The Work-Life Balance Assessment was conceptualized, and Balanced Card Sorts was subsequently founded, when career and mental health counselor, Anush Hansen, noticed her counseling clients struggling to articulate what specific factors in their careers and personal lives were leading to their stress, anxiety, burnout, and lack of balance.
While many clients expressed their need for better work-life balance, it became clear that “balance” means very different things to different people, depending on their professional and personal priorities, values, responsibilities, and circumstances.
The Work-Life Balance Assessment came to life in 2020 when work and life as we knew it came to a screeching halt due to Covid-19. In a time where the world of work, family, health, and balance had been completely flipped on its head, it seemed there was no better time to dive into creating a tool to help as many people as possible sort out what they want and need to feel happy, healthy, fulfilled, and more balanced.
Anush set out to create a simple and holistic resource, grounded in the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, to help people clarify and untangle these factors, identify their career and life priorities, and develop goals and a concrete plan for improving how they feel and function in their day-to-day lives. This is where the idea for the Work-Life Balance Assessment originated.
THE EIGHT DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS* - A HOLISTIC FRAMEWORK
- Emotional Health: Coping effectively with life & creating healthy, satisfying and meaningful relationships
- Social Health: Developing a sense of connection, belonging & a well-developed support system
- Physical Health: Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods & adequate sleep
- Occupational Health: Personal satisfaction, enrichment & purpose from one's work & career
- Environmental Health: Accessing and occupying safe environments that support health & wellbeing
- Financial Health: Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
- Intellectual Health: Recognizing abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
- Spiritual Health: Expanding a sense of purpose & meaning in life
* adapted from the US Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration's Wellness Wheel Model (https://www.samhsa.gov/)
With the help of a committed team, Balanced Card Sorts has since developed, tested, and released two student-focused card sort tools, including: the Student Career Values Card Sort, which helps youth and young adults clarify and communicate what’s most important to them when then think about their future career and work-life balance; and the Student Wellness Card Sort, which helps youth and young adults prioritize their needs and goals when it comes to their mental health and well-being.
Meet Our Team
The Balanced Card Sorts team is passionately dedicated to sharing our tools with students and employees to help them clarify, communicate and build what they want and need into their lives to find better work-life balance, health and well-being.
Anush Hansen, Founder & CEO
Hi there! I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Career Counselor, former epidemiologist and public health researcher, and Founder of Balanced Card Sorts. I'll be the first to admit that I have a near-obsession with connecting people to resources that allow them to lead healthy, happy, fulfilling lives.
I own a holistic career and wellness counseling practice in Kennebunk, Maine where I support clients in finding meaningful, fulfilling work that also allows them to take care of themselves and pay attention to the other parts of their lives that matter most to them.
I hold a Master's in Public Health and a Master's in Counseling Psychology. Before going into private practice, I worked in university mental health counseling and wellness centers, community mental health settings, and in health promotion and public health research and evaluation, where I served as Project Director for dozens of mixed-methods research studies, and led the development of multiple survey and assessment tools. The combination of my training and experience in mental health, wellness education, career development, health promotion, and public health is what fuels my commitment to using a holistic, wellness-centered approach with clients, and helped to shape the development of the Balanced Card Sorts program.
I live in in Maine with my husband, two children, a very energetic chocolate lab/Aussie mix, and two extremely fluffy cats. Outside of doing work that I love with colleagues I genuinely adore, I enjoy exploring Maine with my family, taking advantage of our beautiful local beaches, getting cozy in front of the woodstove with a great book, and perfecting my favorite soup and home-made pizza recipes.
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Sarah Kelly, Director of Growth & Strategy
I have worked in tech for most of my career, with 20+ years as a sales and marketing leader in startups, as well as large tech leaders. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and have built my own business from scratch to six figures. I am also the co-founder of Foundation4Love, which supports wellness programming for cancer patients in Maine. I earned my BA from Fordham University and MBA from Simmons College.
I'm the mom of 3 kids (ages 9,8 and 5); a wife; a breast cancer survivor, an adventurer, a foodie and nature lover. I grew up in CT and have lived in NYC & Boston and now reside in Maine near the ocean with my husband, kids and dog.
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Rhonda Senger, Campus Partnerships
Hi! I am excited to be part of the Balanced Card Sorts team. My background is in business development and non-profits. Throughout my experiences in both my professional career and non-profit work, I have always strived to develop strong business relationships built upon mutual trust, dependability, and integrity. I have a passion for problem-solving and education. When I paused my professional career, I led the creation of an educational foundation in my community.
I strive for balance in my life and helping people find their balance is what attracted me to Balanced Card Sorts. I like offering a simple solution to people who feel unsettled with their wellness, careers, and work-life balance.
I live in Maine with my husband and have two boys and a black lab. I enjoy interior design, pickleball, and everything outdoors including walking, hiking, and anything to do with the ocean!
Chris Wells, Web Developer
I am a co-founder at Redfin Solutions, a trusted team of Drupal experts based in Portland, Maine. We conceive, build, and support custom enterprise websites, making sure the solutions we deliver exceed expectations, with clients including Dartmouth College, Phillips Exeter Academy, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, MaineHealth, and MIT.
I oversee the development and maintenance of Balanced Card Sorts digital card sort tools, ensuring a reliable and user-friendly experience for users.
I give back to the Drupal community by contributing to Drupal core, maintaining Drupal contrib modules, speaking at Drupal camps, and mentoring other Drupal professionals.
When I'm not working, I have three little ones that keep me plenty busy!
Nathaan Demers, Higher Ed & Digital Behavioral Health
Nathaan Demers, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist with experience in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health, therapeutic boarding schools, integrated primary care, and most notably college counseling. In addition to his clinical work, he has implemented a variety of programs at the state/regional/national level, and completed his dissertation on the construct of “maturity” with adolescent and young adult populations. For the past decade, Nathaan has been a thought leader, national speaker, and innovator in the digital behavioral health space, specifically researching and developing holistic behavioral health interventions for institutions of higher education. Currently, Nathaan is the Director of Strategic Partnerships with Mantra Health, the preeminent digital mental health provider bringing accessible, high-quality mental health and wellness solutions to colleges and universities.
Whit Ford, SCORE Business Mentor & Advisor
I have been a SCORE Mentor since 2017, after working in Strategic Planning, Financial Oversight, Industrial Marketing, Software Development/Sales/Support, Adult/Secondary Education, and 25 years as a Maine small business owner. My undergraduate degree was in Applied Mathematics/Computer Science, and my graduate degree in Marketing/Finance.
Other interests include playing Irish Traditional and English Country Dance music on flute or whistle, serving on non-profit Boards, helping local high school students with math questions, judging VEX Robotics tournaments, and conversing with friends in France to help each other improve our foreign language skills.
Kristin Ryan, Independent Schools & Student Affairs
As my CliftonStrengths assessment so accurately describes: I am a “developer” passionate about recognizing and cultivating potential in others. I honed this skill during my 20 years as an administrator at an all-girls boarding school, where I created leadership programming to give girls the opportunity to articulate and refine their values and goals, and to understand and own their leadership strengths as they worked on building a strong sense of self.
In 2021, I transitioned to the nonprofit sector - and Maine! - where I am dedicated to coaching mentors: helping them to notice, appreciate, and reflect back students' strengths and capabilities, to affirm and reinforce their confidence and healthy self perception. I love creating and cultivating authentic connections - especially when collaborating with other caring, compassionate humans. I am also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach: Developer ▪ Individualization ▪ Arranger ▪ Adaptability ▪ Maximizer.
In my spare time, I love exploring all things Maine (restaurants, running/hiking trails, the local art and “maker” scenes), long walks listening to podcasts (Brene Brown, Jemele Hill, Angela Duckworth, true crime…), and nerding out over fonts, hand lettering, and graphic design.
Rebecca Fraser-Thill, Higher Education
I’m a Certified Career Coach, the Senior Contributor at Forbes on meaningful work, and owner of Fraser-Thill Coaching & Consulting, LLC. My passion is helping people create greater fulfillment and impact in their work through holistic awareness.
Prior to taking my coaching practice full-time in August 2021, I served as a faculty member in the Psychology Department at Bates College for 18 years. At Bates I also led the design of Purposeful Work, an industry-leading approach to helping students launch meaningful careers. I deeply believe that students’ wellness and values orientation are foundational to their success in the classroom, on the sports fields, and in their campus and surrounding communities. I’ve witnessed the power of these fundamentals many times over.
I live in a cheerful yellow house near Portland, Maine, with my high school sweetheart husband and two kids. When I’m not tinkering with my business, I enjoy walking, writing, and being silly with my family.
Beth Corkum, School Counseling & Wellness
Hello! I'd describe myself professionally as a passionate educational leader with a background in high school counseling, multi-tiered systems of support and coaching. It's important for me to have a strong connection and sense of belonging with the humans in my life, both personally and professionally.
I thrive in environments where trust, respect, commitment and authenticity are shared values. I believe that kindness and gratitude have the greatest impact on all humans. I enjoy making a difference through learning, sharing knowledge and creativity.
I'm working towards wholehearted living through the balance of efficiency and order with growth, optimism, hope and vulnerability. My two daughters will tell you that "efficient" is my favorite word in the dictionary! When I'm not counseling at Bow High School, coaching youth sports or volunteering on committees of passion, you may find me mountain biking the trails of New Hampshire or coordinating gatherings with friends and family!
Heidi Pauer, Public Schools
My favorite word is “possible”. During my 30 years of being an educator and high school administrator, I have always seen the possible in each and every student and colleague. I'm not afraid of trying something new, moving through uncertainty, and taking risks all in the name of creating a safe space for people to explore their authentic selves.
I had the privilege to introduce the Career Values Card Sort and the Student Wellness Card Sort with many of my high school students, and I witnessed students positively impacted by using the Card Sorts…their transformation through reflection was palpable. I knew I had to be part of sharing these simple and powerful tools with others.
Card Sorts also changed my own life by providing clarity to open up my world as a mixed media artist. I blend my creative passions of theater, visual arts, music, poetry, and dance to empower others.
I've been known to give out free hugs, love to laugh, and am most at home in the mountains.
Complete the form below to book a demo, ask a question, provide feedback, or learn more about using our digital and hands-on tools with your students, employees, or clients.
We look forward to hearing from you!