Center for Discovery in Alexandria, Virginia, is an outpatient treatment center that opened in 2017 and treats patients of all ages who are struggling with an eating disorder or with an eating disorder in the presence of a mental health disorder, otherwise known as a co-occurring disorder. Located in Old Town Alexandria, our outpatient location serves patients from Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. It is easily accessible to the George Washington Memorial Highway, Richmond Highway and I-495. There is easy parking garage access included to easily access facility. Treatment modalities we offer include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure & response prevention (ERP) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
In addition to receiving evidence-based therapies, patients all have the opportunity to put “joyful” back into movement through yoga and other activities. Discovery’s specialized binge eating disorder (BED) program, Path to Peace, is also offered at this location virtually.
Our spacious facility encompasses two suites, which serves adults and adolescent patients in separate areas of the milieu. Each patient gains hands-on food preparation experience while meeting their individual dietary needs.
Insurances we accept include but are not limited to Employee Health Network (EHN), MCCP (Medical Cost Containment Professionals, LLC), OPTUM BH (PBH, UHC, UBH) and UNICARE – Beacon HS. Please remember that the insurances we accept change frequently. Our insurance team will verify your coverage.
MEET THE TEAM
Hallie Fliesch, LCSW
Hallie Fleisch, LCSW, graduated from The Ohio State University with her Bachelor’s in Social Work and Washington University with her Master’s in Social Work. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Primary Therapist for Center for Discovery, Hallie comes with extensive experience in the mental health field. Hallie has worked with children and adolescents in hospital settings, partial-hospital and intensive out patient facilities, and schools. She has worked with families on improving communication, educated them on a variety of mental health issues, and provided them tools to support their loved ones. Hallie has experience working with depression, anxiety, self-harming behaviors, and distorted body image concerns that are often times co-occurring with eating disorders. She has experience providing meal support and community based assistance to individuals with eating disorders. Hallie is passionate about helping individuals struggling with eating disorders and other mental health issues improve their self-esteem and address underlying issues in order to be healthy. She is very excited to be part of the Discovery Difference® and to use her expertise in the Alexandria, VA program.
Ashley Balderson, RDN
Ashley is a Registered Dietitian at Center for Discovery, Alexandria Outpatient. Ashley received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her time at the University of Maryland, Ashley worked with both adolescents and adults in various settings, such as leading a cooking camp for adolescents and providing nutrition education to adults with prediabetes. Following her degree, Ashley completed her dietetic internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore, Maryland. During this internship, Ashley gained experience in nutrition counseling with a wide variety of populations, both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Ashley is delighted to be part of the team at Center for Discovery. She is truly passionate about helping others develop a positive relationship with food and emphasizing the “all foods fit” philosophy at Center for Discovery.
Michaela is a therapist at Center for Discovery in Alexandria, Virginia. She received both her bachelor’s in psychology and her master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Michaela has experience working with women, adolescents and children, providing both early intervention services and mental health counseling in a variety of settings. She has provided home-based services while working with children on the autism spectrum, and prior to joining the Center for Discovery team, was working in a residential treatment center for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders. She has worked with a wide range of concerns including crisis intervention, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and substance use. Michaela firmly believes in creating a safe space for her patients to work on their most authentic, whole and healthy self. She is excited to work with patients in this step of their recovery journey.
Kelsey West, MSW
Kelsey West received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Religion from Augustana College, and continued on to complete her Master of Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. Kelsey has had several work and internship experiences where she led group and individual therapy with clients as they navigate substance abuse, the criminal justice system, and various mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, and suicidality. She also has extensive experience working with survivors of interpersonal violence. Kelsey is dedicated to providing trauma informed care and understanding how experiences can impact an individual’s behaviors and identity.
Kelsey supports individuals through client-centered therapeutic techniques tailored to individual needs, and driven by the therapeutic relationship. She is passionate about empowering clients and their loved ones as they navigate the road to recovery together. Kelsey aims to create a safe and supportive environment where clients can be heard without judgment.
Morgan is the milieu manager at Center for Discovery. Morgan came to CFD as a counselor in August 2020. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from High Point University. Morgan is currently working to obtain her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from The George Washington University with the goal of becoming a licensed clinical mental health counselor. Morgan is very passionate about helping others in their recovery journey and supports philosophies associated with eating disorder treatment including Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating and All Foods Fit. Morgan hopes that, in working with clients, she will be able to support their journeys toward recovery, providing an atmosphere of acceptance in which they are able to share their true selves without fear of judgment.
Taylor Merloni, MS, RD
Taylor is a Registered Dietitian at Center for Discovery Alexandria Outpatient. Taylor received her Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Physiology from Lynchburg College. After working in the fitness industry, Taylor realized her true passions were aligned with Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating and so she decided to go on and complete her Master’s Degree in Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University. While completing her dietetic internship, Taylor worked with adults and adolescents in both clinical and community settings where she was able to fine tune her motivational interview skills. Taylor is excited to be a part of the Center for Discovery team and help her client’s in their eating disorder recovery.
Kate Mullins (MA) graduated from the George Washington University with a Master’s in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. She has years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults within psychiatric, school-based and private-practice settings.
As a trauma-informed therapist, Kate recognizes that trauma compromises a survivors’ capacity for pleasure, self-control, engagement, and trust. We do not always have words for these experiences, but art can unlock and heal the parts of ourselves that remain misunderstood. Kate offers art therapy interventions that may help you improve relationships, navigate internal conflict, reduce anxiety and depression, manage behaviors, and develop insight and self-awareness.
Kate is passionate about helping clients visualize and reevaluate their relationship with their body, and begin cultivating a renewed sense of self. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at Center for Discovery, and looks forward to walking alongside clients on their recovery journey.
Maria Kim, RDN
Maria Kim is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and received her Master of Science with New York Institute of Technology. She has extensive experience counseling families on nutrition and feeding for pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children with the WIC program. Maria completed her internship with Sodexo Dietetic Internships in Los Angeles, where she spent considerable time working in clinical pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, outpatient feeding therapy for children with feeding challenges at Professional Child Development Associates, and eating disorders and substance abuse recovery. It was through her internship experience with residential, PHP and IOP level of care at an eating disorder and substance use recovery facility where Maria discovered her passion in behavioral health nutrition.
Maria aims to use evidenced-based practices through the lens of the All Foods Fit philosophy, Intuitive Eating, and Health at Every Size®, and attends group supervision with Elyse Resch, one of the founders of the Intuitive Eating principles. Maria is passionate about food and body liberation, helping others find peace and rediscover their joy of food and eating.
Paige is a counselor at Center for Discovery in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her bachelor’s in psychology from West Virginia University and her master’s in counseling specializing in clinical mental health from Barry University. While working toward her master’s degree, Paige worked as a counselor for a youth development program in Miami, Florida, and would conduct psychoeducation groups with students in grades 6-12. In her internship, Paige provided group counseling services to adults diagnosed with substance use disorder. She also gained experience in her internship by providing individual mental health services to adolescent and adult patients. Paige hopes to help others by creating a space of empathy and acceptance that will assist them in their journey toward recovery.
Maya is a counselor at Center for Discovery in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She comes from ABA therapy where she worked as a counselor with adolescents with autism. She specialized at in-home therapy and speech in a one-on-one environment. She also worked in several different labs, running research on cognitive psychology and relationship dynamics. Maya is excited to be joining the team and hopes to help others by creating a space of empathy and acceptance that will assist them in their journey toward recovery.
Madison is a counselor at Center or Discovery (CFD). She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. In her time at St. Olaf, Madison worked with at-risk youth and families at Fairbault County Social Services in the Child Protection and Family Preservation Unit. During this internship, she grew her skills as a professional working with at-risk populations with a variety of needs. Madison is passionate about bringing positivity to patients at CFD seeking treatment for their eating disorder. She supports the philosophies associated with eating disorder treatment at CFD, including All Foods Fit, Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size ®.
Heidi is the program director for Center for Discovery’s outpatient clinic in Alexandria, Virginia. This facility serves adolescents and adults for both PHP and IOP levels of care. She recently relocated from Milwaukee to return home to the DC area. In Milwaukee, she worked as a behavioral health case manager for a Medicare/Medicaid health plan, as a clinical therapist for a residential and PHP eating disorder program, and as an in-home case manager for those struggling with severe and persistent mental illness. Heidi also founded and ran the Milwaukee NEDA Walk for four years, raising over $95,000 towards the research, treatment, education and support for eating disorders nationwide. She is thrilled to be leading this team on helping our patients and families work towards a life in recovery.
Brianna is so excited about starting as a diet tech at the Center for Discovery. As a diet tech, Brianna is working closely with patients to support their journeys. Brianna is working towards her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Brianna’s goal after completing education is to become a registered dietitian working with patients with eating disorders. Brianna believes strongly in the principles of Intuitive Eating, All Foods Fit, Health at Every Size ® (HAES ®) and mindfulness practices. Brianna is very passionate about the work Center for Discovery is doing and continues to make strides to further her knowledge in this field.
Samantha Singer, LMSW
Samantha received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from George Mason University and her Master in Social Work degree from the University of Southern California, before joining Center for Discovery as a counselor. She is now a primary therapist, working towards her license of clinical social work. Samantha has experience working with crisis intervention, suicidality, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and with survivors of interpersonal violence. Samantha has experience working one-on-one with patients, as well as leading group psychoeducation.
Samantha’s passion for helping others has grown since starting with Center for Discovery. She understands the diversity of the patient population, and the importance of knowing a patient’s story. Samantha has brought her own expertise of mental health, and partnered with staff and patients to empower and motivate through recovery.
Natalie Horne graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s in psychology and from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s of social work. Natalie has work experience in neuropsychological testing, research experience in social development and internship experiences in inpatient and outpatient mental health. She has led group, family and individual therapy with child, adolescent and adult clients as they navigated various mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, psychosis and suicidality. Natalie is dedicated to the philosophies associated with eating disorder treatment at CFD including All Foods Fit, Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size ®️. She is passionate about empowering clients and meeting them where they are while challenging them to grow. She values the integration of family and other important support systems into treatment of her clients. She hopes to bring positivity and a smile to CFD every day.
Support in Recovery is every Thursday, 7pm-8pm. This will be a virtual support group for alumni and community members in recovery only.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
IN-PERSON SERVICES UPDATE: We are resuming in-person programming for partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatments. In-person connection is incredibly important to behavioral health treatment and we are eager to provide this support to our patients as they move forward on the road to recovery. We also know that the safety and health of our patients and staff is top priority. See our latest update on steps we are taking to ensure everyone at our facilities are following guidelines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).