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Our Team

Eating Recovery Center, California’s clinical and medical leadership team is comprised of multidisciplinary experts with decades of specific experience in the treatment of eating disorders. These experts also work closely with medical and clinical leadership at Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado.


LaraSchusterEffland.jpgLara Schuster Effland, LCSW
California and Washington Regional Managing Clinical Director

A licensed clinical social worker and formerly a Senior Director of Insight Behavioral Health Centers in Chicago.  Ms. Effland has been working in the field of eating disorders for 13 years in multiple levels of care throughout the country.  Ms. Effland received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago with a concentration in clinical practice.  Ms. Effland specializes in co-occurring eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders, with a focus primarily on mindfulness and evidenced based behavioral interventions, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and mindfulness meditation and theory. 

Ms. Effland joined the Chicago, Insight Behavioral Team in 2006 as a DBT therapist.  In 2009, Insight’s founder Dr. Susan McClanahan and Ms. Effland developed Insight’s mood and anxiety program, which Ms. Effland has directed and lead since. 

Ms. Effland became the Executive Clinical Director of Eating Recovery Center’s Washington site in March of 2017.  Her experience in co-occurring disorders complements the exemplary eating disorders care at Eating Recovery Center of Washington.  Ms. Effland regularly speaks and trains nationally on the topic of eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders.   Her goal is to continue to bring compassion, competence, and integrity to patient care and to ensure that all staff at ERC are given all the support they need to be the best they can be.

Lisa Petersen, PhD, CEDS
Clinical Director

Lisa Petersen, PhD, CEDS, has been working in the field of eating disorders for more than 15 years. She joined the Eating Recovery Center, California team in 2005, and currently serves as Clinical Director. Dr. Petersen focuses on providing high quality care for patients and families in an effort to give them hope and skills necessary for full recovery. Dr. Petersen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Boise State University, and earned both her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and her Doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Petersen worked at UC-Davis for 5 years and coordinated the Eating Disorder Program.
Dr. Petersen feels passionate about helping patients make peace with their bodies and food, connecting them to their valued lives, and developing a level of acceptance.  Dr. Petersen has spoken extensively on the topic of eating disorders both on campus and in the community, and continues to speak and educate the larger community of professionals, patients and families on topics related to eating disorders awareness and treatment.


Kristine Suchan, MFT
Senior Clinical Manager

Kristine Suchan, MFT, has been with Eating Recovery Center for a decade and has more than 20 years of experience in eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, family work and individual treatment. Suchan earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and earned her Master’s Degree from California State University, Sacramento in Counseling, specializing in Marriage & Family Therapy. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Binge Eating Disorder Association, and is currently working on her certification in Family-Based Treatment. She is passionate about providing education on eating disorders and frequently speaks to the community. Suchan’s comprehensive approach integrates working towards a balanced healthy lifestyle by helping her patients identify their valued life goals.


Kerri Mulligan, RD
Nutrition Services Manager

Kerri Mulligan, RD, serves as the Nutrition Services Manager for Eating Recovery Center, California’s Partial Hospitalization Program. Kerri joined the Eating Recovery Center Recovery Team in 2011 in San Antonio where she developed the nutrition curriculum for Binge Eating Disorder based on mindful and intuitive eating practices. She is passionate about supporting patients through the recovery process to normalize eating patterns, develop skills for intuitive eating, and to make peace with food.
Kerri earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and of the Binge Eating Disorder Association.


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Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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