Finding New Horizons
helping you break free from the chains of disorder & unhappiness
We are Passionate About Reclaiming Joy
Full Recovery Is Possible
We are passionate about providing comprehensive, tailored treatment to address your unique needs. We don’t believe in one size fits all treatment, and are invested in working collaboratively with you toward the goal of full recovery.
Ambivalence is a Given
The impact of an eating disorder can sometimes be difficult to recognize, and ambivalence about seeking help is a given. We get it. Life change is daunting stuff. We do our best to make the process as clear as possible. It’s not easy, but it is clear.
We are Team Players
Treatment is active, with specific treatment targets. Change is difficult and individuals are invited to change in pursuit of their values. However, we recognize that change is difficult, and we provide the safety, security, and skill-base to create lasting change. We only work within a multidisciplinary treatment team that includes–first and foremost–you, your loved ones, dietitian, medical providers, group therapist, and A Players in your life. Collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to eating recovery.
You might not have hope. That’s okay. We can carry that one for now.
We Know Our Stuff
Not only are we passionate about eating recovery, but we are pretty darn smart when it comes to helping you attain full recovery. We’ve dedicated our careers to studying, understanding, and teaching about eating recovery. We live this everyday, and consider it a privilege to guide you on this path. We are fully committed to evidence-based treatment interventions and utilize a scientist-practitioner approach in which research informs best practice. We are active participants in professional organizations and contribute whole-heartedly to our professional communities. You can check out our credentials here.
What Can You Expect From Treatment?
Treatment focuses on the dynamic interplay between cognitions, emotions, and behaviors, with targeted change in each area. Initial focus is on ensuring medical stability before further treatment can be pursued.
Lots of Talking, Some Crying, and Plenty of Stillness
Treatment includes education about specific coping skills, distress tolerance skills, emotional regulation skills, and increasing awareness of vulnerabilities related to eating concerns. Treatment strives to increase structure and accountability, and often includes meal monitoring with ongoing feedback regarding challenges related to eating.
How Does it Work?
In a word, we heal. But how we do this depends on your needs
Individual therapy creates new understanding of your life and questions tired assumptions, all while challenging you to take full responsibility for the path forward, based on your values and goals. Through powerful shifts in perspective, individual therapy is focused on identifying patterns, changing behavior, and generating new solutions. Focus is on action through the development of coping skills, strength resilience, and value-based living.
Couples therapy is focused on the relationship between you and your partner and the goals you set for treatment. We are not referees for your favorite arguments, but are invested in helping you uncover hidden resentments, set and declare intentions clearly, and hold one another accountable for strengthening and maintaining commitment to your treatment targets. We’ll help you communicate more effectively, but powerful couples therapy is about so much more than effective communication. It’s about vulnerability, trust, deep connection, and showing up for each other in ways you didn’t know were possible. It’s powerful stuff.
Family therapy can be a powerful vehicle for change. Patterns and assumptions are laid bare, misunderstandings are clarified, and each member of the family has an equal voice in speaking to the challenges and strengths of the family system. Entrenched dynamics that once seemed insurmountable become evidence of resilience and strength.
If you’re like most people, when you first hear about group therapy, your defenses shoot straight up. Group therapy can feel overwhelming, but it is incredibly powerful for sparking awareness, building connection, and accelerating growth. It’s that good. We are incredibly passionate about group therapy and are invested in providing the best therapy groups in the State of Utah. We’re that good. Whether included as part of comprehensive treatment or as a stand-alone treatment, group therapy is excellent in addressing many concerns and should be considered as a front-line treatment of choice.
Specialty Outpatient Medical Services
Eating disorders are complex illnesses that often include significant medical concerns. Addressing these concerns is essential to success in eating recovery.
We are pleased to offer specialty outpatient medical services at Balance Health & Healing to serve the unique needs of individuals with eating and nutritional concerns. Our comprehensive medical clinic includes initial screenings to assess medical stability, an in house lab with rapid blood work analysis, and EKG services.
We offer ongoing monitoring with touch points and test results when you need them most to provide the safety and support you need in your journey to recovery. We collaborate closely with your treatment providers in the community.
Our medical team has specialized training and experience with medical challenges that can arise from disordered eating patterns and are sensitive to the nuances associated with eating disorders.
Current Group Offerings:
- Moving Forward - 30+
- Together Toward Change - All Ages
- On The Right Track - Teen Group
- Embodied: A body acceptance group
“Moving forward: An eating concerns process group for ages 30+”
Wednesday afternoon group 1:15-2:45 pm
Led by Dr. Anna Packard, Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) and licensed psychologist, this group welcomes clients ages thirty and older, who want support, motivation, and encouragement as they move forward in their lives, recovering from an eating disorder. Run as a process group, this environment offers a unique space for clients to connect, challenge themselves, and progress toward their goals and values.
“Together toward change: an eating concerns and body image process group.”
Wednesday evening group 5:30-7:00 pm
All ages and genders welcome. Led by Dr. Anna Packard Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) and licensed psychologist, this group is primarily run as a general process group. Experiential exercises are periodically used to facilitate process and insight, increase motivation and connection between members and within themselves.
“On the Right Track”
2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m
What is teen group & why should I join?
Eating recovery can be challenging, but there is no need for you to do it alone. Group is a powerful community of recovery-focused commitment. The gift of group is knowing you are not alone in your experience as you receive feedback and encouragement from others tackling similar challenges.
You are not alone and you deserve support!
Embodied: A Body Acceptance Group
A new 12-week series starting in March 2023
Led by Dr. Anna Packard, a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS) and Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), this group will focus on improving one’s relationship with their body. Weekly group experiential activities will facilitate and deepen body healing, connection, and improve body image. As the group journeys together, the power and connection in group will further facilitate growth, compassion and acceptance.
Accelerate Your Growth
We also specialize in several different areas of practice, including but not limited to:
Anorexia is a disorder characterized by an intense drive for thinness, significant weight loss, body image disturbances, fear related to food, and refusal to eat appropriately. There are often significant health consequences associated with anorexia, making collaboration with a specialized dietitian and primary care provider essential to comprehensive treatment.
Bulimia is characterized by a drive for thinness, body image disturbances, consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, feeling out of control during these binge episodes, and engaging in compensatory purging behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, and unbalanced exercise. Often, individuals with bulimia are of normal weight range, but bulimia carries significant health consequences, and requires close collaboration with a specialized dietitian and primary care provider.
Binge-eating disorder is characterized by eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, feeling out of control during the binge, feeling guilty, poor self-perception, but no use of compensatory behaviors related to binges. Sometimes, these individuals are overweight and have health concerns related to the effects of being overweight. Again, collaboration with medical and dietary providers is essential to comprehensive care.
Avoidant/Restrictive Feeding Intake Disorder (ARFID)
ARFID is characterized by fear and distress related to specific food, food textures, and acts associated with eating, such as swallowing or fear of vomiting. These individuals often struggled with feeding issues in infancy or early childhood and presentation is more common among children and younger adolescents. Treatment includes targeting the intense fears and phobias related to eating, and active collaboration with family members, teachers, and school personnel is essential to ensure resumption of normal eating. Collaboration with other professionals is commonly indicated as there may be medical concerns, such as low weight or malnutrition.
Subclinical Eating Concerns
Subclinical eating concerns are typically similar to the eating disorders, but have a less devastating impact on daily functioning. Typically, individuals are still engaged in daily living, although functioning may be somewhat compromised. It is important to intervene early so as to avoid eating concerns becoming more severe.
Body Image Disturbances
Body image disturbances include a poor body image, misperception of one’s body, identity focused on the body, and comparing self to others. Often these individuals can feel plagued by the expectations they have for their body or their perceived expectations from others and hold the belief that if their body were different they would be happy.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Similar to body image disturbances, body dysmorphia is a condition wherein an individual has a significant misperception of the body, believing it is flawed in a significant way, whether that be related to weight, appearance, or function. These individuals tend to experience significant anxiety related to their body and what others may think of them.
Unbalanced exercise can be a component of eating disorders and subclinical eating concerns and is characterized by intense, frequent exercise despite injury, illness, or other important life events. These individuals tend to be quite rigid about their exercise and have difficulty altering their regimen. Exercise can often be used as a compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain or in response to eating due to fear of fat.
Eating Concerns in Sports
Athletes have special considerations when it comes to eating, body image, and physical activity. By virtue of their identity as an athlete, they often view their bodies in terms of sports instrumentality, and can sometimes lose perspective about what it means to have balanced health. Athletes can be hesitant to seek treatment out of a fear that their sport will be blamed and they will be asked to discontinue sports participation. The athlete identity is an important and valuable identity, therefore a focus on safely participating in sport is of primary importance while also teaching more balance with regard to food and training expectations.
Sometimes individuals struggle to cope with specific dietary restrictions, such as celiac disease and other nutritional concerns. While it is important to work with an experienced medical provider, therapy can help individuals cope with emotions and cognitions related to these health concerns, which can in turn empower the individual in taking charge of their health concerns.
Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety manifests in many ways, including specific fears or phobias, panic disorder, including panic attacks, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, which includes worry about many things, difficulty controlling worry, and feeling keyed up or on edge much of the time. Therapy can be very helpful in uncovering the roots of anxiety and helping individuals address anxiety in systematic ways wherein they are able to move toward life goals and values despite anxiety and can decrease the overall experience of anxiety on a daily basis.
Depression is among the most common mental health concerns and is characterized by sadness, loneliness, lack of interest, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, and social withdrawal or isolation. Cognitive distortions often accompany depression, and comprehensive treatment works to address not only the behavioral manifestations of depression but also focuses on challenging the cognitive distortions and regaining hope in oneself and the future.
It’s not uncommon for individuals to have difficulty in relationships, whether it be communication concerns, fear of vulnerability and connection, or difficulty committing. At times, individuals may feel they lose themselves in relationships or experience other attachment concerns. Treatment can be very helpful in identifying specific patterns that may be ineffective or contrary to one’s values and goals.
Trauma is a reality of the world we live in, be it interpersonal violence, sexual or physical abuse, accidents, or natural disasters. The faces of trauma are varied, and the symptoms are real and can be debilitating if not addressed thoroughly. Evidence-based PTSD treatment is essential to full recovery.
Adoption is a deeply meaningful experience that brings great joy, but also brings challenges, not only for adoptive children, but also for biological and adoptive parents. Sadly, individuals often feel guilty for the feelings they may have, and don’t feel able to discuss their concerns openly. Therapy can provide an important outlet for discussing the very real challenges associated with adoption.
Existential questions, including what is the meaning of life, why am I here, and what is my purpose can create fear and anxiety. We understand that one’s spiritual identity is complex, that some questions of faith have no easy answers, but that there is value in clarifying the concerns with a purpose of moving toward a more value-driven life.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us.