Deborah M. Michel, PhD, CEDS
Regional Managing Clinical Director
Dr. Michel is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience in the treatment of eating disorders and related conditions including body image disturbance as well as mood and anxiety disorders. She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), which is a certification status granted by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals to healthcare professionals who demonstrate clinical expertise in eating disorders through education, experience, and examination. She has been involved in prevention, education, and advocacy efforts on behalf of sufferers and their loved ones throughout her career.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas A&M University, Dr. Michel continued her studies in clinical psychology and obtained a doctorate from The University of North Texas. Following a specialized pre-doctoral internship at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, she joined the medical school faculty, holding academic appointments in the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She provided both inpatient and outpatient treatment to those affected by these illnesses and was actively involved in academic and clinical training.
In 2009, Dr. Michel founded, and then directed, The Woodlands Eating Disorders Center in The Woodlands, Texas, a clinic specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. She partnered with Eating Recovery Center in 2015 to expand the scope of services in the greater Houston area.
In addition to direct care, Dr. Michel presents educational lectures to professionals, schools, and the general community. She also publishes articles on eating disorders in professional journals as well as in community magazines and co-authored the book, When Dieting Becomes Dangerous: A Guide to Understanding Anorexia and Bulimia. Dr. Michel maintains her status as a clinical faculty member at Tulane University School of Medicine. She is a founding member of Houston Eating Disorders Specialists and serves on its Executive Board as President Elect. She is a current member of the Academy for Eating Disorders’ (AED) Medical Care Standards Committee and past Co-Chair of AED’s Advocacy and Communications Committee as well as a member of the National Eating Disorders Association.
Jason James, MD
Dr. Jason James, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas and attended the honors program at The University of Texas at Austin. Following graduation, Dr. James volunteered abroad and then began his medical studies at Ross University School of Medicine. He completed his clinical sciences in New York City and went on to train in psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Upon completion of his general psychiatry residency, he came back to Houston to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at The University of Texas Health Science Center. At UT-Houston, Dr. James was the Chief Resident for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program and a recipient of the Mendel Fellowship for psychotherapy. He has also received awards from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
In addition to maintaining a private practice, Dr. James is an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Houston Medical School and the Director of Child and Adolescent Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at The UT Health Science Center in Houston. He is skilled in the pharmacological treatments of psychiatric disorders and also has advanced training in multiple modalities of psychotherapy. Dr. James's approach to treatment is empathic, personalized, patient-centered and grounded upon evidenced based medicine.
Catherine Ruscitti, PsyD
Catherine L. Ruscitti, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Manager at Eating Recovery Center/Insight Behavioral Health of Houston. She is also the author of The Anorexia Recovery Skills Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Cope with Difficult Emotions, Embrace Self-Acceptance and Prevent Relapse. Dr. Ruscitti completed her predoctoral and postdoctoral training with Baylor College of Medicine at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, TX. Dr. Ruscitti specializes in the assessment and treatment of adolescents and adults with eating disorders and comorbid struggles, including mood disorders, anxiety and trauma, and personality disorders. She is passionate in treating binge eating disorder and other loss of control eating disorders, and she leads the Binge Eating Treatment and Recovery (BETR) team at ERC Houston. Her professional interests include the use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in the treatment of eating disorders and the role of emotion regulation in recovery from eating disorders. Dr. Ruscitti is active in conducting research on eating disorders and has published several papers on the topic.