Amanda Leith – Program Director & Counselor/Facilitator
Amanda Leith launched SHiFT – Recovery by Acorn in Spring of 2019, opening an exciting new chapter in the 25-year legacy of Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services. A member of the Acorn team since 2015, Amanda is an addictions counselor and a recovering food addict.
Amanda’s passion for recovery from food addiction helps to produce life-changing results with her clients. Her sharp sense for what needs to be addressed first in an individual’s life in order to overcome food addiction guides her practice. The message that she brings to those struggling is one of hope.
Amanda is an addiction counselor, a certified food addiction counselor, FAI/ACORN certified food addiction professional and CENAPS-trained Advanced Relapse Prevention Specialist (ARPS), with a background in drug and alcohol counseling and group facilitation at a Vancouver-based non-profit residential treatment center for women. She sits on the board of directors for the Food Addiction Institute.
Click here to read Amanda’s story of recovery from food addiction.
Phil Werdell – Counselor/Facilitator
Phil Werdell began working with food addicts in the 1980s at Glenbeigh Psychiatric Hospital of Tampa, where he served as lead counselor for the residential food addiction treatment program. Shortly thereafter, he co-founded Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services, where he has assisted food addicts in their recovery for over 25 years.
Phil brings a wealth of recovery experience to the work that he does, helping those struggling with food addiction to reconnect with their true selves beyond their issues with food. His therapeutic focus is on the exploration of Step One — what does it mean to be powerless over food? From this question, he helps his clients to develop long-lasting recovery.
Phil did his undergraduate work at Yale, Scholar of the House, and holds a master’s degree in Human Services and Higher Education with specialized training in eating disorders and food addiction. He is the co-founder and former chair of the Food Addiction Institute, the director of the Acorn Food Addiction Professional Training Program, and the author of dozens of articles and books, including “Physical Craving and Food Addiction: A Review of the Science”; Bariatric Surgery and Food Addiction: Preoperative Considerations; and “From the Front Lines: Food Addiction Treatment,” for the medical textbook Food and Addiction: A Comprehensive Handbook, Brownell and Gold (2012). Phil’s latest writing is Outcome Research on Food Addiction Treatment.
Mary Foushi – Coach/Facilitator
Mary Foushi co-founded Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services in 1994, creating one of the world’s first professional treatment programs for food addiction. A recovering food addict herself, Mary has 30 years of stable recovery and is maintaining a 200-lb weight loss.
Her personal commitment to recovery and a rich knowledge of the 12 Steps shine through the work that she does with people struggling with food addiction. With honesty, wisdom, and a grounding in practical action, Mary keeps her clients focused on recovery at all steps of the process.
Mary holds a degree in Human Services with a specialty in Addiction Studies. She is a CENAPS-trained Relapse Prevention Specialist and a certified food addiction professional. Mary facilitates groups, workshops, and Acorn Intensives throughout the world. She is co-author of Food Addiction Recovery: A New Model of Professional Support – The Acorn Primary Intensive.
Click here to read Mary’s story of recovery from food addiction.
Raynea McCumber – Program Administrator
Raynea has managed the SHiFT office since 2011, coordinating SHiFT – Recovery by Acorn food addiction treatment programs and overseeing registration. She assists clients with any logistical needs to ensure that their treatment experience runs smoothly.
Often the first point of contact for SHiFT – Recovery by Acorn clients, Raynea brings warmth and ease to an otherwise daunting process. Her commitment to supporting others helps those struggling with food addiction to feel at home in their treatment program.
Raynea holds an AAS degree in Computer Information Technology and Networking. Her background is in executive support, previously serving as registrar and admissions director for public and private schools.