Since opening their doors in early 2021, mental health clinic, Heber Valley Healing, has been an invaluable resource in guiding Heber Valley residents along their mental health journeys.
Sisters, Cheryl McBride and Marci Heugly, opened the clinic together with a simple but powerful goal to “provide exceptional mental health services to those in the Heber Valley and surrounding areas.” Their full schedules and client success demonstrate that they are doing just that.
Bridging a Gap in Heber Valley
Heber Valley Healing is located within the Lifestyle Chiropractic office on Gateway Drive. The clinic offers outpatient mental health counseling for depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, women’s issues, marital and family issues, youth struggles and more. The clinicians offer both in-person and virtual talk therapy appointments, and have found great success with both formats.
While visiting families in Midway a few years ago, McBride quickly observed that there were not enough mental health resources for such a fast-growing valley. This seems to have been an accurate observation. After opening their doors, referrals from physicians and word-of-mouth recommendations quickly brought in many Heber Valley residents seeking therapy. McBride has been grateful to work with clients from a diverse range of racial identities, religious backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.
A Loving Foundation
McBride and Heugly spent most of their childhood years in Sandy, in a large family of eleven children. The sisters agree that their father’s fulfilling career as a social worker paved the way for them both to pursue careers in the field.
“Therapy was normalized in our home,” shares McBride, “and watching the way our dad helped people gave us an underlying love for all people, and a willingness to help.” This familial foundation of love and service is evident in both McBride and Heugly’s therapeutic philosophies.
“It feels like such a privilege to be in this role,” shares Heugly, “creating safe and vulnerable spaces for people to find resources within is so powerful.”
McBride believes strongly that “every person has the tools within themselves to heal,” and feels that the role of a therapist is “to help you believe that, and to guide you toward your fullest potential.” After nearly 30 years of experience in the field, McBride has seen countless people overcome life challenges and crises, and truly believes that every person is capable and deserving of healing.
Mental Health in Modern Times
In recent years, more and more people in the US have been seeking mental health services. Heugly and McBride agree that this is due to the increased psychological distress in the wake of Covid-19, as well as the increased normalization of therapy.
“The biggest growth in demand has been among youth,” Heugly says, “so many messages youth are getting these days is that they are not capable, and that they have some void to be filled. I am passionate about helping young people reclaim their power early on, so that it isn’t so challenging later in life.” For people of all ages, Heugly wants to reframe the act of asking for help as one of strength and bravery rather than one of weakness. She feels that this shift can be revolutionary for the future of mental health.
Challenges as a Mental Health Professional
Being a committed practitioner in the mental health field comes with its own set of challenges. Heugly is grateful for the ways her educational programs emphasized self-care and awareness of burnout. “In order for this career to be sustainable, I can’t try to be perfect,” says Heugly, “we have to realize that this is not just happening to our clients; this is happening to all of us.”
McBride shares that she had to do the work of processing the trauma of her past before she felt capable of being a good clinician, “the drowning can’t save the drowning,” she says. She has worked in many different settings within the field, but has found most fulfillment and stability in her work at Heber Valley Healing, where “people come in voluntarily, ready to put in the work to heal.” McBride prioritizes self-care and personal joy through nature, family, and community.
The spread of alternative, somatic therapies has exploded in recent years, and though Heber Valley Healing primarily focuses on talk therapy, they are continuing to learn about developments in the field, and hope to expand the breadth of their work. The clinicians frequently refer their clients to utilize modalities such as trauma-informed yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, creative writing, nutrition, massage, chiropractic therapy, sleeping patterns and more.
Though they are not sure of their next steps at this point, they are dreaming of creating a wellness center in the valley that would offer these alternative techniques independent of or along with talk therapy. Both McBride and Heugly feel that these body-based and creative activities lead to more holistic, sustainable healing, and believe that these methods are made more powerful when done in community.
Words of Wisdom
I asked the pair their advice for people in our community who are struggling with their mental health, but may not feel ready to reach out for help.
“There is a lot of stigma and fear about asking for help, especially if you have been in a home that emphasizes independence,” says McBride, “I encourage people to first and foremost create meaningful connections in their lives, that support is essential.” She encourages people to step into a moment of courage to ask for help and recognizes that therapy can be a new and scary experience. “Bring your safe person with you for the first few sessions if you need, take your time, be patient with yourself as you build your trust and confidence in your healing process.”
McBride also recognizes that not everyone has the resources for therapy, and encourages folks to utilize the suicide and crisis hotline (988), free online support networks such as SafeUT, and free podcasts exploring mental health topics.
Heugly reminds us that “healing is a forever process that requires grace and compassion along the journey. No matter where you are at right now, give yourself gratitude throughout the process, no matter how slow or incremental.”
If you or a loved one may benefit from mental health services, visit HeberValleyHealing.com