Our Team

Eating Recovery Center of Seattle eating disorder treatment facility has been developed and is overseen by a compassionate team of experts across many behavioral health disciplines. Eating Recovery Center of Seattle’s clinical and medical leadership team is comprised of multidisciplinary experts with decades of specific experience in the treatment of eating disorders. These experts work closely with medical and clinical leadership at Eating Recovery Center in Seattle, Washington. Our eating disorder treatment program was created and is overseen by internationally recognized eating disorders treatment experts.

Neeru Bakshi, MD, FAPA, CEDMD
Medical Director

Neeru Bakshi, MD, FAPA, is a Board-certified psychiatrist, and the Medical Director for Eating Recovery Center, Washington.

She is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Dr. Bakshi has previously served as the Chairperson for the Overlake Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and she is a Courtesy Clinical Instructor with the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

She attended George Washington University where she received a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Biology and earned her medical degree from Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine. Dr. Bakshi completed her internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the University of Washington. Dr. Bakshi is a member of the Washington State Psychiatric Association as well as the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Bakshi has a wide variety of practice experience and is passionate about the treatment of eating disorders.

Lara SchusterLara Schuster Effland, LICSW
Regional Managing Director of Clinical and Center of Excellence Leader for Insight Adult Services

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 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.

Cindy BromCindy Brom, MBA
Regional Managing Director of Operations – IL/WA

Cindy came to the Eating Recovery Center family through our Chicago partner program, Insight Behavioral Health Centers, which she joined in 2008. At Insight she served in various roles involving operations, compliance, consulting, human resources, business development and financial management. Cindy has been involved with operations management of Eating Recovery Center Washington since January of 2017 as well as serves in a national food management role for all ERC sites.

Cindy earned her MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and BSB from the University of Minnesota. Her experience also includes business development management for an acute care residential and inpatient substance abuse facility in Chicago, practice management for primary care and psychiatric group practices affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and strategic consulting for growing businesses.

Stephanie Braun, MA, LMHC
Clinical Director

Stephanie has extensive experience in the field of eating disorders. She has worked in multiple treatment settings and specializes in higher levels of care. In addition to being trained in DBT, CBT and ACT, Stephanie brings with her strong relational skills and a focus on building connections to help individuals find healing and wholeness.

A certified yoga instructor, Stephanie understands how important the mind body connection and the role movement plays in the healing process. She devotes much of her attention to developing her staff and empowering her team. Stephanie is a graduate of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where she earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology.

Lauren-Hayes-(2).jpgLauren Hayes, PhD
Clinical Lead, Adult MATR Services

Lauren Hayes, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She then completed both her internship and a trauma-focused post-doctoral fellowship at the Southern Arizona VA Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. Much of Lauren’s clinical work has focused on the evidence-based assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders and/or substance use disorders in an outpatient setting. Lauren specifically has experience and interest in working with individuals with a history of combat, sexual, or complex trauma and who may be struggling with life-threatening behaviors such as self-harm, high suicidality, and severe substance misuse. Lauren is trained in multiple treatment modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy but primarily utilizes a Dialectical Behavior Therapy framework. She is also trained in a number of trauma processing therapies including Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Lauren is excited to bring her knowledge and skills to support those in a higher level of care.

Rebecca-Suess.jpgRebecca Suess, LMFT
Clinical Lead, Adolescent MATR Services

Rebecca Suess is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working in the eating disorder field since 2012. She earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University and has continued to pursue postgraduate training in eating disorders, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), trauma, and crisis management. Rebecca works from a systemic lens considering context and the role relationships have in the healing process. Rebecca’s experience includes working at higher levels of care and community mental health settings.
Prior to joining the Eating Recovery Center team in 2018, Rebecca worked at a residential treatment center for adolescents with eating disorders and specialized in helping equip families to support a loved one in treatment. Rebecca is passionate about walking alongside individuals and families in the recovery process and empowering them to take steps towards healing.


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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.

Joint Commission Seal
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