approaches/techniques in the context of divinity school graduate training.


M.Ed.: Masters in Education


MFA: Master of Fine Arts degree , involving music, art, music & art history, etc.


MFC: Marriage and Family Counselor


MFCC: Marriage, Family and Child Counselor


MFT: Marriage and Family Therapist


MFTi: Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

MGPP: Master Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

MH: Master Hypnotist


MHA: Masters in Health Administration


MHC: Mental Health Counselor


MHR: Master of Human Relations


MHSA: Master of Health Services Administration


MHSc: Master of Health Science


MHSP: Mental Health Service Provider


MLSP: Master of Law and Social Policy


MOE or MOAE: Master in Occupational and Adult Education


MPC: Master of Pastoral Counseling


MPH: Master of Public Health


MPhil: Masters degree in Philosophy


MPS: Master of Professional Studies is one of the degrees offered by Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York 11205. The MPS degree is offered in several departments: Arts and Cultural Management, Art Therapy & Creativity Development, Art Therapy--Special Education, and Design Management.


MS: Masters of Science - a university graduate degree requiring one or two years of additional study above the requirements for a bachelors degree (BA or BS)


MSCP: Master of Science in Clinical Psychology


MSEd: Master of Science in Education


MSLPC: Master of Science, Licensed Professional Counselor


MSN: Master of Science in Nursing


MSPH: Master of Science in Public Health  


MSSW: Master of Science in Social Work

MSTOM: Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine

MSW: Masters in Social Work 


MT-BC: Music Therapist, Board Certified


NAMS: North American Menopause Society 


NASM-CPT: National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer


NBCCH: National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists


NBCC: Nationally Board Certified Counselor


NCC: Nationally Certified Counselor


NCMP: NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner


NCPsyA: Nationally Certified Psychoanalyst


ND: Naturopathic Doctor


NEDA: National Eating Disorders Association


NGH: National Guild of Hypnotists


Night Eating Syndrome: The condition is characterized by a lack of appetite for breakfast; the consumption of more than 50 percent of daily calories after the evening meal, and waking up, at least, once a night to consume high-carbohydrate snacks. To receive a diagnosis of NES, symptoms must have continued for a minimum of three months.


NLP: Neuro Linguistic Programming

NLPP: Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner

NP: Nurse Practitioner


NPP: Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry


NSRED: Nocturnal Sleep Related Eating Disorder


OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


OSFED: Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder


Outpatient Treatment: People being treated for addictions on an outpatient basis go through rehabilitation at a center but are able to stay in their homes. They are required to check in with the addiction specialists at the treatment centers every day (except weekends and holidays) for medication and counseling.


P.A.: Physician's Assistant or Psychological Assistant  (This person is under a supervisor's license)


PACCC: Professional Association of Canadian Christian Counsellors


Partial hospitalization is a type of program used to treat mental illness and substance abuse. In partial hospitalization, the patient continues to reside at home, but commutes to a treatment center up to seven days a week. Since partial hospitalization focuses on the overall treatment of the individual, rather than purely on his or her safety, the program is not used for people who are acutely suicidal.


PAT: Professional Art Therapist or a Provisional Addictions Therapist


Pastoral Counselor: Generally a clergy person, such as a minister, priest, rabbi, etc. who provides counseling. Some Pastoral Counselor have degrees such as M.Div. or MFT but is important to ask for credentials if this is an issue for you.


PBSP: Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (see

PC: Professional Counselor


PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome


Ph.D.: Doctorate of Philosophy (Psychology) Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy): A doctoral degree requires extended graduate level university training. This training generally lasts 4-6 years after completing regular college bachelor degree programs. Clinical Psychologists often have this degree but this degree can be used by many difference field (i.e. Ph.D. in Education).


PICA: Pica is an eating disorder typically defined as the persistent eating of nonnutritive substances for a period of at least 1 month at an age in which this behavior is developmentally inappropriate.


PLC or PLLC:  Legal structure utilized when therapists, in accordance with provisions of the Professional Limited Liability Company Law form a professional practice by registering with the State Education Department and the Department of State. This organization may be formed by members of certain different professions to offer multi-disciplinary services (cannot include professionals licensed in Medicine and Dentistry). These initials are not indicating additional education or training.


PLMHP: Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner


PLPC:  Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselors are experienced therapists who have a Masters Degree in Counseling. They are working under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor to complete licensure requirements. They offer a reduced fee scale according to need and income.


PMH: Psych-Mental Health

PMHNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


PRYT: Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy


Psy. D.: Doctorate of (Clinical) Psychology Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology): A doctoral level degree requires extended graduate level university training. Not all university programs offer Psy.D. degrees. The Psy.D. degree can indicate a more clinical focus than a Ph.D. but not necessarily.

Psychologist: A doctoral level degree in the science of Psychology. Psychologists that specialize in therapy are called Clinical Psychologists. Psychologists are the most extensively trained therapists.  The term Psychologist is legally protected by state law - only persons who are licensed as psychologists can call themselves psychologists.

Psychopharmacology: The study of the actions, effects, and development of drug that influence the mind.

Psychiatrist: A Medical Doctor or Physician (MD) who has completed medical school and a multi-year residency in Psychiatry. They are experts in the use of medications to treat mental disorders. They focus on a medical model of treating mental illness rather than providing counseling or individual therapy. 

Psychoanalyst: A therapist who practices analysis and focuses on early childhood experiences.

Psychodynamic: The interaction of various conscious and unconscious mental or emotional processes, especially as they influence personality, behavior, and attitudes

Psychotherapist: This is a generic term and does not apply to any specific credentials. 

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


QCSW: Qualified Clinical Social Worker


RAS: Registered Addition Specialist   from


RBT: Rational Behavior Therapist


RC: Registered Counselor


RCC: Registered Clinical Counselor


RD: Registered Dietitian


RDN: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist  -- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Board of Directors and the Commission on Dietetic Registration have approved the optional use of the credential "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) by registered dietitians (RD).


RDT: Registered Drama Therapist


REAT: Registered Expressive Arts Therapist


RLT:  Rational Living Therapy


RP: Registered Psychotherapist


RRCA: Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach


RRT: Registered Respiratory Therapist


RSW: Registered Social Worker


Rumination syndrome, or Merycism, is an under-diagnosed chronic condition characterized by effortless regurgitation of most meals following consumption


RYT: Registered Yoga Teacher 


Self Psychology: Self psychological theory proposes that healthy self-development proceeds from adequate responsiveness of caregivers to the child's vital emotional needs, including alterego needs, idealizing needs, and mirroring needs


SEP: Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (Certified)


TAS (Tobacco Addiction Specialist): A certification through The Association for Addiction Professionals


ThD: Doctor of Theology Degree


Therapist: Also known as "Psychotherapist". This is a generic term and does not apply to any specific credentials. 


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