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Our Eating Disorder Treatment specialties, at our San Francisco Bay Area residential center specializes in Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, & Orthorexia Recovery.

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | San Francisco Bay Area

National Director of Operations, Residential Eating Disorder Division

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

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.

Assistant Director of Operations, Residential Eating Disorder, West Coast

Perla Vilhjalmsdottir, LMFT, CEDS-S

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”.

Director of Dietary Services - Adult ED RTC

Jamie Atkins, RD, CEDRD

Jamie Atkins RD, CEDRD, is the Director of Dietary Services for the Adult RTC at Center for Discovery.  She has a passion for helping 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.  She believes in helping her clients to find their own path, thus allowing them to take ownership of their recovery, and at times does so utilizing a DBT informed approach she developed for Dietitians.  She has worked in the field for over a decade, and has experience working in all levels of care; hospitalization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient.

Jamie is a Licensed Body Positive Facilitator and is an advocate for putting an end to weight stigma while spreading the message of size acceptance through speaking publicly on the topic across the country.  She has also spoken on various other topics related to eating disorders at the national and international level.  She is active in the community, both by raising eating disorder and weight stigma awareness and being on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) serving as the Social Media Chair, and Association of Size Diversity and Health serving as a Member At Large.  Jamie believes the most important step in helping a client on the path to recovery is meeting them where they are, and helping them to build a recovery they can see for themselves, bringing together mind, body, and soul.

Program Director

Coleen Wooten, LPCC

Regional Therapist

Paul Kalkin, MFT

Paul is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California with over five years of experience working with diverse, under-served populations suffering from dual diagnosis conditions in areas such as community mental health, addiction and recovery. Paul supported his clinical development with extensive training in couples counseling, Gestalt therapy, and psychoanalytic case conceptualization. He earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and continued with his clinical training at the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis where he was recently nominated as a Candidate Analyst of the school. Paul began his career with Center for Discovery cross training as a Primary Therapist at the East Bay Resilience residential treatment center working with diverse, adolescent populations recovering from crisis. There he has co-facilitated all new client admissions and clinical interviews; conducted individual and family therapy sessions; and co-lead group therapy interventions. Since 2017, he has extended his clinical reach to eating disorders and outpatient facilities in Fremont, Pleasanton, and Menlo Park as Center for Discovery’s Regional Therapist. He utilizes interventions such as active listening and reframing as parts of a client-centered, psychodynamic therapeutic approach with his clients. Additionally, Paul has recently begun to lead psycho-ed groups on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Paul is passionate about creating a therapeutic experience in which liberating, creative approaches to treatment can be invented in the imaginative space between client and therapist.

Registered Dietitian

Sally Gogol, RD

Sally Gogol earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Health and Exercise Science from University of California, Santa Barbara, and her MS in Nutritional Science with a concentration in Dietetics from San Jose State University. She is a Registered Dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Sally has been working at Center for Discovery since 2009 and currently works at both Fremont and Menlo Park locations. She believes in helping her clients find a healthy and mindful relationship with all foods.

Program Physician

Mitesh Popat, MD

Dr. Popat has worked at Center for Discovery Fremont since the house opened in June 2012. He greatly enjoys providing interdisciplinary care to clients as they recover from their eating disorders. He believes in the efficacy of teams of clinicians who are trained in different ways to impact peoples’ lives. In caring for clients at CFD, his general approach is one of medical stabilization while engaging in the therapeutic process. He believes understanding the “why” of eating disorder behaviors is critical to recovery and developing more healthy modes of coping with stress and past trauma.

In his work outside of CFD, he works at Marin Community Clinics as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Associate CEO. He is a Board Certified Family Physician with a MD and MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine. After medical school, he served in the O’Connor Hospital/Stanford Family Medicine Residency Program in San Jose. He has worked in India, South Africa, and Honduras with local medical professionals to improve preventive care for patients with chronic disease and to describe the social factors surrounding HIV infection.  He volunteers his time with various organizations, including the American Cancer Society.

Program Psychiatrist

Kathleen Seaton, MD

Facility Manager

Dulce Morales, BA