Located in the serene Arizona desert, you’ll find our eating disorder facility in Mesa that serves adolescents ages 10-17 of all genders. This center offers a higher level of care with residential treatment, 24/7 nursing oversight and headed by a full-time medical director. We are conveniently located to support those in the surrounding Phoenix area, yet close enough to the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to accommodate patients and families coming from out of state. For your convenience, our concierge treatment program will assist you in scheduling air travel and lodging, and will provide free ground transportation to our facility.
The 24-bed facility makes it one of Center for Discovery’s largest residential treatment programs and have the highest level of staff-to-patient ratio for even more support. What sets Mesa apart is that treatment is geared to patients who are in need of more nutritional rehabilitation. The Mesa center feels like a residence within a medical environment, in which enhanced psychiatric approaches from expert healthcare professionals take place.
Food Is Medicine for the Brain
When a patient with an eating disorder needs more nutritional support, getting them the best nutritional care is the primary goal. With the CFD Nutrition Therapy Program at Mesa, the process of allowing food flexibility combined with nutritional psychiatry is at the forefront of treatment. We collaborate with medical professionals to promote the stability and nutrition rehabilitation for the body and the brain. This comprehensive and transformative approach empowers patients to find what recovery means for them so they can carve the right path to improve their relationships with food, mind and body.
Once the patient is ready, they will receive evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Patients will also transition to exposure & response prevention (ERP) techniques, which are commonly used to help individuals overcome anxiety. ERP therapy slowly helps patients re-integrate their foods and food situations that have been avoided so that they can finally “make peace” with these foods. Additionally, a full-time education liaison is on site to support a patient with their school work and collaborate with the patient’s school. Getting to the root cause of the eating disorder through such therapies and additional support will help the patient move to the next level of care, continuing them on the path to a lifetime of recovery. Other clinical care components for Mesa patients include:
- Discovery Flex™ Nutrition Program, a proprietary approach to nutrition rehabilitation and intervention, promoting Intuitive Eating free from food rules, nourishing for the brain, body and soul.
- Inclusive Nutrition™ provides patients to try new and different foods to develop a true sense of their own food preferences; the goal is to neutralize all foods.
- Intentional nutrition menus and snack choices to help patients nutritionally restore the brain and body along with rebuilding intuitive cues from their bodies including, fullness and satisfaction.
- Structured nutrient-rich snack program to give patients greater choice and autonomy in food selection.
- Dietary family support includes sessions that helps the support system understand the Discovery Flex Nutrition Program. Family members will also receive a weekly update from the dietitian that includes meal plan completion, ERP updates and any changes in dietary privileges.
- Post-discharge access to continued treatment based on clinical need to any one of Center for Discovery’s 50+ traditional residential treatment programs, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, operating in 12 states.
Patients can also expect programs after treatment, such as:
- Aftercare to facilitate transitions and challenges post-discharge.
- A customized Discovery app to provide information, resources and a community of support for family members.
- Discovery alumni online support groups, in-person and virtual events for family members and patients to assist in post-discharge transition and provide an ongoing support system to facilitate long-term recovery.
Preferred In-Network Provider
Center for Discovery is a preferred provider with most major insurance companies. Our team of experienced insurance verification specialists will confirm not only if the level of care you are seeking is covered by your policy but also determine what, if any, out of pocket cost you would incur. Reach out to the team today to verify your coverage.
MEET THE TEAM
Dr. Nathan Velez
Dr. Velez is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology/criminal justice, master’s degree in community counseling and doctorate of philosophy degree in educational psychology. He is a both a licensed professional counselor and substance abuse counselor in the state of Arizona. As a native of Arizona, he has practiced and led systems in both the juvenile and adult criminal justice system and behavioral health sector for over two decades. Dr. Velez has been a behavioral integrative executive leader in Arizona and has developed many new systems in the state of Arizona, including all three regional areas to include the co-development of the Autism Center of Excellence, Osborn MAT Urgent Care Center, Equality Health Complex Care Center, Assertive Community Treatment, DrugCourt and Crisis Stabilization Units throughout Arizona. Additionally, Dr. Velez served as the primary consultant to the state of Oregon’s 2021 Addiction Recovery Teams. Dr. Velez serves on the Arizona State University Behavioral Health Advisory Board and also serves as adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon University and the Maricopa County College District. Dr. Velez primary research interests include organizational leadership, wellness and distress among helpers, cultural competence and addiction recovery.
Natalia Michaelson, ACSW
Sherri Hicks, LCSW
Sherri is a graduate of ASU School of Social Work. Sherri spent her early years studying trauma recovery and became certified in EMDR to help others overcome their difficult experiences. She has spent a good portion of her career working with those struggling with eating disorders and addiction. Sherri brings hope and healing to those who struggle with these disorders that take so many lives. Authenticity is Sherri’s number one quality that she offers to the therapeutic setting. As clinical director, Sherri brings a desire for evidence-based treatment as a part of top quality programming. Family involvement is a priority of her programming and she is expanding the opportunities for families to learn and grow along with their loved one. Sherri is the author of “Emily’s Guide to Eating Disorders” for children and has spoken at various conferences including the SEEDS Conference.
COVID-19 Update: Online telehealth is offered for intensive outpatient treatment as an option to patients living in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.
In-person intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization is also offered at this location. Residential treatment continues to be offered at our residential facilities for individuals in need of a higher level of care. Learn about all that we are doing to protect the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff.