AI/AN, Native: American Indian and Alaskan Native: these terms used to include all tribes, peoples, and communities throughout North America.

Historical Trauma: is the term used to describe cumulative emotional and psychological wounds that span time and generation. These wounds are a direct result from large scale group trauma, perpetrated on groups of people who share a specific identity. AI/AN individuals

Loss of culture, land, language, ways of life, and family all contribute to historical trauma. These communities may respond with anxiety, shame, anger, depression, suicidality, and rejection of culture.

Resilience: cultural factors, indigenous world views, and indigenous approaches to healing and coping. EX. Tribal sweat lodge ceremonies and tribal social capital.

There are 3 parts to Resilience: 1) individual level (the mind) 2) collective resilience (the body) 3) cultural resilience (the spirit)

Two-Spirit: describes and individual who has both a male and female essence. Whether the person was assigned male or female at birth is of no importance. The term also expresses the traditional Indigenous understanding of a non-female, non-male gender. Two-Spirit individuals are not bound by gender roles, binary gender expression, sexual orientation, and live according to their non-linear identity.

Two Spirit Individuals are honored in traditional society and viewed to be skilled decision makers due to their ability to see multiple perspectives. They served as mediators, medicine people, warriors, peace makers, and teachers.

Other Indigenous persons and cultural groups worldwide have gender expansive groups like Two-Spirit individuals; however, they do not qualify as Two-Spirit since that term is AI/AN specific.

LGBTQIA2S: Inclusive abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two Spirit

Gender: socially defined and tends to dictate an individual’s place and role within the community

Gender Identity: the gender that the person identifies with, or how they perceive themselves. Gender identity may be different than their assigned sex at birth and separate from their sexual orientation. Gender Identity may change over time.

Gender Expression: how an individual expresses their gender identity, typically through clothing, body shape, body language, hairstyle, makeup, voice, etc. Expression can and may change over time or it can be fluid.

Gender-expansive: a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.

Cisgender: Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth

Transgender: Someone whose gender identity is different than their assigned sex at birth

Trans-female/Transfeminine: someone who was assigned male at birth who identifies as something other than male. Often written as MTF.

Trans-male/Transmasculine: someone who is assigned female at birth and now identifies as other than female. Often written as FTM.

Non-Binary: An individual whose gender identity is not completely male or female

Sex: Medical classification of individuals assigned at birth as male, female, or intersex, based on anatomy at birth. Chromosomal identification also plays a role in this classification.

Intersex: the terms to describe infants born with genitals that do not appear to be entirely male or female and who’s anatomy does not match chromosomal sex. Considered a DSD (Disorders of sex development) which is the umbrella category to describe individuals with these conditions.

Sexual Orientation: who an individual is attracted to and makes intimate emotional and romantic attachments/relationships with. It is independent from gender identity and epression of gender.

Asexual: Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like being gay or straight. It is different from celibacy or abstinence. Not everyone agrees on the definition of asexuality. It is a spectrum. An asexual person feels little or no sexual attraction, but they may engage in sexual activity. The spectrum of asexuality contains much diversity in people’s experiences of attraction and arousal and desires for relationships.

Heterosexual: a person who is physically, emotionally, sexually and/ or spiritually attracted to people of the opposite gender.

Homosexual: attractions toward the same gender

Lesbian: refers to a woman attracted to the characteristics of another woman. Some lesbians may refer to themselves as gay or queer, or neither. It is up to the person and their preference.

Gay: refers to a person attracted to the same gender.

Bisexual: a person who is attracted to both male and female identifying individuals

Pansexual: a person who is attracted to multiple genders.

Questioning: the process through which individuals question gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Individuals who are exploring their identity or may not want to conform or define themselves as one identity.

Queer: individuals who are both sexual and gender minorities and who do not identify as heterosexual or cisgender.

Ally: a person who is not LGBTQIA2S+ but demonstrates support for their people. They may promote equality and advocate for the community in various ways

Transition, Gender-transition: the process of working towards more closely aligning one’s outward appearance with one’s internal knowledge of gender identity. Some people may socially transition or undergo medical intervention by means of Gender Affirming Hormone Replacement Therapy or medically necessary surgeries, but neither are necessary to the trans experience. It is an extremely personal journey and never a “one size fits all” or linear path.

Pronouns: a word that refers to the person or people we are talking about. Pronouns are extremely important to a person’s identity and just as important as calling a person by their chosen name.

Here are some common examples of pronouns:

SheHerHersHerselfShe is looking.
I looked at her.
The basket is hers.
HeHimHisHimselfHe is looking.
I looked at him.
The basket is his.
TheyThemTheirsThemselfThey is looking.
I looked at them.
The basket is theirs.
ZeHir/ZirHirs/ZirsHirself/ZirselfZe is looking.
I looked at zir.
The basket is zirs.


Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO): a managed care plan where services are covered only if you go to doctors, specialists, or hospitals in the plan’s network (except in an emergency).

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): means You can see “preferred” providers or “out-of-network” providers. A PPO has a network (or group) of preferred providers. You pay less if you go to these providers. Preferred providers are also called in-network providers.

With a PPO, you can go to a doctor or hospital that is not on the preferred provider list. This is called going out-of-network. However, you pay more to go out-of-network.

When you are shopping for insurance, be sure to ask what hospitals, doctors, and other providers are “preferred” or “in-network”.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): You must use providers within your network. Usually, you must have a primary care doctor. This doctor provides your basic care and makes referrals to specialists. If you see a provider outside of your HMO’s network, they will not pay for those services (except in the case of emergency and urgent care).

Deductible: the set amount of out-of-pocket spending that is set by the insurance company. Once you’ve reached your deductible, your insurance company will start to contribute to the cost of therapy.

Individual Deducible: the amount that you, as an individual, are responsible for paying until your insurance takes on some of the costs.

Family Deductible: if you are in a group plan with family members or are dependent, everyone’s payments will contribute to the deductible total. Once met, the insurance will then take on the percentage of the costs for reach of you.

Coinsurance: is the percentage of the cost you are responsible for paying after your deductible has been met. Your insurance covers this remaining percentage.

Copay: is the flat rate per session set by your insurance plan. With a copay, you will pay the same amount per session type or length.

Out-of-pocket Max: the maximum amount you can spend during a given plan cycle. If you meet that maximum, this means you won’t have any expenses until your plan resets. Please reach out to your provider for plan policies and restrictions.


Mental Status Exam: your initial assessment with the clinician, used to determine the impact of mental health symptoms through direct questions and therapist observations. In it, the therapist will evaluate your memory, clarity of thinking, emotional state, risk of harm, and intellectual functioning. This exam can help with diagnosis and treatment planning.

Diagnosis: a label to identify a defined condition. Mental health diagnoses are based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which classifies the specific criteria required to describe each diagnosis.

Treatment Plan: a written plan detailing specific treatment goals. These goals include a description of the symptoms to be improved, the therapist’s methods to address them, and how you’ll measure progress.

Evidence-Based Intervention: refers to any (psychotherapeutic) intervention. Since the body of psychotherapy research has grown over time, it’s gotten easier to assure that a strategy used is valid, proven effective, and specified to suit your needs.

Therapeutic Orientation: the type of therapy or theoretical approach a clinician uses. There are numerous types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, interpersonal therapy, and many more. These approaches are based on different theories about what causes mental health issues and typically include unique, defined treatment strategies. Some types of therapy provide better treatment for certain diagnoses, so it’s good to know if a clinician’s training fits your needs.

Trauma-informed Approach to Mindfulness: works by modifying traditional meditation practices with grounding, anchoring, and self-regulation techniques to maintain balance in the nervous system, which can help traumatized people manage their symptoms and feel safer in their bodies.

Trauma-informed mindfulness can also involve:

  • performing a physical activity with present moment awareness rather than sitting still in meditation
  • observing objects, colors, or the space around you
  • listening attentively to music as a mindful practice

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ITP): a brief, attachment-focused psychotherapy that centers on resolving interpersonal problems and symptomatic recovery. It is an empirically supported treatment that follows a highly structured and time-limited approach and is intended to be completed within 12–16 weeks.

  • There are three phases of interpersonal therapy: Formulation, Middle, and Graduation. Each phase can last three to five sessions depending on the severity of symptoms and the interpersonal distress the client is experiencing.

The Strengths Perspective: is an approach to social work that puts the strengths and resources of people, communities, and their environments, rather than their problems and pathologies, at the center of the helping process.

  • The objective of the strengths-based approach is to protect the individual’s independence, resilience, ability to make choices and wellbeing.
  • Harm Reduction: range of public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal

See: for the 8 principals of Harm Reduction.

Inner Child Work: also referred to as inner child healing, is a way to address our needs that haven’t been met as children and heal the attachment wounds we’ve developed. Involves creating a space where your subconscious is allowed to take the lead.

Narrative Therapy: seeks to help patients identify their values and the skills associated with them. It provides the patient with knowledge of their ability to live these values so they can effectively confront current and future problems.

– Facets of Narrative Therapy: Deconstructing problematic dominant stories.

1) Tracing the history of the problem.

2) Exploring the effects of the problem.

3) Situating the problem in context.

4) Discovering unique outcomes.

Gestalt Therapy: a type of therapeutic approach known for its use of role-playing and confrontation techniques. The goal of Gestalt therapy is to teach people to become aware of significant sensations within themselves and their environment so that they respond fully and reasonably to situations.

Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP): is a powerful collection of resources that organize and coordinate care, focusing on a wide diversity of treatment targets and ages. MAP can help identify and select best fitting evidence-based treatments, but more often it operates more like a treatment design, implementation, and evaluation toolkit. That is, providers, youth, and families can select, build, organize, and implement treatment based on the most up-to-date research evidence and can personalize care by incorporating real-time evidence of practice history and youth outcomes.

Solution-Focused Perspectives (SFBT): is a future-focused, goal-directed approach to therapy that highlights the importance of searching for solutions rather than focusing on problems. This therapy encourages those in treatment to develop a vision of the future and offers support as they determine the skills, resources, and abilities needed to achieve that vision successfully.

Integrative Approach: the idea of integrating or combining aspects of several different schools of thought to promote wellness.

Rational-Cultural Theory (RCT): brings relationships to the forefront of human psychology. It examines the complexity of human relationships, using concepts of connection and disconnection, as well as recognizing and exploring the social implications of psychological theory. The cultural aspect brings into focus the influence of larger culture and power differentials on the quality and nature of relationships and the subsequent effects on healthy coexistence

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness.

– CBT is based on several core principles, that can be found at the following link: