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Our Eating Disorder Treatment specialties, at our Houston, TX a outpatient center specializes in Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, & Orthorexia Recovery.

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Houston, TX

Deandra Christianson, MA, LCPC, NCC, CCMHC, CDWF

Deandra Christianson, MA, LCPC, NCC, CCMHC, CDWF

National Director of Operations, Residential Eating Disorder Division

Deandra Christianson received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then continued on to receive her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While in her Master’s program she earned a Counseling Specialization and focused on treatment of children and adolescents. She is currently completing her PhD in Organizational Leadership at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Deandra has been with Center for Discovery in many capacities, both clinical and administrative, since 2013. She has been afforded many opportunities to speak at conferences and other engagements throughout the country. Deandra has worked with people with eating disorders, self-injurious behaviors, mood disorders, and other co-occurring issues in both residential and outpatient treatment settings. Additionally, she has worked with schools in program development and implementation that focuses on student leadership and bullying prevention and intervention. Deandra is passionate about her work, as well as, eating disorder awareness, advocacy, and treatment.

Andrea Ciarlelli, LMFT

Andrea Ciarlelli, LMFT

Assistant Director of Operation, East Coast, Residential Eating Disorder Division

Andrea Ciarlelli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders for adolescents and their families. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and later earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the same institution.

Ms. Ciarlelli has worked with adolescents and adults in various levels of care including Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Group Homes, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Crisis Stabilization Programs and Outpatient Mental Health Clinics. Ms. Ciarlelli has extensive experience treating adolescents with complex psychiatric issues including: eating disorders, psychotic disorders, mood dysregulation, self-injurious behaviors and trauma. She approaches therapy utilizing a structural family therapy framework and believes that the support and inclusion of families in treatment is critical to the healing process. Ms. Ciarlelli is also an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University in the Psychology Department, where she teaches Infant and Child Development, Adolescent Psychology and Abnormal Psychology as needed.

Julia Cassidy, CEDS-S

Julia Cassidy, CEDS-S

Director of Dietary Services - Adolescent ED RTC

Julia Cassidy is the Director of Dietary for Center For Discovery where she has worked for over 13 years. Julia is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and a Licensed Body Positive facilitator. Through her passion for nutrition, food, positive body image and eating disorder recovery, Julia has developed the nutrition program used with all clients in the adolescent residential programs at Discovery. Seeing her clients take the path and make changes in their life from the time of admission to the time they discharge is the greatest reward of her career. Julia’s belief is having a healthy relationship with food through balanced nutrition is the baseline to attaining the tools necessary while on the road to recovery. The core ingredient for success for patients with eating disorders can be summed up in the words of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Whitney Harken, LCSW, CED-S,

Whitney Harken, LCSW, CED-S,

Program Director

Whitney Harken is the Program Director at Center For Discovery’s Houston residential eating disorder program. In addition she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and Certified Family Based Treatment Therapist. Whitney earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. During her study, she served as the Primary Investigator on a research project which was presented at the APNA conference in 2015, the SPN conference in 2016, and was published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing in August 2017 titled, “Perceptions of Caring for Adolescents With Eating Disorders Hospitalized on a General Pediatric Unit”. She has extensive experience in the behavioral care field and has worked in multiple settings such hospitals, crisis clinics, and intensive in home services. Whitney uses an integrative approach to treatment which is always strength based, family focused, and incorporates CBT, DBT, and ACT principles.

Sasha Millice

Sasha Millice

Registered Dietitian
Sasha is the Registered Dietitian at Center For Discovery Houston residential eating disorder program. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of British Columbia in Food, Nutrition, and Health. In addition, she earned her Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University, Los Angeles. During her study, her research topics included: Health at Every Size Approaches for Dietitians, The Relationship between Food Insecurity and Disordered Eating Behaviors, and Restrictive Eating Disorders in Adolescents with a History of Overweight or Obesity. Sasha’s pre-graduate experience also includes interning as a Dietetic at University of Houston and Texas Children’s Hospital. Her clinical approach is using a health at every size perspective so clients find a more peaceful way to relate food that includes nourishment and satisfaction.
Dr. Edward P. Tyson, MD

Dr. Edward P. Tyson, MD

Physician

Dr. Tyson is the Physician at Center For Discovery Houston residential eating disorder program. He has been specializing in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders for over 25 years. Dr.Tyson completed his Family Practice residency and a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine, during which he had his first clinical training in eating disorders. He began to focus on eating disorders as a specialty while the Director of Clinics for the Adolescent Medicine Section, Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. Upon moving back to Austin, he opened his private practice specializing in eating disorders.

Dr. Tyson speaks nationally and internationally on various topics about eating disorders. He also teaches to residents, medical students, nurse practitioner students, as well as undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Texas. Dr. Tyson wrote the chapter on medical assessment for the recent text, “Eating Disorders—Bridging the Research-Practice Gap”. He is also a co-author of the AED’s medical guide on eating disorders, “Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders”. Advocating for those with eating disorders has been a priority for Dr. Tyson, who has worked to develop legislation in the state of Texas to mandate insurance coverage for eating disorders.

Dr. Sonal Rana, MD

Dr. Sonal Rana, MD

Psychiatrist

Sonal Rana, MD, went to Stanford University for her undergraduate education. She pursued her medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed four years of adult psychiatry training at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Semel Institute of Human Behavior and Neuroscience and later returned to Stanford to complete her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. She is board certified in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.

After completing her fellowship, Dr. Rana worked as the medical director for the intensive outpatient program for adolescents and families at the Bay Area Children’s Association, a non-profit agency in California. She has specialized training in mentalization-based therapy, structural family therapy, family based therapy for eating disorders, play-based therapies, interpersonal, parent-child interaction therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapies for children and adolescents.

She has facilitated adolescent groups on depression and anxiety, parent workshops on childhood anxiety, as well as, multifamily groups designed to improve family communication and cohesiveness. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with diagnoses ranging from anxiety and depression, to bipolar disorder, eating disorders, disruptive behavior disorder, personality disorders (with particular emphasis on Borderline Personality Disorder), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, high functioning autism, and schizophrenia. As a psychiatrist, she believes that medications are a useful adjunct to therapeutic modalities designed to bolster families and individuals. She moved to Houston, Texas in May 2015 and is excited to be part of the Center for Discovery family.

Jennifer Nagel, RDN, LD, PA-C

Jennifer Nagel, RDN, LD, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Licensed Dietitian, and the Certified Physician Assistant at Center For Discovery Houston residential eating disorder program. She has almost a decade of experience as a Physician Assistant and over a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian. Her work experience includes primary care, urgent care, weight management, and psychiatry. Jennifer specializes in the medical evaluation and treatment of eating disorders. She discovered her passion for the field when she worked as a Physician Assistant providing medical care for both residential and partial hospitalization programs at an eating disorder treatment center in San Diego, CA. Jennifer found great benefit in working as part of a treatment team and encourages a collaborative approach with other professionals caring for eating disorder clients

Katie Cavanagh, M.Ed

Katie Cavanagh, M.Ed

Facility Manager

Katie is the Facility Manager at Center For Discovery’s Houston residential eating disorder program. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and completed her Masters of Education in Counseling at the University of Houston. She has worked in the field of eating disorders for over a year and has worked in both partial hospitalization and adolescent residential treatment centers. Katie has a strong passion for working with eating disorders and takes pride in working with youth. She is thrilled to join the Center for Discovery team as she completes her final requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Cheryl Philipps, MEd

Cheryl Philipps, MEd

Clinical Outreach Representative

Cheryl Phillipps  joined the Center for Discovery team with an integrated marketing background and over five years of experience in the field of behavioral health treatment and nutrition. Cheryl received her undergraduate degree in business administration at Keene State with a concentration in Marketing and her M.Ed. in nutrition at Framingham State College with high honors.

Cheryl is dedicated to connecting clients and professionals with the services they need to meet their specific needs. As the Clinical Outreach Representative at Center for Discovery, Cheryl fosters and maintains relationships with professionals throughout the mental health community, and she is the primary contact for inquiries about the treatment center. She would be happy to hear from you with any questions or concerns. Cheryl is passionate about helping treatment teams, their clients, and families find treatment and loves being part of the Center for Discovery family where clinical excellence and dedication to the individual client help make recovery possible.

 
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