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

Eating Disorder Treatment Team | Fairfield, CT

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.

Jamie Atkins, RD, CEDRD

Jamie Atkins, RD, CEDRD

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.

Samantha Bathija, MA, LPC

Samantha Bathija, MA, LPC

Program Director

Samantha Bathija obtained her Master’s in Psychology with Mental Health Counseling focus from Westfield State College. She has passionately treated eating disorders and addictions for over a decade, and is thrilled to be part of a research-supported treatment model that is individualized and warm. She is proactive in the inclusion of current evidence-based interventions, and equally dedicated to ensuring there are fun and spirited activities to renew a sense of passion for life. Samantha believes eating disorders should be treated holistically because, at their core, they are a disorder that targets every aspect of a persons’ well-being. She has unwavering optimism after seeing the miraculous results Center for Discovery’s model brings clients and their families. Samantha is quite certain she experiences true magic daily.

Melissa Lester, BA

Melissa Lester, BA

Facility Manager

Melissa Lester received her Bachelors of Psychology and minor in Sociology from Sacred Heart University. Melissa has over a decade of experienced in seven years the adult and family mental health field combined with experience in eating disorder treatment.

Melissa finds pure joy in empowering women through the individualistic treatment that Center For Discovery provides. Before becoming Facility Manager, Melissa worked as a counselor facilitating therapeutic groups and provided direct support to clients in the milieu.

Simone Tartaglia, RD, CDN

Simone Tartaglia, RD, CDN

Registered Dietitian

Simone Tartaglia is a Registered Dietitian, licensed in the state of Connecticut. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta and attended her dietetic internship through the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut.

It was through this internship that Ms. Tartaglia first became acquainted with Center for Discovery during a Community Nutrition rotation at Center For Discovery’s adolescent program in Connecticut. Since then, Ms. Tartaglia has worked as a diet tech and counselor at Center For Discovery. She is now the Dietitian at Center For Discovery’s adult program in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Dr. Deborah Lipschitz, B.Sc., MBChB

Dr. Deborah Lipschitz, B.Sc., MBChB

Psychiatrist

Dr. Deborah Lipschitz graduated with a Bachelor of Science and her medical degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She spent four years working in Pediatrics in South Africa and in England before coming to the United States where she completed her residency and fellowship training in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY.

Dr. Lipschitz opened her psychiatric practice in Fairfield in 1996. In addition to treating private patients , Dr. Lipschitz provides psychiatric consultation and care to young adults with eating disorders at Center For Discovery, a residential treatment facility in Fairfield, CT.

Sandra Bogursky, MD

Sandra Bogursky, MD

Physician

Dr. Sondra Bogursky graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and attended medical school at the Temple University School of Medicine. She completed a dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.  She has continued on as faculty in the Yale Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program and has additional teaching roles at both the Yale Physician’s Associates Program and the St. Mary’s Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Bogursky is board-certified in both Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.  She joined the Center for Discovery team in April 2015 and functions as the Medical Director at the Fairfield adult location where she provides medical care in the treatment of eating disorders.

Samantha Chasse, MFT

Samantha Chasse, MFT

Primary Therapist

Samantha Chasse received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Tampa, and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. Samantha’s passion for working with eating disorder clients began at Center for Discovery, where she started off as a full time counselor. She is a dedicated part of the team who focuses on meeting each client where they are on their journey to recovery. Samantha’s aim is to challenge each client to become their most authentic self through vulnerability and shame resilience.