Let’s Talk

866.482.3876

Let’s Talk 866.482.3876

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

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | La Habra, 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”.

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDRD-S

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDRD-S

Director of Dietary Services- Adult ED RTC

Julia Cassidy is the Director of Dietary Services- Adult ED RTC 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 of 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 in 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.”

Nicole Souders, LMFT

Nicole Souders, LMFT

Program Director
Jennifer Alford, MS

Jennifer Alford, MS

Registered Dietitian
Jennifer Pierce, AMFT/APCC

Jennifer Pierce, AMFT/APCC

Primary Therapist
Dr. Barbara Lucas, MD

Dr. Barbara Lucas, MD

Program Physician

Dr. Lucas has been a member of the Center For Discovery’s treatment team since 2001. Dr. Lucas serves as a pediatrician specializing in eating disorders and clinical genetics. Following a chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Dr. Lucas completed a fellowship in clinical genetics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate training at Brigham Young University, her medical school training at the University of Arkansas, and her residency at the University of California at Irvine, Long Beach Memorial and CHOC.

Whitney Rodgers, BS

Whitney Rodgers, BS

Facility Administrator
Danielle Anderson, RN

Danielle Anderson, RN

Nurse Administrator