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

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Sacramento, 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 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.

Leilani Sechler, LMFT

Leilani Sechler, LMFT

Program Director

Leilani received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University of Sacramento and her master’s degree in counseling psychology from National University. During her master’s program she trained as a grief counselor in the hospice department at Kaiser Permanente before settling on a career in eating disorders.

Leilani is the program director at Center for Discovery in Sacramento and has been working in the field of eating disorder treatment since 2012. In addition to eating disorders, Leilani specializes in grief and loss, and PTSD and uses cutting edge Brainspotting therapy to resolve trauma.

Heidi Tash-Ngo, RD

Heidi Tash-Ngo, RD

Registered Dietitian

Heidi Tash-Ngo, RD is a Registered Dietitian (RD) specialized in providing nutrition therapy for individuals struggling with disordered eating. She is experienced in treating both adolescents and adults diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeaters.

Heidi has worked in various treatment settings including residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care. Additionally, Heidi completed her dietetic internship at The University of Minnesota, the only program in the nation with an emphasis on eating disorder treatment. Heidi’s comprehensive approach is based on the principles of intuitive eating focusing on weight stabilization, elimination of harmful weight reduction behaviors, normalization of eating patterns and challenging erroneous beliefs about food and nutrition.

Dr. Jessica Beauchene, MD

Dr. Jessica Beauchene, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Jessica Beauchene completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of the Pacific. She then worked on a Master’s Program before attending UC Davis for medical school. She did her psychiatry residency at UCSF-Fresno Campus. While at UCSF she treated several eating disorder patients and trained at the Stanford-Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. She has now returned to Sacramento where she is working with the Placer County Mental Health Services and is the staff psychiatrist for the Center for Discovery in Sacramento.

Carolyn Willis, BA

Carolyn Willis, BA

Facility Manager

Carolyn Willis received her BS in Community Mental Health Psychology with a Certificate in Addiction Studies from William Jessup University. Prior to joining Discovery, Carolyn worked with YCCC Harmony House specializing in adults with mental health disorders. Carolyn has been working with Center For Discovery Sacramento since 2015. Carolyn has worked in both adolescent and adult residential eating disorder treatment. Carolyn’s favorite aspect of Center For Discovery is the small treatment setting and individualized care that she is able to give clients. Carolyn enjoys hiking, camping, and anything coffee related.

Dr. Sara Shakked, MD

Dr. Sara Shakked, MD

Physician
Dr. Shakked is the primary care Physician at Center For Discovery Sacramento residential eating disorder program. She is a family physician that particularly focuses on working with patients with psychiatric issues. Dr. Shakked’s hope is to help clients find and make meaning out of their life narrative. She also has a particular interest in dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and archetypal patterns as they play out in the individual. Dr. Shakked authored a curriculum manual for therapists who provide care to physicians and has an interest in the physician experience as a sociological construct.