Birmingham, Alabama | Alsana®

Birmingham, Alabama

When an individual receives early, adaptive, and developmentally appropriate care, their recovery from disordered eating is not only possible, it’s probable!

Welcome to our Birmingham location

Clients benefit from a community of compassionate, expert providers with vast experience and specialized training in eating disorder treatment.

Lolly Wool, Regional Executive Director–and the clinical team guided by Nicole Siegfried and led by Amber Parris–are dedicated to helping clients of all genders and sexual orientations heal and recover from their eating disorders. ...



Located in the rolling hills of Birmingham, Alabama, this Alsana location offers residential treatment, an intensive day treatment program with off-campus recovery-oriented apartments, and an integrated intensive outpatient program.

Clients receive the highest quality of care and support with the most current evidence-based therapies for eating disorders and co-occurring conditions.

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Treatment programs

A continuum of care for your healing journey. We want you to succeed and we know the ...

first step is often the hardest. At Alsana in Birmingham, we currently offer three levels of care for adults: residential, day treatment, and intensive outpatient. We also offer Virtual Treatment Options for IOP.

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Our Birmingham staff

Our most valuable asset as a company is our people. Compassionate and collaborative ...

professionals, our Alsana staff work together to serve and help you on your path to recovery.

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Johnny Williamson, MD

Psychiatrist | he/him/his

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Johnny Williamson, MD

Prior to joining Alsana, Johnny served as the Medical Director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center in the Chicagoland area, caring for individuals diagnosed with various eating disorders.  He has over 6 years of experience in the treatment of eating disorders.

Dr. Williamson completed his undergraduate degree at the University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He earned his medical degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.  Subsequently, he completed both general psychiatry and child and adolescent residencies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr. Williamson spent much of his early career in community psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and hospital-based work.  More recently Dr. Williamson provides care in a mix of inpatient work, residential treatment and private practice.

Dr. Williamson is board-certified in General and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has over 20 years of experience in mental health.

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Amber Parris, LICSW, CEDS

Senior Director of Clinical Programming and Training

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Amber Parris, LICSW, CEDS

As the Senior Director of Clinical Programming and Training, PHP/IOP Treatment Program, Amber enjoys being part of a program that provides quality, holistic treatment for eating disorders. She appreciates working with a mutually respectful, cohesive team that she considers friends more than colleagues. Amber believes that treatment is designed to reflect a sense of honor and respect to someone’s story so that we achieve not only symptom remission, but also a deeper, long-lasting sense of healing.

Previously, Amber worked as a primary therapist at a residential treatment center before joining Alsana in 2013 to start up the Birmingham PHP and IOP levels of care. In her current role, she provides oversite to therapists, participates in programmatic structure/development, and leads multidisciplinary team meetings.

Amber received specific training in treating persons with eating disorders with modalities including eye movement desensitization reprocessing, dialectical behavioral therapy, and prolonged exposure. She has a special interest in exploring the intersection between eating disorders and intimacy/sexuality and did work with a colleague to develop a curriculum that addresses body image issues for people with severe eating disorders.

Amber received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Auburn University and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama. She is also a licensed independent clinical social worker, a certified eating disorder specialist, and a certified sexual addiction therapist candidate.

In her spare time, Amber enjoys music, food, being outside in nature, painting, traveling, and all things artistic. Once an extra in a movie, she is inspired by fashion and the spaces she lives in, always aware of how things look and feel around her.

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Alyssa Brown, ALC, NCC

Therapist & Direct Care Staff

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Alyssa Brown, ALC, NCC

As a therapist and direct care staff at Alsana, Alyssa loves getting to know the clients and helping them find the hope they need to step toward recovery every single day. It’s the team environment at Alsana in Birmingham that makes her enjoy stepping through the doors each morning.

Knowing that everyone cares for each other and is passionate about the work makes this such an amazing career. Alyssa has been working with eating disorder clients since her first internship in 2016.

Alyssa graduated from the University of Montevallo after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Art and Psychology and her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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Rachel Enslin, LICSW

Primary Therapist

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Rachel Enslin, LICSW

Rachel joined the Alsana team as a primary therapist in 2017 because she appreciates the multiple therapeutic approaches utilized within the program to ensure each client is treated as a whole person. She is amazed by the multidisciplinary team approach used to help clients make positive change to improve their lives and values the passionate and thoughtful staff. She also loves meeting and learning the stories of the people we treat, and is honored and inspired by their strength, trust and hope.

Previously, Rachel worked as a psychotherapist at a residential treatment center for adolescents with mental health disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, trauma, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.

Rachel graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Music with emphasis in harp performance and a Master of Social Work. She received specific training in DBT and Radically Open DBT for eating disorders.

Rachel and her husband have a little girl and are excited to grow their family. She also has a golden retriever and enjoys being outside in the sun. Rachel maintains her passion for music by playing her harp, and once performed for the Winter Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies.

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Mary Roberts, LMSW

Primary Therapist

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Mary Roberts, LMSW

As a therapist with Alsana, Mary enjoys the positive and supportive atmosphere, and loves witnessing the resilience of clients and being a part of their transformation journey.

Mary has a background in serving clients with severe mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma histories. She received the Outstanding Student in Social Work Award in 2011 and the Outstanding Capstone Leadership Project Award in 2017 for her “Empowering Gatekeepers: Youth Suicide Prevention Training for Residential Staff” project. Mary is passionate about suicide prevention and volunteers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She also serves on the board of directors for Travelers Aid, a local nonprofit agency.

Mary earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Social Work from Azusa Pacific University.

In her spare time, Mary enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and dogs. She is also obsessed with everything 90s.

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Katherine C. Jordan, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian

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Katherine C. Jordan, MS, RDN, LDN

Katherine interned at Alsana and would leave each day fulfilled from spending time with the amazing clients. Now a dietitian with Alsana, she is inspired daily by clients’ bravery and courage. She also appreciates the cohesive team that pushes her to not only become a more effective dietitian, but also a better person.

Katherine loves supporting clients as they gain a healthy relationship with food. This includes experiencing the enjoyment and nourishment of food in harmony, creating an environment for individuals to trust their bodies as well as the food they use to fuel it. She believes it is an honor that our clients share their story and their recovery journey with us day in and day out. She values seeing clients’ relationships with food transformed and true freedom entering their lives—mind, body, and soul.

Katherine graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Food and Nutrition. As a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist, she is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Birmingham District Dietetic Association. Katherine also finished the coordinated program of dietetics which includes more than 1,000 hours of nutrition experience in the areas of clinical nutrition, food service management, and community nutrition.

Katherine loves cooking, boxing, traveling, and anything that involves being outdoors. She’s traveled to 11 countries including China, Tanzania, and Cuba.

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Alex Dumais, CTRS

Program Director, PHP, IOP

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Alex Dumais, CTRS

Alex’s passion is helping clients re-establish a healthy relationship with recreation and find new joy in active living. He joined Alsana as the Lead Direct Care Staff and RTC Program Director for the exceptional staff and the opportunity to incorporate recreation and movement into clients’ lives.

Previously, Alex was a pharmacy technician, a director of special events, and an outdoor education director.

Alex graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor’s in therapeutic recreation. He is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist through NCTRC, a certified angling instructor, a certified disability sport specialist Level 1, a ropes course facilitator, and has experience in sensory and accessible ADA compliant construction.

Alex is married and has two dogs, Louie and Georgia Brown. He once helped raise over $80,000 for people with disabilities, and he let his wild streak show with blue spiky hair as a child.

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Kenton Bartlett, LPC

Primary Therapist

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Kenton Bartlett, LPC

Kenton is open about his own recovery from an eating disorder and harnesses that experience to productively work with clients in this field. As a therapist and discharge coordinator with Alsana, Kenton enjoys talking about emotions, thoughts, and ideas with clients and spending time with fellow staff.

Previously, Kenton used to be a filmmaker and after college he made a feature film called “Missing Pieces” and wrote several screenplays. He also wrote a few books while working for a pet sitting company and volunteering at Birmingham’s Crisis Center Hotline.

Kenton double majored in business and film at American University in Washington, D.C., and earned a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is currently an associate licensed counselor working toward becoming a licensed professional counselor.

In his free time, Kenton enjoys music, movies and concerts, and is currently writing a new book. Before getting too deep into conversation, Kenton jokes that he must know a person’s favorite movie and the music they listen to. Only then will he tell them that he was once crowned top pickle salesman at a movie theater for selling almost 400 pickles.

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Mary Elizabeth Akinaka, LPC, NCC

Lead Therapist

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Mary Elizabeth Akinaka, LPC, NCC

Mary joined Alsana as a primary therapist because she was inspired by the team’s drive for serving clients with intentional, effective and individualized care. She enjoys walking through the treatment process with her clients and sees it as an honor to be part of their recovery journey and story.

Mary believes that therapy is an art created by two people: the therapist and the client. As a therapist, her role is to walk alongside her clients, allowing them to explore themselves in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Prior to serving as a primary therapist, Mary was on staff as direct care and the family program coordinator. Previously, she was a special education teacher for 6 – 12 grade students and the director of children’s ministry for a non-denominational church.

Mary received her Bachelor’s degree in collaborative special education from Auburn University, her Master’s degree in clinical mental health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Certificate of Marriage and Family Counseling, also from UAB.

Mary loves interacting with individuals from all walks of life and is a believer that a significant aspect of our growth as human beings is through interaction, specifically those whose stories look different from our own. She grew up living overseas and her favorite food is escargot.

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Caroline Hughes, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian

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Caroline Hughes, MS, RDN, LDN

Treating each client as an individual is important to Caroline, so it was a natural fit when she joined Alsana as a dietitian. She is also a firm believer in the Total Health approach for treating the whole person and not just the disorder that brought them to us.

Teaching clients how to live wholesomely in body, soul, and spirit through food and nutrition is an important piece for Caroline. She believes that to live our most abundant lives, we must nourish ourselves in a way that brings pleasure to our taste buds while fueling our body at the same time. Caroline loves seeing people gain freedom from food to step into an abundant life.

Caroline attended the University of Alabama receiving her undergraduate degree in Food and Nutrition, completing the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition on the Community Track. To complement her schooling, she also completed the LEAH Traineeship where she worked in the University of Alabama—Birmingham’s adolescent eating disorder clinic, nutrition clinic, and interdisciplinary clinic for a full year.

In her spare time, Caroline enjoys living an active lifestyle with traveling, running, yoga, hiking, kayaking, and water sports at Smith Lake. She loves exploring Birmingham and its new restaurants, farmer’s markets, and music.

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Garrett Bass, BA

Outcomes and Research Coordinator

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Garrett Bass, BA

Being a part of a tight-knit, compassionate staff that is driven by servant leadership was important as Garrett made his career choice. As a “data guy,” he is an outcomes and research coordinator with Alsana and focuses on informed treatment and data-driven decision-making.

Through the assessments administered to the clients, Garrett provides clients with the tools to make their treatment personalized and effective. In this role, he loves that the data works in a tangible way to see lives changed for the better.

Garrett graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Samford University, He is currently working on his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Having grown up on his family’s farm, Garrett understands the value of hard work and long days. He also understands the value of coffee to support those days and is proud that he owns eight different coffee making devices. In his spare time, Garrett loves making and drinking coffee, finding new and interesting restaurants around town, and traveling and exploring with his wife.

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Sarah Smith, NCC

Therapist & Direct Care Staff

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Sarah Smith, NCC

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In their own words

Let Alsana help you write your own story of hope and healing. We would like to be your eating recovery community.

  • The staff at Alsana proved to be extremely talented in the art and the skill of not colluding with my eating disorder while...

    also not treating me as if  I was an eating disorder. They treated me like the real, whole person that I had lost sight of. They have an ability to hold nuance gently and they aren’t afraid to wade into the hardest waters, which is so much more helpful than receiving treatment that is guided by a rigid manual. There is an unbelievable amount of safety at Alsana because of this and my gratitude is crazy high!
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    Sydney
    Sydney
  • As I began to apply the knowledge I gained from Alsana into my daily life, I found that my anxiety, guilt, shame ...

    and self-criticism steadily faded like a candle flickering on its last legs. I found authentic joy in things I used to reprimand myself for doing. I took, and continue to take pride in the progress I made and continue to make. Most importantly, I am now capable of self-acceptance and self-love whether I succeed, fail or anything in between.
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    Paul
    Paul
  • Before coming to Alsana, I had never had a treatment experience in which the "how" and "why" of the eating ...

    disorder were addressed. This has proven to be essential in my treatment at Alsana and also in my daily life as a member of society. Alsana providers led me through so much illuminating self-reflection about topics that I had never before considered relevant to my treatment, recovery, or self in general. Alsana staff appreciate and treat the individual, and I felt this in and outside of therapy sessions. They always humored my random geography facts and propensity to trail glitter wherever I went. 🙂 Ultimately, my treatment experience at Alsana taught me how to be a shamelessly authentic individual, and it gave me a sense of safety to explore what it means to be myself. With so much love,
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    Kate
    Kate

Our locations

Alsana is proud to serve clients across the the United States at Residential, PHP, and IOP levels of care. We also offer Virtual Treatment options.

We will support you in finding your balance, purpose and possibilities. Welcome to Alsana. We are so glad you found us.