Dr. Ashley Southard was feeling frustrated.
A licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Ashley had been working alongside her fellow co-director, psychologist Dr. Julie T. Anné, at A New Beginning, an eating disorder treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The team had spent two decades helping patients recover from eating disorders. But they could only help so many people with their outpatient and intensive outpatient programs (which were also expensive). They recognized that there were many more people were suffering in silence with lifelong binge and emotional eating who couldn’t come to their clinic. That motivated these therapists to look beyond conventional eating disorder treatments.
How could they reach more people with proven programs and practices that would make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives?
The pair had started in 2014 with what they knew best, creating The Healthy Weigh Out as an in-person treatment program catered specifically to people struggling with emotional and binge eating. As the program went on, Dr. Ashley and Dr. Julie shifted to exploring how they could bring their offering online, expanding it to a larger audience beyond the small population of people who could access their center in Scottsdale: