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

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Edmonds, WA

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”.

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDRD-S

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDRD-S

Director of Dietary Services

Julia Cassidy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and has worked at Center For Discovery for over 10 years. She develops and maintains Center For Discovery’s nutrition program and oversees its implementation at each of Center For Discovery’s programs nationwide. Julia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from California State University-Long Beach and her Masters in Exercise Science and Fitness at California University of Pennsylvania.

Katrina Ehresman, MA, LMHC, RYT

Katrina Ehresman, MA, LMHC, RYT

Program Director

Katrina Ehresman is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington State. Katrina completed her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Montclair State University and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from LIOS College of Saybrook University. Katrina is also certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher. She discovered her interest in helping those struggling with Eating Disorders while volunteering with the National Eating Disorder Association Helpline. Katrina joined the Center For Discovery team in 2011 as a diet tech. She has since worked in nearly every role at the residential level in both the adolescent and adult programs. She has been the Program Director at the Bellevue Residential location since February 2017 and is excited to step into the Program Director role in Edmonds. Katrina feels inspired by working with clients and their families to make recovery feel possible.

Rebecca Aronsen, BS, RD

Rebecca Aronsen, BS, RD

Registered Dietitian

Rebecca Aronsen earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. After graduation she completed a dietetic internship through The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York with an emphasis in Communications. In addition to obtaining her credential, Ms. Aronsen has been working with adolescents with eating disorders in a residential setting at Center For Discovery since 2013 as a Diet Technician. Her passion has found fulfillment working with adolescents and adults in eating disorder treatment. Ms. Aronsen is thrilled to continue her future with Center For Discovery, and helping clients rebuild their relationship with food.

Melissa Homes, PA-C

Melissa Homes, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Melissa Holmes PA-C is a board certified physician assistant who graduated from Duke University’s PA program in 1999. She has 17 years of experience in Family Practice.. She enjoys providing personalized healthcare and a medical home to her panel of patients who range from newborns to geriatrics. She started specializing in eating disorders in 2011 and practices a multidisciplinary team approach to treating eating disorders and has expertise in monitoring and treating medical complications in these patients. She provides medical support to all levels of care in eating disorder treatment. Melissa works closely with Dr Naomi Busch, who supervises all admissions to Edmonds. Dr Busch is a Board Certified Family Physician working out of her primary care office in Seattle.

Elina Durchman, MD

Elina Durchman, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Elina Durchman graduated from University of Washington School of Medicine. She completed her residency in General Psychiatry followed by a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University of Washington. She gained training in multiple settings including the juvenile justice system, long-term residential treatment and inpatient eating disorder treatment at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Durchman also completed a fellowship in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) at the University of Washington. As an avid child mental health advocate, she has been a member of the executive committee of the Washington State Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry since 2010 and is currently serving as the president of the organization. Dr. Durchman believes in a family oriented approach to treatment and in empowering clients to gain control of their own wellbeing as well as using an evidence-based treatment approach. Dr. Durchman provides psychiatric services to both teens and adults at Center For Discovery’s Edmonds and Bellevue locations.

Sally Butler

Sally Butler

Facility Manager

Sally Butler graduated from the University of Vermont with her BA in Psychology. During her time in school, Sally helped teach an undergraduate course that focused on Eating Disorders, and discovered her passion to work in the Eating Disorder field. She began working for Center for Discovery as a Counselor and enjoyed being able to support the clients in the moment, through meal time support, challenging negative thoughts, and using coping skills to deal with difficult emotions and their resulting behaviors.

Sally was promoted to Facility Manager. She works to make sure that the facility runs smoothly by creating a team atmosphere for all members of the Center for Discovery team. She firmly believes in the structured, supportive, and positive environment that the Center for Discovery team provides to all the clients and their families, which is essential to success in recovery.

Jenni Scharf

Jenni Scharf

Clinical Outreach Supervisor and Staff Recruitment Representative

Jenni Scharf is the Clinical Outreach Supervisor and Staff Recruitment Representative at Center For Discovery in the Northwest treating adolescents, adults and families impacted by eating disorders. Jenni earned her degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in Management from Western Washington University. Jenni has worked in healthcare marketing since 2001 and has held seats on 4 separate Pacific Northwest iaedp chapter boards. Jenni loves being a resource for professionals. She is a wife and mom to three kids and is passionate about helping families find the recovery they need to be healthy, whole and happy once again.

Cassandra Kotlarchik, LMFT, CEDS

Cassandra Kotlarchik, LMFT, CEDS

Clinical Advisor

Cassandra Kotlarchik is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Washington State. Cassandra is also a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist through The International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) and an IAEDP approved supervisor. Cassandra received her BA in Psychology from the University of Washington and her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. Cassandra joined the Center for Discovery team in 2010 as a Milieu Counselor in Edmonds. She then moved into the Facility Manager, Primary Therapist, then Program Director role at the Edmonds facility. Cassandra is now a Clinical Advisor for the Washington Center for Discovery programs. In this role she provides clinical supervision, supports clinical outreach and operations, and supports the Washington programs.