Jargon buster

A guide to some of the terms used within the NHS

General Practitioner (GP)

Your local doctor - or family doctor - who will usually be the first person you see if you have a physical illness or emotional problem. They can help you directly but can also refer you on for specialist care or assessment. Many GPs have a community psychiatric nurse, psychiatrist or counsellor who works at the GP surgery.


All cells contain substances (including DNA, chromosomes, and genes) that shape a person's identity and can be passed on to other cells. Genes influence certain characteristics, such as height, eye colour or the likelihood of having certain health problems. The study of this is called genetics.


The genome is all of an organism's hereditary information. This includes DNA, chromosomes and genes. The study of this is called genomics.

Group Psychotherapy (Group Analytic Psychotherapy)

Group Psychotherapy explores relationships as they develop among the members of a group, including the therapist. Group members are invited to participate in open conversation in which personal issues can be confidentially explored. By discussing relationships within the group, past experiences which influence and affect current emotional experiences can be better understood.

Group Therapy

Any form of psychotherapy can be done in a group. Some groups are very brief, focused and educational (such as parent training groups), while others are unstructured and may last for several years (such as group analytic therapy). All groups make use of the input from other group members as well as the group leader to help people understand and change their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

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