Mary Ellen Trunko, MD
Associate Clinical Professor, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Mary Ellen Trunko has worked with the UCSD eating disorders program since its inception, and has been involved in planning and development of services, delivery of patient care, and supervision and teaching of junior staff members. As associate clinical professor and medical director, Dr. Trunko performs comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, handles medication management, coordinates primary care and other medical services, and educates patients and their families on physiological, medical and psychological aspects of eating disorders. She also runs an outpatient practice that includes individuals with eating disorders as well as those with general psychiatric needs.
Dr. Trunko is board certified in both psychiatry and internal medicine, an unusual combination that is highly relevant to the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. She has used this specialty knowledge to advise primary care providers on the care of eating-disordered patients through presentations and consultation. She has written review papers and clinical case reports on pharmacological interventions for eating disorders. Dr. Trunko earned her MD degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed separate residencies in internal medicine and psychiatry at UCSD.
Danica Torres, RN
Danica Torres, Registered Nurse joined the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program in December 2010. Her career as a nurse includes acute care experience and experience with adults and adolescent eating disorder patients in residential, inpatient and partial hospitalization settings. At UCSD, she attends to the medical needs of the patients along with assisting the physicians to coordinate care throughout the patient’s treatment process.
Leslie Anderson, PhD
Director of Training, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Leslie Karwoski Anderson is a clinical associate professor and training director at UCSD Eating Disorders Center. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center. Before coming to UCSD, she held a clinical faculty appointment at the University of Washington, was a supervisor in Marsha Linehan's DBT training clinic, and was a staff psychologist at the DBT Center of Seattle. She currently oversees the training and clinical supervision of the UCSD EDC staff, and conducts individual, family and group therapy for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS. Her research interests are in treatment development, evaluation, and outcomes, especially with regards to adaptations of DBT and FBT, and she has published many journal articles and two books in this area (including the newly released Clinical Handbook of Complex and Atypical Eating Disorders). She frequently gives talks and workshops on DBT, eating disorders, suicidality, and related topics in the community and at national conferences. She has served in several leadership roles within the Academy of Eating Disorders, and is the incoming co-editor of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention.
Julie Trim, PhD
Director of Adult Services, Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Julie Trim has been working at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center since 2008, when she was hired as a postdoctoral employee. She developed the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) during her postdoc year, and has been managing this program since it opened on April 1, 2009 (which was NOT an April fool’s joke!). Dr. Trim has treated individuals with eating disorders for over ten years. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Literature at the University of Michigan. After college, she spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to perfect her Spanish and experience life abroad. Dr. Trim went on to receive her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and completed her predoctoral internship at UCSD’s Counseling & Psychological Services. Dr. Trim has treated individuals with eating disorders at nearly all levels of care ranging from residential to outpatient. She has a particular interest and specialization in treating PTSD and trauma. She was trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)—an evidence-based treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder--in 2010 and is the lead facilitator and supervisor of the CPT group in the clinic. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Trauma “Special Interest Group” (SIG) of the Academy for Eating Disorders. Dr. Trim has found that people with eating disorders tend to be very smart, sensitive, compassionate people who just need a little help in managing their emotions so that they can reach their full potential. She delights in seeing patients transform from living a life in “black and white” to living a life in color. Outside of work, Dr. Trim enjoys spending time with her husband (who is a psychologist at the VA), her two kids (a boy and a girl), and their yellow Labrador Retriever (that is incredibly sweet but doesn’t seem to know how to retrieve).
Anne Cusack, PsyD
Adult Program Manager
Dr. Anne Cusack is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research and co-manages the Adult Treatment Program. As a graduate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital working with various psychiatric populations. Clinically, she has worked as a therapist on a research trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for eating disorders at the University of Chicago, as well as provided treatment of eating disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorder, PTSD and personality disorders in inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient settings. She is currently the Academy for Eating Disorders co-chair for the DBT special interest group. Her research interests include treatment development, acceptance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and self-injurious behaviors. Anne previously worked in the Adolescent Program and currently provides individual, group and family therapy for the Adult Day Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Programs. When she’s not at work, Anne loves traveling, adventuring and playing with the cutest puppy in San Diego!
Kim Claudat, Ph.D.
Adult Program Manager
Dr. Kim Claudat is a clinical psychologist and co-manager of the Adult Treatment Program at UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. Dr. Claudat began her work at UCSD Eating Disorders as a postdoctoral fellow, working in both the adolescent and adult programs. In addition to providing individual, group, and family therapy in the Adult Treatment Program, she runs the Transitional-Family Program (TFAM) for young adult patients and their loved ones. She has received specialized training in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD (CPT), and as a CPT Provider, provides this treatment to our patients presenting with co-morbid PTSD. Her clinical and research interests focus on the connection between eating disorders and emotion regulation difficulties, as well as treatment development and outcomes. Although her research and clinical work has mainly focused on eating pathology, she has experience providing evidence-based treatments to children, adolescents, adults, and their families, with a range of presenting psychiatric problems across various treatment settings.
Gina M. Bongiorno, LMFT
Therapist, COD Manager
Gina M. Bongiorno is a senior therapist and manager of the Co-Occurring Disorders (COD) program at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center. Using her expertise in eating and substance use disorders, trauma, and grief as well as specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Gina developed the comprehensive, evidence-based COD program. This integrative care model includes daily groups, individual and family therapy, meal support, as well as comprehensive substance/eating disorder assessment and treatment planning to our adult patients. Gina obtained her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego, where she was the recipient of the Award of Distinction and the Dean's Merit Scholarship, and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego and a consultant for trauma-informed care.
Emily Dailey, LCSW
Emily is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the adult program. She graduated from USC Social Work. She has 10 yrs experience with DBT. Emily was trained in DBT at Harbor UCLA where she worked in their outpatient DBT program. She started working with eating disorders in a residential setting and continues her work in PHP and outpatient settings. She also studies and practices Mindfulness and ACT, a mindfulness-based therapy. She has her own Mindfulness practice and feels passionate about teaching it to others. Some of her interests include spending time outdoors with her family.
Christine Costello, MA
Christine is a Milieu Therapist/Psychiatric Technician with the Adult Program. Christine graduated with her Master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California after studying Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Christine is passionate about working with and learning from underserved populations, which she was able to do during her internships in Los Angeles at both school and after-school settings. In these settings, she provided individual, group and family therapy and led yoga and mindfulness workshops for clients and staff. Outside of her own yoga and mindfulness practice, Christine loves to read, travel, get outdoors and snuggle in with her two cats.
Haily Humphrey, MA
Haily is a Psychiatric Technician and Program Therapist working with the Adult Program. She earned a B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology and a minor in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach and a M.A. in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. Prior to working for UCSD, Haily worked as an intern/therapist at EDCare in Denver, Colorado—an experience that solidified her passion for working in the field of eating disorders. While at EDCare, she helped implement the program’s Elite Athlete track, which provided a highly structured and specialized program for both athletes and performers. During her time at EDCare, Haily became aware of the prevalence of eating disorders among athletes and hopes to continue to assist athletes in their recovery and return to sport. In her free time, Haily enjoys surfing, reading, and playing with her Lab.
Lauren Gomez, MFTI
Therapist, IOP Coordinator
Lauren currently provides individual, group and family therapy to adults with eating disorders in the Adult Day/Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and received her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. Lauren helps in coordinating our newly enhanced intensive outpatient program which focuses on relapse prevention, hands out meal preparation and further development in patients careers and education and areas of interest. Lauren enjoys running groups such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- Enhanced for eating disorders and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Dani Gonzales, PsyD
Dani Gonzales obtained her undergraduate degree in both Psychology and Women’s Studies from California State University San Marcos in 2010. She was awarded her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology San Diego in 2012, and in 2016 was awarded her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (PsyD). She began her work with eating disorders in 2011 at the University of California San Diego Dept. of Psychiatry Treatment and Research for Eating Disorders where she was trained in DBT and CBT therapeutic modalities. In 2013, she began her CAPPIC residency at Bayview Psychiatric Hospital where she developed an Eating Disorder Track for patients with severe and persistent mental illness. In 2014, Dani joined ERC-San Antonio as part of her residency in completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and completed rotations at San Antonio’s Methodist Children’s Hospital and St. Mary’s University. While completing her residency she developed and implemented ERC-SA’s Substance Use Track. Her clinical interests include BED, Post Bariatric eating disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, collegiate athletes, and individuals struggling with Substance Use. In addition to her work with individuals and families, Dani also conducts research regarding personality and comorbidity for those struggling with a variety of Eating Disorders and Athletes. Her research has been accepted and presented on an national and international forums.
Natalie Heller, MFTI
Natalie is a therapist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. Natalie graduated with a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, where she previously received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Prior to becoming a milieu therapist, Natalie completed her practicum traineeship with the adolescent program at UCSD, providing individual and group therapy for teens struggling with eating disorders, self-injurious behaviors, and suicidality. While Natalie’s clinical interest and practice has been primarily rooted in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, both in individual therapy and multi-family skills training groups, she has also gained experience utilizing core features of Family Based Treatment (FBT) through participation in Saturday multifamily programming. Currently, Natalie works in the Adult Treatment program where she looks forward to extending clinical experience by providing individual, family, and group therapy for the adult population
JoJo Lee, PCCI
JoJo is a Milieu Therapist/ Psychiatric Technician with the Adult Program. She holds two masters’ degrees in mental health—she earned an M.S. in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology from Swansea University and an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of San Diego. She particularly enjoys working with ethnic minorities, which she had the opportunity to do on a regular basis when she worked at Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) Counseling and Treatment Center. Prior to UCSD, she worked at Alvarado Parkway Institute’s inpatient unit and outpatient program providing risk assessment, crisis intervention, and individual and group counseling to adults who are struggling from acute and chronic psychosis. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, scuba diving, indoor rock climbing, dancing, and karaoke singing.
Araceli Leza is a practicum student at the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program. She is currently in pursuit of her doctoral degree at Alliant International University, where she received her master’s degree. Araceli is focusing on eating disorder prevention programs for adults for her doctoral dissertation. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. Araceli’s areas of experience include working with adolescents, children, and adults in medical settings with developmental disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and mood disorders.
Karen Miller, CSW
Karen is a certified drug and alcohol counselor with an MA in Human Behavior. She is working towards a second master’s with dual specialization as Marriage Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor. She has worked in the addiction treatment field for 15 years in both residential and outpatient settings including 5 years spent working with clients with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Karen’s interest in working in eating disorder treatment began when Karen worked in drug and alcohol treatment where there were patients with eating disorders that were not able to receive treatment for their eating disorders. Karen’s role at the UCSD Eating Disorders Program is as a therapist in the Co-Occurring Disorder track. Karen also volunteers at one of the county drug and alcohol treatment programs facilitating grief process groups, as well as speaks at San Diego City College on addiction and treatment.
Tiffany Nakamura, MA, NCC, LPCC
Tiffany is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. She graduated with her BA in Psychology and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Asian American Mental Health from the University of San Diego. She previously interned at Urban Corps of San Diego providing individual and group counseling for at risk young adults. Tiffany is dual licensed clinician in Hawaii and California, and has experience working with adolescents, families, and adults in PHP and outpatient settings. She currently works in the Adult Treatment program providing individual, family, and group therapy. Tiffany has specialized clinical training in DBT, FBT, Parent Management Training, Prolonged Exposure, and ACT, and is a certified yoga instructor. Additionally, as a published researcher and presenter at international conferences, she has special interest and active engagement in the research of eating disorder treatment outcomes and development. For fun Tiffany loves yoga, surfing, travelling, and animals – particularly a Chihuahua-Papillon named Mimi.
Shannon O’Connor, MA
Shannon is a predoctoral psychology intern at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center and the Medical Behavioral Unit at Rady Children’s Hospital. She received bachelor’s degrees in Human Biology and Psychology, as well as her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. Shannon is currently pursing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. Shannon’s clinical interests involve using evidence-based treatments to improve the lives of individuals suffering from eating and mood disorders. Shannon’s research interests involve unraveling the interactions between genetic and environmental influences in the development of eating disorders. Shannon’s dissertation aims to uncover the etiologic mechanisms driving familial resemblance in disordered eating. Shannon’s long-term goal is to use findings on the factors driving eating disorder development to inform prevention and intervention efforts.
Melissa Pollock, LCSW
Melissa is a milieu therapist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. She holds a BA in Psychology from Benedictine University in Illinois, and an MSW from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health. She has interned and worked at the University of Michigan Psychological Clinic from 2012-2016 focusing on providing therapy to adult clients, couples, and groups. She is passionate about making trans-diagnostic, evidence-based treatments accessible through program development and consulting. She worked as a consultant to apply Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to at-risk students in middle and high school. She served as project manager and clinical developer for University of Michigan’s global health initiative to increase the mental wellness of students studying abroad. She currently works on the adult team providing therapy to groups and individuals. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and stargazing.
Lani Riedler, MFTi
Lani is a Milieu Therapist/Psychiatric Technician with the Adult Program. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2012 with a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UCSB, Lani interned at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, where she received extensive training in sexual assault. That experience solidified Lani’s passion for helping others and confirmed her desire to become a therapist. Before coming to UCSD, Lani provided individual therapy at Planned Parenthood and also worked at a residential setting with adolescent patients suffering from eating disorders and other co-occurring issues. In her free time, Lani enjoys exploring all the fun San Diego has to offer, including beaches, restaurants, and local music venues.
Farah Giovannelli, MA
Practicum Student Therapist
Farah is a practicum student therapist in the Adult Program at UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP). She attended the University of Tulsa for her undergraduate education, where she studied Psychology and English Language and Literature, and earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from CSPP. Farah has a passion for working with those struggling with eating disorders and has a wide variety of experience in this field, having worked at the internationally recognized Laureate Eating Disorders Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is also actively involved in research exploring various risk factors for eating disorders in women, men, and minority groups. Her doctoral dissertation is focused on understanding the relationship between the development of eating disorders, ethnic identity, and attachment. As a bilingual Mexican-American, Farah is attuned to the specific needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds and strives to learn from each patient she interacts with. Despite her busy schedule as a student, this San Diego native always has time to hit the beach, hike, and play with her two sassy kitty cats.
Hailey is a practicum student with the UCSD EDC Adult Program. She is finishing up her MSW with a concentration in Direct Practice and Mental Health at San Diego State University. She received her B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Counseling and Family from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly, Hailey interned at Transitions Mental Health Association, where she provided group therapy and case management, and completed a research project about men's body image and media. Before coming to UCSD, Hailey provided individual behavioral therapy to youth with neurodevelopment disorders, interned for an anxiety disorder research laboratory at SDSU, and provided trauma-informed counseling and case management to women who were survivors of domestic violence. Hailey is excited to have the opportunity to intern at UCSD and grow her knowledge and experience with eating disorders. In her bits of free time, Hailey enjoys finding new shops and restaurants in San Diego and reading any piece of fiction she can get her hands on.
Dr. Jennifer Wang-Hall is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research in the adult program. During her doctoral training at University of Houston, she worked with individuals with eating disorders in inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient settings. Additionally, she completed several research projects examining correlates of eating disorders including parental socialization of emotion, attachment, social media usage, and childhood sexual abuse. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Eating Disorders Unit. She has treated patients with eating disorders and a number of co-occurring disorders including mood, trauma, substance, and personality disorders. When she’s not at work, Jennifer enjoys spending time on the beach with her husband and snuggling with her two adorable pups!
Breana Janke, RD
Breana Janke is a Registered Dietitian who has been working for the Adolescent and Adult Day Treatment Program since Fall 2012. Breana earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University. Shortly after completing her undergraduate work, Breana was accepted into a dietetic internship program where she completed one year of supervised practice experience required to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Breana’s interest in eating disorders developed during her dietetic internship where she received experience treating patients with eating disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. After earning her RD, Breana worked as a clinical dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy to many different patient populations including oncology, diabetes, renal and liver disease. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and San Diego Dietitians in Eating Disorders Group. Breana is thrilled be a part of UCSD’s Treatment team where she is able to pursue her passion of working in the field of eating disorders.
Erin Reeves, RD
Erin Reeves is a Registered Dietitian who works in the Adolescent and Adult PHP and IOP programs. Erin began working in the field of eating disorders, while earning her Bachelors of Science degree at California State University Long Beach. After graduation, she completed a yearlong dietetic Internship which lead to the Registration Examination for Dietitians through Long Beach State and received her RD. She has experience in working with adolescents, adults and families and has worked at all levels of care including inpatient, partial, intensive outpatient as well as private practice. Erin really enjoys working with patients to work through food fears and not miss out on wonderful life experiences. After moving to San Diego in the Fall of 2013 she is really thrilled to be a part of the UCSD team and enjoying the SD life. She especially loves taking her two wiener dogs to the beach and going on outdoor adventures with her husband.
Jaren Soloff, RD
Jaren Soloff is a passionate Registered Dietitian working with the Adult and IOP treatment programs. After completing her undergraduate education at San Diego State University in Nutrition Science and Feminist Studies, Jaren completed an accredited dietetic internship with Utah State University. Jaren has experience at residential, IOP, PHP and outpatient levels of eating disorder treatment in addition to clinical and community nutrition settings. Jaren is committed to eating disorder advocacy and treatment within the San Diego community personally and professionally. She maintains a leadership position as Public Policy chair with the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics- San Diego District, is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and the San Diego Dietitians in Eating Disorders group. Jaren is thrilled to be a part of the UCSD Eating Disorder program where she integrates her passion for mental health advocacy, counseling and patient care.