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Finding Community Mental Health Centers in Utah

In Utah, community mental health centers are primarily focused on improving mental health outcomes for underserved and vulnerable populations. Public health information suggests that these populations are about twice as likely to seek mental health care services. Yet, a lack of financial resources is the most common reason that people give for not accessing services. In other words, the individuals who are most likely to need help from a mental health professional are often the same individuals who struggle to gain access.

Here are some of Utah’s community mental health centers and the ways in which these providers work to increase access:


Medicaid’s Prepaid Mental Health Plans

This is perhaps the easiest and certainly one of the most common ways to access the community mental health centers in Utah. Additional information can be found on the Utah Department of Health Medicaid website, but the primary vendor for the following Utah counties are:


  • Bear River Mental Health: Box Elder, Cache, and Rich Counties
  • Central Utah Counseling Center: Piute, Millard, Juab, Sanpete, Wayne, and Sevier Counties
  • Davis Behavioral Health: Davis County
  • Four Corners Community Behavioral Health: Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties
  • Northeastern Counseling Center: Daggett, Duchesne, San Juan, and Uintah Counties
  • Southwest Behavioral Health Center: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington Counties
  • Valley Behavioral Health: Salt Lake (thru Optum Health), Summit, and Tooele Counties
  • Wasatch Mental Health: Utah County
  • Weber Mental Health: Morgan and Weber Counties


Keep in mind, however, that these primary Medicaid vendors are not the only community mental health centers in Utah. Along with crisis intervention, inpatient services, and other urgent care needs, the full range of mental health services authorized through the Utah’s Medicaid Program include: psychological testing and evaluations, individual and group therapy, medication management, educational and rehabilitation services, case management, personal services including transportation, and respite care.


Other Community Mental Health Centers in Utah

This is far from an exhaustive list, but these are major providers of community mental health services in Utah.


General Health Providers: Often, a physician is the health professional an individual will se. Any number of physicians and general health providers may provide basic mental health screenings and referrals as deemed appropriate. Overall, one of the best organizations to fit this niche is the Utah affiliate for the Association of Community Health Centers.


United Way of Utah: Residents who are struggling with mental health issues as they relate to situational stressors, abuse, or financial struggles may not know where to turn. Contacting the United Way is an option for finding help in a variety of trying circumstances. Utah chapters are located in Salt Lake City, Provo, Price, St. George, Ogden, and Logan.


Community Counseling Centers: Community counseling practices serve residents in counties throughout much of the state and shows that mental health services for underserved populations are not relegated simply to substance abuse group therapy and emergency-based psychiatric care.


Substance Abuse Treatment: One of the common reasons to seek services, substance abuse treatment is a staple of community mental health resources. There are many options which offer a range of fully-covered, partially-covered, and private-pay service agreements. The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health offers a convenient tool to conduct a local search.

How can Depression be Treated? Top 6 Resources in Utah

The question how can depression be treated is a common one for Utah residents who are struggling with this agonizing mood disorder. While there is a common symptomology that defines depressive disorders, an individual course of depression is often quite varied. Moreover, for depression that hits hard and fast or a depressive episode that has been left untreated, it may be important to seek out emergency services. First and foremost, depression interventions attempt to ensure that nobody harms themselves or others.

Severity, duration, and features can all lead to different treatment recommendations. Often, it’s also important to take stock of the resources that are available to each individual. At Mountain Mental Health, we recommend developing a personalized treatment plan in collaboration with a qualified mental health professional. But with this in mind, here is an overview of the resources that are commonly used in Utah to treat depression.

  1. Talk Therapy: This is generally one of the best options for treatment in. Not only is this one of the most effective forms of depression therapy overall, but it doesn’t have the negative side effects of antidepressants, electroconvulsive, or transcranial magnetic therapies. It’s important to know how much the therapy will cost, but with new health insurance rules in Utah, more people than ever are finding their out-of-pocket costs are minimal.
  2. Group Therapy & Behavioral Changes: There is a long list of options. It could be a local LDS ward or other church organization. Along with group therapy for depression and mood disorders, there are support groups for grief, addiction, abuse, and many others. Other individuals may instead find that working or volunteering for a community organization provides an innovative method for how depression can be treated. Other behavioral changes—including exercise, posture, and expressive therapies—can also produce a positive effect.
  3. Prescription Antidepressants: Prescribed by a Utah physician, this treatment may be used based on the type and severity of the depressive episode, along with other individual factors. In every case, close monitoring of side effects is crucial. Many Utah residents choose to see a medical doctor because of the stigmatization of mental health services. Others first seek out a primary care physician to get a referral for their health insurance authorization.
  4. Dietary Supplements: The data on whether these types of dietary supplements have any effect is mixed. Even if the biological mechanisms are poorly understood, these supplements can produce an effect by creating an expectation of improvement. Knowing that 5-HTP is the chemical precursor to serotonin or that vitamin D is more difficult for the body to produce in winter may increase this expectation.
  5. Electro-Magnetic Treatments: More advanced treatments focus on disrupting specific areas of the brain that are thought to perpetuate depression. Today’s electroconvulsive therapy uses targeted electrical current with little resemblance to the violent shocks administered decades ago. Transcranial magnetic stimulation works in a similar fashion, albeit with focused magnetic fields.
  6. Environmental Changes: In addition to dedicated therapies, individuals who are struggling with situational depression may also benefit from a change in scenery. Some environments are so toxic that effective coping mechanisms are impractical. How can depression be treated, when an intense stressor continues to exert pressure on the individual? School bullying is one such example, and Utah is far from immune from this phenomenon. Faced with severe bullying and/or a lack of institutional support, many parents find the best solution—sometimes the only solution—is to relocate. There are also several types of residential programs available for those who stand to benefit from a more controlled environment.


How much does a Yoga Class Cost in Utah?

Nationally, the average cost of a yoga class is about $12, and Utah is right in line with that. The Salt Lake and Utah Valleys, in particular, offer affordable prices compared to the rest of the country. It’s pretty easy to find a drop-in class for $12 or less, especially if you have a local ID. In many metropolitan areas, the average cost of a class is now closer to $15-$20.

Now some classes will naturally cost more, sometimes a lot more. Due to the extra costs of maintaining a safe, therapeutic environment, hot yoga classes tend to cost a little more. Meanwhile, private yoga instruction can cost as much as $75-$100+. Still, don’t dismiss the idea prematurely. Some instructors who offer private lessons out of their home can offer rates as low as $25/hour, even though this is the exception and not the rule. Moreover, some studios will offer private lessons at a discounted rate on a temporary basis, especially if this instruction helps you overcome barriers to joining regular studio classes.


How to Reduce the Cost of a Yoga Class

Keep in mind, the $12 average price tag is for a drop-in class at the regular studio price. First-timers can find free, introductory classes. Some studios also offer free promotional classes, either once a week or once a month. Even after these free yoga opportunities have run dry, paying for a standalone class every once in a while can be a great way to make sure you don’t get complacent with your free, in-home yoga habit.

That said, most Utah studios also offer package deals that can reduce the cost of each yoga class. And by finding a deal that makes sense for your immediate budget and commitment level, it doesn’t take much to come out ahead.

Unlimited Pass Cards: These are most often sold in 1-month and 3-month durations. Two quick words of warning here: First, don’t put up a bunch of money until you’re sure a regular yoga habit is right for you. Second, ask yourself if you’re in danger of over-exercising by taking on too many strenuous classes each week. With this in mind, an unlimited pass card can be the ideal solution for someone looking to take their yoga passion to the next level with, say, an alternating schedule of restorative yoga sessions and more active classes. Or maybe your daily meditative yoga class is providing essential benefits in reducing the symptoms of a mental illness.

Class Punch Cards: These are better for people with variable schedules and interests. Due to work and travel, you might take 3 classes a week one month. Then, the next month, you struggle to make it to even one yoga class per week. These punch cards allow you to get sizable discounts on the studio’s classes without the same level of commitment or frequency. Some studios also sell group and family punch cards that can be shared by more than one person. Just be sure you know when your card expires. Often sold in 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month intervals.

Membership and Promotional Discounts: Some studios offer club membership in which an annual fee gives you something like a 20% discount on any classes you attend. Promotional deals for students, veterans, and/or senior citizens are also fairly common. And to reduce crowds and maintain a full schedule of classes, some studios offer discount rates for their lunchtime and late-evening classes.

Get More from Your Yoga Therapy in Utah

Yoga therapy is a catch-all phrase for yoga classes that are taken to achieve therapeutic goals. The term can just as easily be used to discuss the benefits of yoga for recovering from a physical injury, medical procedure, or mental disorder. In fact, the precise cause isn’t always known. For example, yoga can be a great way to improve your gastro-intestinal health, whether your stomach hurts because of a poor diet, anxiety disorder, or some combination of factors.


Yoga as an Adjunct Therapy

This doesn’t mean that yoga therapy is a cure-all. If you suspect you have a serious medical condition, don’t hesitate to talk to a physician. If you suspect you have a serious mental health condition, we strongly urge you to seek the counsel of a qualified mental health therapist. These health professionals can help you understand the underlying cause of your pain and discomfort, as well as make an evaluation of yoga’s potential benefit. When yoga is included as part of a larger treatment plan for a health condition—medical or mental health—it’s often referred to as an adjunct therapy.


Meditation vs. Mindfulness

Here’s a great example of how a mental health therapist can help you get more from your yoga therapy. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you may have noticed that the instructor started ended the session with a meditation, known as savasana. Often, though not always, this meditation is guided by the instructor’s voice. Guided meditation has its own mental health benefits, but the practice of silent mindfulness holds even more promise for many people and their mental health.

Simply put, mindfulness is focusing on the present moment and the non-judgmental observance of one’s conscious thoughts. Talking to a therapist, however, can help improve your practice of mindfulness, while also putting this cognitive therapy in the more personal context of your own mental health troubles. A therapist can also help you evaluate the immediate benefits and long-term potential of yoga therapy for you.

Many yoga studios offer some combination of the two, by including a short guided meditation at the beginning of the savasana, followed by plenty of time to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the studio space. That said, while some people find that the end of yoga is the absolute best time to engage in the practice of mindfulness, others prefer to alternate between a yoga studio session one day and a mindfulness meditation in their own home the next day.


At-Home Yoga vs. Studio-Based Therapy

To get the most out of yoga therapy, you should really find a studio and instructor who you can connect with. That said, this is one of those situations in which a studio class is better than yoga at the house—which is itself a lot better than nothing. And, at home, it’s free. And close. And it works around your schedule. Thus, we recommend getting out to the studio whenever you can, but maintaining a regular yoga habit at home whenever you need. The popularity of this mix-and-match strategy also helps explain why there’s such a heavy incentive for studios to market unlimited monthly passes and punch card discounts. This can make studio yoga more affordable, while making it harder to accommodate scheduling uncertainty.


Preventative and Proactive Yoga Therapy

From chronic back pain to mood disorders, many symptoms can be strictly controlled or prevented altogether by maintaining a healthy yoga habit. Further, you can proactively build up your psychological resilience for any stress or trauma you may face down the road. Likewise, many people who effectively treat their mental health troubles end up drifting away from the practice, only to experience a relapse of symptoms.

Now, not everybody needs to see a mental health therapist before signing up for classes. Not all yoga is yoga therapy, but if you are looking to yoga to help with your psychological distress, you’re going to get the most of classes by consulting with a mental health therapist.

Does Yoga Work as a Mental Health Treatment?

The short answer is yes, yoga works as a mental health treatment. The mix of meditation and slow-movement calisthenics create a positive impact for many people who struggle with mental illness, as well as those who are looking to build up their natural, psychological resilience. In fact, one of the most impressive things about the practice is its ability to provide at least some improvement and symptom relief for almost any mental disorder in the book.

Now, it’s not a miracle cure. All the sun salutations in the world may not help someone who refuses to talk to a therapist about the negative thoughts and behaviors that are occurring in other aspects of their life. Moreover, yoga isn’t going to make someone’s schizophrenia go away, and it’s not going to suddenly make someone smarter. On the other hand, yoga has been used effectively to reduce psychotic symptoms. It’s also an increasingly common part of treatment plans for autistic children—in large part because a calmer mind has been linked to increased learning and cognitive development.

Generally speaking, mood disorders provide the most natural fit for a treatment plan that includes yoga. The calming effects of yogic meditation often have a direct impact on one’s depressed, manic, or anxious mood. Trauma and latent anxieties also tend to respond well to this type of yogic meditation, albeit under the guidance of a mental health therapist.


The Potential to Help and to Harm

Few mental health treatments are without risk, and yoga is no exception. As widespread as the benefits can be, there are practices and approaches that can do more harm than good. We’re not just talking about straining a muscle or hyper-extending a joint, either.

Eating disorders provide one of the clearest examples of the ways in which yoga may help or harm one’s mental health. A restorative, mindfulness-based session can help nurture a positive body image and calm the fears that one has about gaining weight. An almost daily habit of aggressive power yoga may instead serve as a rationalization for over-exercise that exacerbates the physical toll of the eating disorder.


Personal and Cultural Approaches to Yoga in Utah

Yoga is not a religion. You don’t have to convert to yogism, or anything like that. And while you may have already known this, it’s important to remember, whether you suddenly find yourself doubting the integrity of your own faith or feeling the persecution of those who mistakenly believe that yoga is in some way spiritually dangerous. Moreover, it doesn’t even have to be a particularly social activity. For quite a few people, yoga’s value is entirely about reducing the symptoms of their mental illness. And it’s something they can be done in solitude or with a close friend.

There’s also something to be said for not letting physical limitations stand in your way. Now, we’re not trying to gloss over the reality. Decreased mobility may mean limited opportunities to achieve yogic poses, but there’s also been a huge increase in the development of modified poses. Many types of physical disabilities may be easily overcome.


More Tips & Info

If you’re struggling with a mental disorder, we strongly urge you to talk to a licensed mental health therapist to develop a personalized therapy program. That said, aside from wearing comfortable clothing that doesn’t grab at your skin, there’s no great trick or preparation that’s needed to start a yoga habit. Eat light and bring a water bottle in case you get thirsty. The studio should have the equipment you need.

With this in mind, the following information provides tips and research for yoga’s potential to specific mental disorders—

Depression and Anxiety

Bipolar Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Personal Trauma

Borderline Personality

Substance Addiction

Traumatic Brain Injury

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Sleep Disturbance

Eating Disorders




Find Equine Therapy Programs in Utah

In Utah, many equine therapy programs are geared toward residential drug rehab treatment, but there are some locations that serve people, especially youth, with other mental health troubles. Several facilities also offer outpatient equine therapy. And apart from dedicated equine therapy programs, some people may be to achieve similar benefits from equestrian centers, especially when used in tandem with more traditional therapy services and office settings. The National Ability Center in Park City, for example, is one of Utah’s premier equestrian centers and offers several resources that are used to improve mental health.


List of Equine Therapy Programs in Utah

Hoofbeats to Healing: This program has two locations, one in Saratoga Springs and one in Bountiful. Rather than feeding and grooming, this center emphasizes therapeutic horseback riding. The program favors Missouri Fox Trotters for their horses. Commonly treated mental health issues include trauma, attachment disorder, mood disorders, and developmental delays.

Courage Reins: Located in Highland, Utah, this facility offers a full range of equine therapy programs including therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy, and equine-assisted learning. Due to the extra cost, about the only thing they don’t do is take on seriously injured horses.

Shadow Mountain Equine Psychotherapy: Located at the Keystone Equestrian Horse Park in Bluffdale. Offers adolescent, adult, and family therapy with a focus on trauma and eating disorders. Grooming and exercising the horse are standard with each therapy session. Mounting and saddlery may be included as the situation warrants.

Discovery Ranch: This is a residential and academic treatment program in Mapleton, Utah for teenage boys who are experiencing any number of mental health troubles. Comprehensive treatment is offered, but the equine therapy is highlighted. Each student completes 3-4 months of working with a horse, while some students also work on advanced horsemanship that includes basic instruction in western riding, trail riding, and colt training.

Falcon Ridge Ranch: A residential and academic program for teenage girls with any number of mental health troubles. Equine assisted psychotherapy is at the heart of the Falcon Ridge treatment plan, along with the natural beauty of its Virgin, Utah location. Each young woman learns to earn the trust of and bond with one of the ranch’s horses.

Lion’s Gate Recovery: This is a comprehensive drug addiction program for adults. Based in St. George, this facility offers immediate intervention and detox, comprehensive rehab, and continuing care services. More than just basic grooming, many residents participate in an in-depth equine program that may include raising a young colt from infancy to adulthood.

Life Skills Recovery Ranch: This ranch takes the 12-step approach to drug rehab and incorporates the routine and skills of a working ranch. Along with rehab, the ranch also offers people the opportunity to develop a number of occupational skills. Located in Holden, Utah, Double Dollar Livestock hosts the ranch location.

Silver Spur Therapeutic Riding Center: In lieu of equine-assisted mental health therapy, Silver Spur focuses on therapeutic riding for autism, developmental delays, and physical disabilities. Located in New Harmony, the center offers therapeutic riding for 6-8 week blocks between April and November.

Ascend Recovery: Located in American Fork, this recovery center offers drug rehab with a specialization in dual diagnosis in which drug addiction co-exists with trauma or other mental health troubles. Equine therapy is only one of several therapy opportunities that includes art, music, pottery, and a ropes course.

Bridge Recovery Center: Located at the Coral Springs Resort on the outskirts of Hurricane Utah, this center is focused on treating chronic pain, both physical and psychological pain. Compared to other equine therapy programs, the Bridge Recovery Center is known for the unique experience of bonding with a wild mustang.

Utah Addiction Centers: Located in Eagle Mountain, this center offers treatment for drug addiction, sex addiction, and eating disorders, along with dual-diagnosis treatment for people whose addiction is associated with another mental illness. Equine therapy emphasizes learning how to play with and exercise the horse.

Sorenson’s Ranch: Offers a therapeutic equine program as part of a larger boarding school and residential therapy program for adolescent boys and girls. It’s also a working ranch located in Koosharem that includes a comprehensive treatment plan for a wide range of troubled teens.

Mt. Pleasant Academy: This is a small academic and residential treatment center for adolescent boys. This facility focuses exclusively on sexual misconduct and other sex-related issues, as well as porn and digital addictions. Along with education and conventional therapy services, equine therapy is the main treatment program offered at Mt. Pleasant Academy.

Cold Creek Behavioral Health: This treatment provider specializes in drug addiction and offers a wide range of individualized therapies, including both 12-step and non-12-step programs. Equine therapy is frequently included as part of the treatment and is offered to both residents and outpatient clients. Multiple locations include Kaysville, Brighton, and Salt Lake City.

Cirque Lodge: A comprehensive alcohol and drug rehab program. There is a studio location in Orem, but the companion Lodge facility in Sundance offers equine therapy and other experiential therapies built around some of the best landscape that Provo Canyon has to offer.

Diamond Ranch Academy: This is an academic and residential treatment center in Hurricane for teenage boys and girls. The facilities are separated into six distinct centers—two for girls and four for boys—ranging from 12-18+ years old. Diamond Ranch offers equine therapy as part of a larger treatment plan that also includes Character Curriculum, the academy’s own collection of workbooks.

Angel’s Recovery: Alcohol and drug rehab center that also caters to specific populations that include college students, LGBTQIA individuals, and executives and other professionals who continue to work during treatment. Along with equine therapy, this treatment center offers golf, music, and art therapy.

Find Yoga Classes in Utah

Maybe you’ve heard how yoga can reduce the symptoms associated with a wide range of mental disorders. Or maybe you’ve plateaued in your current exercise routine, and you’re looking to mix it up. Maybe a friend or neighbor just recently told you about a great experience they had. Or maybe you’ve long thought about trying your hand at yoga, but have only recently decided to give it a whirl. Whatever the reason, we can help connect you with yoga classes that provide the best fit for you and your personal health goals.


4 Tips for Finding Better Yoga Classes in Utah

Different Types of Yoga Experience: We offer information about specific yoga disciplines—from hatha to ashtanga to hot yoga—but where we can really make a difference is the general way that different yoga experiences can dovetail—or interfere—with your personal mental health goals. From skill level to social interaction to yogi culture, finding the right fit for you can make a huge difference in the positive results you get from a yoga habit.

Time and Scheduling: Finding the perfect yoga experience may not matter if the class is held at the same time as your child’s soccer practice. But more than just finding time in the schedule for individual classes, consider the entire studio schedule. Pay close attention to the times and dates for those classes you may be interested in taking. Some people have established and prefer a stable weekly routine, but others look to mix and match their yoga times and the types of classes they take. Increased schedule flexibility can also help maintain a regular yoga habit even when life inevitably gets in the way.

Location and Travel: Yoga classes are supposed to have a calming influence on your life, but sandwiching a perfect yogic hour between two stressful, 30-minute drives may hamper the mental health benefits that you carry into the rest of your life. Again, the type of yoga experience makes a big difference, so we don’t want to say that an extra five or ten minutes on the road to reach a preferred studio, instructor, or class isn’t worth it. But the more convenient a yoga habit is the more likely it is to stick.

Moreover, location and time scheduling may go hand-in-hand, especially in the Salt Lake Valley where the time of day can make a huge difference in travel times. Finding a yoga center near your workplace, for example, may give you a great excuse to hang back and avoid the worst of Salt Lake’s afternoon rush hour.

The Cost of Yoga Classes in Utah: Nobody likes to pay more than they have to. But especially for those looking to maintain a regular habit on a limited budget, the cost of yoga classes in Utah can be a major factor in choosing a studio. We can help you establish a baseline average (about $12) to do some comparison-shopping, but we also offer specific strategies to reduce the cost of yoga for people in Utah.


What Utahns Should Know about Finding Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes the harm that occurs when the story of our lives is dominated by a particularly destructive narrative. The primary method of therapy then becomes the therapist and client investigating past events together looking for places where the current narrative doesn’t fit and where a more positive, competing narrative can take hold.

For this reason, it’s crucial to find a therapist you can connect with. Someone you can trust is letting new narratives unfold organically, rather than projecting their own biases. The good news is it shouldn’t be hard. Therapists are trained to offer a clinical setting and style of dialogue that specifically promotes this type of honest collaboration.


Choosing a Therapist

Know that if you go looking for a narrative therapist in Utah, your options are going to seem limited. That’s because this therapy is primarily viewed as a therapeutic method, rather than a comprehensive approach to psychotherapy. In other words, most therapists think of narrative therapy as one more tool in the toolbox to helping their clients achieve their mental health goals. Thus, if you’re interested in narrative therapy, look for therapists who describe themselves as eclectic, client-centered, or holistic.


Common Narratives in Utah

Competing narratives can occur on both a personal and cultural level with no set rules about which narratives may be harming and which may be able to help your mental health goals. Likewise, different narratives may intersect in complex ways that are best explored with the support of a therapist—

  • Many families in Utah have serious disagreements about their spiritual beliefs and attitudes. Many families have serious disagreements about the social, political, and economic influences that impact their daily lives and those of their friends and neighbors. Narrative therapy can help family members learn to disarm the tension within this larger cultural narrative by continually refocusing on the personal narrative that has made the family so strong in the past.
  • At the same time, there’s no denying that some people get the short end of the stick from their family and life history. With comparatively little to hang their hat on from the standpoint of personal narrative, finding positive meaning in a larger cultural narrative becomes increasingly important. This typically includes connecting with relevant social groups and support systems. Old and new, family can come from many places.
  • Other types of narrative therapy have less to do with competing narratives and more to do with reclaiming the ability to tell one’s personal story at all. Traumatic stress, for example, can disrupt our brain’s episodic memory and language center so that it becomes difficult to describe even basic details about our past events. Yoga, meditation, and acupuncture may all be used to help someone reach a place that is safe and secure enough to reclaim a narrative meaning to their lives.


The Role of Choice

In the mental health community, the primary criticisms of narrative therapy are often centered on the notion that competing narratives lead to a relativistic worldview that may be harmful to long-term mental health goals. This explanation is overly simplistic, but it does point to a critical element of success for people who are interested in this particular approach to therapy: Choosing a more positive narrative for one’s life.

This isn’t to say choosing a narrative for one’s life is easy. If it were, you probably wouldn’t be thinking about therapy at all. But even when the choice feels like an impossible one, even when it doesn’t feel like a choice at all, there is a different tale that can be told. And that’s because the choice is nowhere near as difficult as it seems right now. By talking to a therapist who can help you investigate and then recast life events, the richness of alternative narratives should become more evident—as does the viability of choosing a different story that gives meaning to your past, present, and future.

One final note on this subject: Because of the huge role that choice plays, some people also think of narrative therapy as a particular type of existential therapy.


Find Narrative Therapy in Utah

Like almost any approach to therapy, expect to put in some time working to improve your mental health. But know that reclaiming the power of narrative and channeling it toward your personal goals can be a life-saving, life-changing process. We encourage you to find a therapist who can help you explore the potential of this therapy for your life.


Art Therapy in Utah: A Collage of Mental Health Resources

The fundamentals of art therapy are much the same as other types of expressive therapies—an artistic medium is used to facilitate the expression of a psychological reality. This may be externalizing negative emotions and past events, or it may be depicting beauty, resilience, or other values that tend to serve as a buffer against psychological stress.

Now, this doesn’t mean that every pretty picture is a perfect reflection of some deep personal truth. Explaining a picture of a rose may be explained as easily as the fact that, in Utah, they grow like crazy, and people tend to draw what they see. Plus, not everything has to have a deeper meaning to be a positive. The simple act of making a meaningful picture has tremendous potential to lift and/or stabilize one’s mood. That said, for those who are struggling with psychological stress, troubling realities have a tendency to bubble up to the surface. For all these reasons, the art therapist, the prompt, and the person’s willingness to respond to that prompt earnestly can all be crucial elements for getting desirable results.


Art Therapy Settings in Utah

One of the surest ways to parse out the different types of art therapy in Utah is to look at the settings in which the art is created. As well as some of specific therapeutic goals that are trying to be achieved—

  • Most of us were asked as school kids to draw a picture of our family. This school activity can be both therapy and an informal assessment tool. Childhood trauma comes in many different forms, but even generally supportive families may be made stronger by exploring the content of these depictions.
  • Group therapy is the most common mode for art therapy. Creating art with others helps provide affordable access to direct feedback from an art therapist. This includes residential treatment centers as well as intensive outpatient treatment programs, especially drug rehab. But it also includes mental health therapists in Utah who offer weekly or monthly art-inspired group therapy. Some of these classes are designed for specific types of mental health troubles. Others are geared more toward particular mediums and themes.
  • Art therapy can also be a homework assignment from a mental health professional in the context of individual therapy. Direct feedback doesn’t have to be immediate feedback. By responding to an artistic prompt and then bringing the artwork to your next appointment, you get that much more from your mental health therapy.


Art as an Evidence-Based Therapy

As it’s depicted today, neuroscience is as media narrative as methodology. Still, the study of the brain provides plenty of corroborating evidence for the therapeutic value of artistic expression. Art may be subjective, but expressive therapies stand up well to scientific scrutiny. Especially when it comes to specific mental health troubles.

Take post-traumatic stress, for example. The toll of past traumas can disrupt our neurological function to the point where the language center of our brain shuts down when remembering traumatic events or when triggered by specific sensory inputs. Much of the power that trauma holds over us is its namelessness. Moreover, left unchecked, post-traumatic stress robs us of our everyday joys. A rose, by any other name, is just as sweet. But if we can’t give it a name at all, we truly do miss out on much of the flower’s sweetness.

More than just PTSD, anyone who has repeatedly struggled to communicate their psychological stress is likely to benefit from art therapy in one form or another. We encourage you to explore which resource in Utah makes the most sense for you.

How Does Equine Therapy Work?

There is no single answer to this question because there is no single kind of equine therapy. Equine, or horse, therapy is used to treat numerous physical and mental health issues. In nearly every case, a therapeutic bond forms between the horse and person, but what that bond entails really depends on the situation. Feeding, grooming, and any specialized care the horse may need is one common method for this therapy. So, too, is learning how to give various commands and putting the horse through his or her daily exercise. Finally, even when the horse can’t be ridden, the practice of saddling the horse may still be part of the program.


Why Horses?

Well, it doesn’t have to be horses. From dogs to dolphins to sheep, there are a number of different animal-assisted therapies. Fortunately, there’s really no need to throw a horse and, say, an alpaca into a double-blind study. Considerable effort is made to match different types of animals—as well as the specific horse—to the individual who is seeking therapy.

That said, there are specific advantages to using horses. First, horses are among the smartest animals out there. Their memory, in particular, make them imminently trainable, including the ability to obey complex commands. Their natural beauty, mannerisms, and unique care needs make the everyday experience incredibly rewarding.

Moreover, many of the horses need you just as much as you need them. There are more than 9 million horses in the U.S. for racing, showing, ranch and farm work, personal recreation, and a number of other activities. Inevitably, some of these horses are injured or fall ill and can no longer perform their previous work duties. Thus, many equine therapy centers, and the people who provide the horses’ care, are directly responsible for saving the lives of horses that might otherwise be euthanized.


What Type of Horse is Best for Equine Therapy?

From the Norwegian Fjord riding horse to miniature horses that people sometimes keep as pets, some breeds do tend to be better than others for therapy. That said, the most important factors tend to be size, temperament, and ride-ability. Even the horse’s personal history is taken into account, especially if there’s some type of common past between the horse and person. But just as often, a bond is forged by finding the differences that empower the horse and person to work together.

  • An injured horse that can’t be ridden at all and requires special care may be paired with someone who is struggling to recover from drug addiction, childhood abuse, or other mental health troubles where providing a nurturing environment to others can be invaluable in building resilience.
  • In contrast, someone with a physical disability may benefit from riding a horse with a stocky build, peaceful temperament, and clean gait. Feeding, grooming, and other aspects of the horse’s care may or may not be part of the therapy.
  • Other types of equine therapy are based almost solely on companionship and lifting people’s moods. And, on this point, a small pony galloping around the room and running up to people asking to be pet tends to be pretty effective.


Starting Equine Therapy in Utah

Some people go directly to one of Utah’s equine centers, but people with a serious mental illness frequently talk to a therapist or psychologist about their troubles and which types of therapy might work best in your case. That said, don’t hesitate to tell the mental health professional about your interest in horses, as these personal preferences may be a factor in making a referral. Likewise, know that equine therapy may be an adjunct therapy that is done in coordination with a larger treatment plan.