Center for Discovery Newport Beach is an outpatient eating disorder treatment center for patients of all genders and all ages. This location opened in 2014 and is located in Orange County, California, just minutes from Balboa Island, with convenient access to the 405 freeway and John Wayne airport. 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.
Insurances we accept include but are not limited to Beacon Health Strategies, Cigna/ Great West, Halcyon, Magellan of CA HAI and UHA. Please remember that the insurances we accept change frequently. Our insurance team will verify your coverage.
This outpatient eating disorder treatment centers offers a fun and creative atmosphere for all patients during their road to recovery. This includes art therapy, play therapy and theme days . Center for Discovery Newport Beach treatment team has vast experience and is specially-trained to work with eating disorder patients and help them become successful in their recovery journey.
MEET THE TEAM
Raquel Katangian-Ayala, Psy.D
Dr. Katangian-Ayala joined Center for Discovery in 2019 as a primary therapist. Dr. Katangian-Ayala is a registered psychological assistant who obtained a PsyD in applied clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Katangian-Ayala received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, in psychology and her master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, in marriage and family therapy.
Dr. Katangian-Ayala entered the clinical field as an ABA therapist working with children who have been diagnosed with autism and developmental disorders. She has experience in forensic, inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient settings. Diagnostically, she has worked with both adults and adolescents who struggle with depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, substance use, behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, eating disorders and personality disorders. She also has extensive training in psychological testing assessing intellect, personality and learning disorders.
Dr. Katangian-Ayala implements evidence-based modalities when providing treatment. Her theoretical orientation encompasses cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, person-centered therapy and motivational interviewing. She tailors each modality and treatment plan to best suit the need of each individual. She believes her ability to demonstrate empathy, compassion and authenticity contribute to providing a safe environment towards a path of recovery.
Emily Rubenstein, LMFT
Emi s a licensed marriage and family therapist at Center for Discovery, having obtained her Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy from Chapman University. A Massachusetts native, Em completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Framingham State University. (Yes, she is a Patriots fan.)
Em joined CFD in early 2020 after five years of working in residential treatment in different roles. She has worked with adults of all genders who worked toward treatment from co-occurring eating disorders and substance use disorders; Em did this from a trauma-informed perspective. Em has two years of experience in community mental health working with a diverse population of individuals, couples and families, and currently works in private practice with a focus on eating disorders and various lifecycle transitions.
Em is passionate about the mind-body connection and helping guide patients on their recovery path using a holistic approach. She is a trained Brainspotting therapist and uses this tool along with mindfulness practices to assist her patients to connect and heal within their bodies. She sees treatment through a person-centered, collaborative lens to help her patients voice their needs and set goals that feel attainable for where they are in their unique journey. Additionally, she utilizes narrative techniques to bring awareness to the importance of language in the way we perceive our past experiences, as well as how we continue to author our ongoing stories.
Stacey Rombough, RD
Stacey joined the Center for Discovery team in January 2010 as a diet technician for the Whittier and Lakewood residential locations, working with eating disorders. During this time, she graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics. She then went on to complete her dietetic internship through Cal State Long Beach ISSP program. This furthered her education in nutrition while interning at Placentia Linda Hospital, College Hospital the and Newport-Mesa School District.
Stacey has experience working with adolescents and adults in residential and outpatient settings since 2013. She joined the Newport Beach outpatient location when it opened in March 2014. Stacey is supportive in creating individualized care centered around the principles of Intuitive Eating and aligned with the Health at Every Size ®️ (HAES ®️) approach. In her free time, Stacey loves to spend time with her husband and two children, especially when being outdoors.
Michael Louie, DO
Louie received his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences and went on to complete his psychiatry residency training at Loma Linda University.
Dr. Louie is well versed in treating adult, child and adolescent, and geriatric patients. Dr. Louie has an understanding and ability to treat a range of disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, and psychosis.
Dr. Louie’s therapeutic and empathic approach to treating clients, as well as his composed and caring demeanor, are just a some of the many reasons why he is a beloved and respected member of the Newport Beach treatment team.
Alyssa Gonzalez, BA
Alyssa is the UR Care Coordinator in our Eating Disorder Outpatient Department. She developed a passion for psychology in her undergrad and received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Alyssa has a background in working with college students at her former University and worked as a school-based counselor in Placentia. She began working at Center for Discovery as a counselor at our Lakewood residential location in 2018. While working there she gained insight into the complexity of eating disorders and wanted to learn more. In 2019 she accepted a position to work in the UR department; advocating and ensuring utilization of benefits for our clients. She is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in clinical psychology at Azusa Pacific University and will graduate in May 2020.
Josh Lecker, B.A.
Josh is a trainee at Center for Discovery. He has a bachelor’s in psychology from Vanguard University and is currently enrolled at Hope International University for his master’s in clinical counseling. Josh has worked in behavior health since 2016. He has worked at residential and outpatient levels of care. Josh has a background working with patients who have eating, mental and substance use disorders. Josh focuses on behavioral theories which include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Josh uses these types of therapies to assist patients in decreasing negative behaviors that impact day-to-day living. Josh is determined to help patients in their journey for recovery, and believes recovery is a journey of the body, mind and spirit. Josh is a proud stepdad of two kids, and in his spare time enjoys spending time with his family.
Diana Flores, RD
Diana is a registered dietitian who found interest in nutrition after being brought up in a home where mealtime was a time to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Her parents utilized food to not only bring them together but also bring financial stability by sharing some of her mother’s flavorful creations with the rest of their community. Through food they found unity and resilience. She hopes to help her patients make peace with food and find both unity and resilience within themselves. She attended California State University, Long Beach, where she obtained a BS in nutrition and dietetics. She was then employed by Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program as a diet technician where she was able to assist patients in learning how to enjoy every meal no matter how small, as it is a joyful part of life. She then completed her intern hours as part of California State University, Long Beach’s ISPP where she acquired further experience with nutrition and mental health. After successful completion of the program, she obtained her RD certification. When she is not helping patients create a healthy relationship with food and their bodies, she is enjoying and cooking foods alongside family and friends.
Morgan Sheldon, M.S.
Morgan is a primary therapist at Center for Discovery Newport Beach and has served Center for Discovery in various clinical and administrative roles for nearly 10 years. She obtained her Master of Science degree in mental health counseling with emphases in marriage and family therapy and professional clinical counseling from California State University, Fullerton. She has her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and social behavior with an emphasis in psycholinguistics from the University of California, Irvine.
Morgan joins the Newport Beach team with 15 years of experience serving adolescents, families, adults and couples in levels of care spanning outpatient therapy to short-term and long-term residential care. She has chosen to serve survivors of human trafficking, those with complex and systemic/generational trauma, LGBTQIA2S+ communities, and those with complex body relationships, all of which stemmed from her love of serving those in recovery from eating disorders here at Center for Discovery.
Morgan has a particular passion for fat-positive, queer-affirming, trauma-informed, feminist and narrative approaches, and serves the eating disorder recovery community from a Health at Every Size ® (HAES ®) perspective. She applied these philosophies to her master’s thesis which explored providers’ lived experiences serving multiple-marginalized genderqueer patients through trauma-informed and embodied lenses. She brings creativity and passion to groups and works with patients to customize skills for their own needs, as well as to expand the ways they tell their stories and imagine their futures.
LIANA FLINT, RD
Liana originally started her career at Center for Discovery as a diet technician at CFD’s residential treatment centers in La Jolla and Del Mar in 2015, which sparked her interest in working in the eating disorder treatment setting. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from Point Loma Nazarene University and her Master of Science degree in clinical dietetics from Grand Valley State University, completing both programs with honors. Liana wrote her master’s thesis on the links between personality, close relationships and disordered eating; she then received her RD certification in early 2019. Her goal is to make nutrition concepts relatable and understandable to her patients, and to support and challenge them throughout their wellness journey. Prior to joining the Newport Beach team, Liana worked in a variety of clinical, community and telehealth roles, with a particular emphasis in the eating disorder and substance use disorder treatment fields.
Emily Ruiz, M.A.
Emily earned her MA in marriage and family therapy from Chapman University. During her time at Chapman, Emily worked as an MFT trainee in Chapman’s community mental health clinic seeing individuals, couples and families from various backgrounds. Emily is passionate about affirmative, trauma-informed care and her clinical experience includes a year of training at the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. Emily has an extensive background in serving queer, transgender and non-binary people of color and aims to create a secure and compassionate space for healing marginalized communities. Emily practices from an attachment and internal family systems lens, emphasizing the humanness of experiences and growth in self-leadership.
Priya has developed a passion for psychology and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University. Her background has been working in healthcare management. She has also worked with college student populations in the mental health setting. Priya is currently attending Alliant University to receive her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Through various exposure to mental health populations, Priya became interested in working more closely with individuals struggling with eating disorders. She strives to build a strong rapport with patients while working alongside a committed team.
Natalia Michaelson, ACSW
Natalia is an associate clinical social worker who obtained her Master in Social Work degree from Simmons University. She also earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from California State University, San Marcos. Natalia has experience working primarily with adults in community mental health, healthcare and private practice settings. Natalia’s clinical work is guided by psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral frameworks. She utilizes evidence-based practices to ensure that her approach is appropriate for each individual. She is intentional about moving at the pace of her patients and tailors her approach to their individual needs. Natalia is committed to providing her patients with a safe, supportive and validating environment.
Stephanie Ontiveros, DT
Stephanie is a nutritionist currently studying for her RD exam. She graduated with a bachelor’s in nutritional science from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). She completed her dietetic internship with Nutrition Ink, completing 1,200 hours in food service, clinical and community rotations. Stephanie’s nutrition experience includes: working in CSULA’s dining hall, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, working as a dietary aid for an assisted living facility, incorporating weekly nutrition curricula for students at the YMCA, and is currently following her passion for working with eating disorders. She has worked with residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient program patients, applying the All Foods Fit philosophy to their daily lives. Stephanie wants to continue her passion working with eating disorders by helping patients develop a healthy, non-stressful relationship with food. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, trips to the beach, traveling and continuing her own nutrition education.
Shannon is a dietetics technician, registered (DTR) with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from Point Loma Nazarene University, and is currently working on a Master of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Texas Tech University. Her graduate coursework in eating disorders inspired her to pursue a position in this field and she is excited to be a part of the dietary team at Center for Discovery. Shannon has gained experience in nutrition through completing a clinical and food service internship with Mercy Hospital Jefferson and a food service internship with Neighborhood House Association Nutrition Center. She hopes to support patients in fostering a better relationship with food. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, reading and spending time outdoors.
This location provides free in person eating disorder support groups on Thursdays 7:00PM. We also have a handful of free online support groups. Find out more about how to join our free support groups.
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.