• Mental Health Care Definitions

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    Mental Health Care Definitions

    When starting therapy or other mental health care, you may be exposed to terms or ideas that you had not previously heard of or do not fully understand. In order to assist you in understanding and feeling more comfortable in your care here, we wanted to share definitions of terms you may find on our page or hear used by your therapist.

    Methods of practice

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a well-evidenced form of talk therapy that focuses on adjusting thought patterns that have negative impacts on one’s feelings or behavior. Common focuses of this form are developing coping skills, setting goals, and developing more positive thoughts and behaviors.

    Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT is a more comprehensive form of CBT, often used if clients do not feel they are having success with the CBT model. It combines the idea of acceptance of where you are at, while also finding coping skills and behaviors that can be used to achieve goals. DBT has a big focus on individuals who experience really intense emotions, so the skills developed are often towards emotional control.

    Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on negative thoughts or feelings surrounding challenges in a person’s life. If the challenges cannot be changed or removed from their life entirely, then the client will work on accepting the way it makes them feel so they can then establish behaviors to modify it moving forward.

    Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): EMDR is a non-traditional form of psychotherapy created for clients with trauma or PTSD. In EMDR, a clinician will use eye movements or tapping to engage both sides of a client’s brain to reprocess traumatic memories and assist the client in moving past it. 

    Narrative Therapy: Narrative therapy is another form of talk therapy that has the client separate themselves from their behaviors or problems they are facing and instead view their life as a story. It helps to deconstruct negative narratives one may tell themselves, and focus on “rewriting” their own idea of themselves.

    Motivational Interviewing: Motivational interviewing focuses on the difficulties of making change and assists the client in finding that motivation in themselves. Although it can be used in a variety of different contexts, it is especially helpful for clients who are working towards stopping substance use, losing weight, or any other changes that require motivation to accomplish.

    Humanistic Psychology: A humanistic approach to care means that clinicians view every person as unique with individual experiences and that thought process will be applied to the care they give.

    Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a skill set that focuses on being engaged and aware of our present experience rather than being distracted or discouraged by other thoughts. Although it is often associated with meditation, there are countless ways an individual can practice mindfulness and it differs for each individual. A clinician can help you find the ways you already practice it in your day to day life, as well as other ways it can be included. 

    Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is used to slowly, and in a safe environment, introduce clients to something that brings them anxiety or fear. Often avoidance of feared things can amplify that fear, so the hope is that contact with it can reduce it. This is often used with anxiety disorders, PTSD, phobias, or OCD.

    Solution Focused Brief Therapy: Solution focused brief therapy focuses on imagining what life would look like in the absence of the client’s problem, and works to create and implement behaviors to reach that life. 

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    Integrative Nutrition: Integrative nutrition focuses on diet changes that can be made to help one’s mental and physical health. It is a unique experience for each individual, focusing on the areas they hope to improve and what they can implement to do so.

    Trauma Informed Yoga: Trauma can be unknowingly held in the body, so this practice creates a safe and understanding space for people with trauma to practice yoga and ground themselves, while simultaneously being aware of signs of distress.


    We have many different talented clinicians who are contracted with us here at LifeBalance, all of whom come from many different backgrounds. The following titles all required a Master’s degree in the mental health-related study of their choosing (social work, psychology, etc.). Licensure requires a varied amount of time in the field, under a supervisor, as well as the passing of the licensure exam for their specific field. We hope you are as excited to work with them as we are!

    LICSW – Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

    LCMHC – Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

    MLADC – Masters Level Alcohol and Drug Counselor 

    • The clinicians here with this title are trained in substance use counseling, but they also have many different areas of expertise and work with a large number of clients who do not have substance use concerns.

    CMHC – Clinical Mental Health Counselor

    • This is an unlicensed title. Our clinicians with this are incredibly talented, and working under supervisors here at LifeBalance to meet the required hours for licensure.

    LMFT – License Marriage and Family Therapist 

    • Clinicians with this licensure can also work with individuals.

    Commonly Used Terms

    Treatment plan: A treatment plan is what is used in the therapeutic process to show goals, plans, and methods of therapy used in work. Goal planning is meant to be a collaboration between the clinician and the client in order to reach the place the client hopes to be. 

    Diagnosis: When billing insurances, we have to provide them with a diagnosis (i.e. anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.) for each individual client in order to show them that treatment is needed and valuable. That being said, here at LifeBalance we like to look at the individual symptoms and experiences rather than only focusing on a diagnosis. Diagnoses can be freeing for many individuals, as it helps them to better understand themselves, but we do not want them to exist as a label. 

    For any billing related questions or definitions, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions page!