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Our Eating Disorder Treatment specialties, at our Danville, CA a residential center specializes in Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, & Orthorexia Recovery.

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Danville, CA

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 individuals 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.

Perla Vilhjalmsdottir, LMFT, CEDS-S

Perla Vilhjalmsdottir, LMFT, CEDS-S

Assistant Director of Operations, ED Residential Treatment, West Coast

Perla completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Iceland where she studied Early Childhood Development and completed two master’s degrees at Washington State University, Los Angeles. While earning her degree in Research Psychology focusing on multi-cultural issues and conflict resolution between adolescents and their parents she received an award by the American Psychological Association for outstanding research. Once completed, her focus became Marriage and Family Therapy as she was already passionate about making a difference in the field of eating disorders.

Perla has over 14 years of experience working with both adolescent and adult populations with eating disorders and co-occurring disorders in inpatient, residential, and day treatment settings. She has been supervising other eating disorder professionals for the past 5 years and now holds a certificate as a CEDS Supervisor.

The quote: “Returning to the Center For Discovery team has been a blessing for me. I feel like I’m amongst family, there is a sense of belonging. It is clear that our team is compassionate and invested in treating eating disorders as well as other mental health issues. Center For Discovery provides a healing place for people and their loved ones recovering from an eating disorder and that is the kind of team I want to invest in and be a part of”.

Jamie Atkins, RD

Jamie Atkins, RD

Director of Dietary Services- Adult ED RTC

Jamie is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for food.  She is the Supervisor of Adult Dietary Programs, and a Registered Dietitian at Center For Discovery. She has worked in this field since 2007, and since completing her Bachelors of Science, studying nutrition and psychology at California State University of Long Beach and her Dietetic Internship, she helps people meet their nutritional needs without losing sight of the social and emotional value of food. With a non-judgmental approach, Jamie helps people create a healthy relationship among food, mind, & body.

Richard Barnes, LMFT

Richard Barnes, LMFT

Program Director

Richard J. Barnes is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 15 years experience. He graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Psychology, completed his Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, performed his traineeship with the City of San Francisco Dept of Public Health EAP, and a one year post masters fellowship at Stanford University, Vaden Health Center.

Having witnessed life changing results with families and adolescents in hospital outpatient care over the years, Richard J. Barnes is confident that the strong residential treatment programs at Center For Discovery can bring positive shifts for adolescents struggling with eating disorders while building hope and bringing relief for parents.

Nicole Johnson, BA

Nicole Johnson, BA

Facility Manager

Nicole obtained her Bachelors in Human Development from CSU East Bay, graduating with the distinction of Summa Cum Laude. After graduation she joined the Center For Discovery Danville team as a counselor, working one-on-one with adolescents in the milieu, running therapeutic groups and collaborating with fellow team members to ensure the best care of every adolescent. After fulfilling the role of counselor for a year Nicole took on the role of Facility Manager for the Danville house. Nicole believes that with the support and tools offered through the therapeutic process recovery is possible and each individual can begin to thrive.

Amanda Adkison, RD

Amanda Adkison, RD

Registered Dietitian

Amanda Adkison, RD is the Registered Dietitian at Center for Discovery in Danville and Brentwood, CA and specializes in nutrition therapy for eating disorders and disordered eating. She graduated from University of Texas at Austin where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship. She enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge onto others and challenging individuals to adopt a non-diet approach and incorporate the All Foods Fit Philosophy into their lives. Her goal is to help people heal their relationship with food and have a more balanced and intuitive lifestyle. 

Sarah Morgan, MA

Sarah Morgan, MA

Therapist
Sarah is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who received her degree from University California, Davis in Psychology with a minor in Human Development, and her Masters in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute. Sarah’s approach is congruent with the philosophy of the Wright Institute, which emphasizes support focused on resiliency, recovery, and social justice. Sarah utilizes her training in client-centered therapy to create a therapeutic environment that is strength-based and trauma-informed. She believes in the importance of a relational approach to cultivating an authentic, supportive connection between therapist and client.
 
Prior to joining the team at Center for Discovery, Sarah worked as a school counselor at a non-profit organization providing school-based counseling services. In this position, Sarah worked with adolescents and families in providing individual and group therapy. Her work involved collaborating  with school administration and staff, as well as outside agencies and facilitators. Her areas of professional interest include trauma-informed care, grief and loss, addiction, and social issues from a strength-based approach. 
Katherine Walker, RN

Katherine Walker, RN

Nurse Administrator

Katherine is a Registered Nurse and a dedicated humanist with a spirited interest in the field of mental health nursing. Originally interested in specializing in early childhood education, Katherine was soon drawn to what she saw as an urgent need for passionate mental health nurses. Katherine graduated with honors from Indian Hills Community College in 2016, earning dual degrees in arts and sciences, and R.N. licensure. She is currently working on her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at California State University – San Marcos. Katherine has chosen to direct her focus on the treatment of addiction and eating disorders, and is eager to apply her approachable warmth and energy with both adult and adolescent patient populations.

Dr. Sue Knight, MD

Dr. Sue Knight, MD

Physician

Dr. Knight received her BS degree in Biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. She earned her medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco and completed her internship and residency training at the same institution.

She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is on staff at San Ramon Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Dipti Bhakta

Dr. Dipti Bhakta

Psychiatrist

Dr. Dipti Bhakta completed medical school David Geffin School of Medicine at UCLA in 1993. She completed her psychiatry residency training at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California in 1997.  She is board certified in psychiatry and has been in private practice in Pleasanton California for the past 19 years.  Her area of expertise is treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and eating disorders.