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Our Eating Disorder Treatment specialties, at our Atlanta, GA, an outpatient center specializes in Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, & Orthorexia Recovery.

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Atlanta, GA


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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 people 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.

Andrea Ciarlelli, LMFT

Andrea Ciarlelli, LMFT

Assistant Director of Operation, East Coast, Residential Eating Disorder Division

Andrea Ciarlelli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders for adolescents and their families. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and later earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the same institution.
Ms. Ciarlelli has worked with adolescents and adults in various levels of care including Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Group Homes, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Crisis Stabilization Programs and Outpatient Mental Health Clinics. Ms. Ciarlelli has extensive experience treating adolescents with complex psychiatric issues including: eating disorders, psychotic disorders, mood dysregulation, self-injurious behaviors and trauma. She approaches therapy utilizing a structural family therapy framework and believes that the support and inclusion of families in treatment is critical to the healing process. Ms. Ciarlelli is also an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University in the Psychology Department, where she teaches Infant and Child Development, Adolescent Psychology and Abnormal Psychology as needed.

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDS-S

Julia Cassidy, RD, CEDS-S

Director of Dietary Services- Adult ED RTC

Julia Cassidy is the Director of Dietary Service- 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. Julia is also the Co-Chair for the Nutrition SIG with AED (Academy for Eating Disorders), which allows for her to be the liaison to DEED (Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders) through the SCAN DPG (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition – A Didactic practice group for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Through her passion of nutrition, food, positive body image and eating disorder recovery, Julia has developed and updated the nutrition program used with all clients in the adolescent residential programs at Discovery. To maintain up-to-date nutritional information, Julia engages the public through many mediums: CSULB guest speaker on eating disorders, educated dietitians at LB Miller’s Children Hospital, maintains corporate level training on Discovery’s nutrition program, and continuously attends marketing and other events to promote the dietary program. 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 is 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.”

Joy Ssebikindu, LPC

Joy Ssebikindu, LPC

Program Director

Joy is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Program Director at Center For Discovery Atlanta, Adolescent Eating Disorder Residential Treatment Center. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Child Development and her MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt University. Joy comes with over a decade of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in working with individuals, couples, and families, who have issues surrounding communication. Particularly, she is passionate to support the challenging aspects of family transitions such as divorce, trauma, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and self harming behaviors that lead to or are intertwined with disordered eating and eating disorders. With Joy’s heartfelt desires to strengthening the family systems, she is grateful to be part of the Discovery Difference and to utilize her expertise in the program.

Hannah Sabella, MS, RDN, LDN

Hannah Sabella, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian

Hannah Sabella, MS, RDN, LDN is a Registered Dietitian new to Atlanta, forming her career around mental health and nutrition therapy for individuals struggling with eating disorders. Hannah works with all ages, but finds special meaning in adolescent nutrition counseling. Her treatment interventions include nutrition education and counseling, meal planning, and practicing body image acceptance. Her goal for her clients is to live free from ED, confidently able to nurture their physical and mental health through all stages of life.

Hannah first earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri before moving to Chicago suburbs to earn her Master of Science in Nutrition & Wellness at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. After that, she traded in cold Chicago winters for hot Atlanta summers! Hannah joined the Vinings Wellness Team in October 2016 in addition to working at Center for Discovery helping adolescents with primary eating disorders.

In her free time, Hannah enjoys riding her bicycle on the beltline, visiting her favorite coffee shops, and hiking with friends. Hannah attends IAEDP (International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals) seminars and is a member of the Greater Atlanta Dietetics Association and is currently pursuing specialization as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDRD).

Manisha Arora, RN

Manisha Arora, RN

Facility Manager/Nurse Administrator

Manisha Arora, RN, graduated from Chamberlain College of Nursing with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015. During her time at the university she volunteered at the Grady Health System, and after graduation began working as a Registered Nurse at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic. Manisha then began working at Center for Discovery, Atlanta as a Registered Nurse in 2017, and progressed her career to become the Facility Manager and Nurse Administrator.

For the past 14 years, Manisha has been an active volunteer for Sant Nirankari Mission, and leads spiritual workshops for children at the local center. She has also been responsible for organizing the blood donation and health clinics with the local American Red Cross organizations. She is passionate about supporting not only the needs of the clients and families at Center For Discovery , but the many tasks associated to assist the facility and staff .

Dr. Maloa Chu Affuembey, MD

Dr. Maloa Chu Affuembey, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Affuembey, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and was born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas, with a major in Biology and minor in Psychology, and later studied at The Saba University School of Medicine in Netherlands-Antilles. She completed her residency at Louisiana State University – Our Lady of The Lake Psychiatry Program in Baton Rouge, where she served as Chief Resident.

Dr Affeumbey is passionate to assist those who suffer disruptions in daily relationships with food and body image. Eating disorders are an area of special interest to her as they hold a unique role in which they navigate the mind’s influence on the body. She believes that nourishment cannot only be life sustaining, but also a point of connection within and across cultures.

Dr. Neha Bhatt, MD

Dr. Neha Bhatt, MD

Pediatrician

Neha Bhatt, MD. graduated from Emory University with BS of Biology and Minor in Psychology and medical school in Cambridge University in the UK. She completed pediatric residency in Chicago and ended her years as Chief Resident in her program. She moved back to Atlanta and worked as a general pediatrician before beginning her family. She returns back to focus on pediatric and adolescent medicine, Dr. Bhatt has joined the Center for Discovery to support the challenges of ED medicine.


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