Zanita holds both a master's and doctoral degree in child, adolescent and family development with a specialty in marriage and family therapy and has devoted the past 20+ years to her work in the eating disorder community. This has included lobbying efforts for mental health parity in Washington, DC, community based prevention initiatives, the training and education of treatment providers, and clinical intervention work at all levels of care. Prior to Sundstrom, she was the Clinical Director at Clementine, a residential treatment facility for adolescent girls diagnosed with eating disorders and before that she was the Clinical Director of the Eating Disorder Center of Portland, a day treatment and intensive outpatient facility for all ages and genders.
In her clinical work, Zanita has guided individuals and families across age, race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic boundaries with a deep commitment to understanding each individual's unique story as it is situated within their particular context and history. From this foundation of understanding and trust, Zanita helps guide the process of developing a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, developing flexibility across all domains of life, and learning to appreciate and trust one's body as well as oneself and one's relationships. Because of the tremendous impact an eating disorder can have on all members of the family, Zanita also works with families to help facilitate their own healing and create a context that supports recovery and the emergence of the healthy self.
While at Clementine, Zanita was struck by the lack of qualified providers in many of the smaller communities throughout Oregon. Because eating disorder treatment is such a specialized field necessitating a team of experienced providers working collaboratively together, this represents a significant unmet need for these individuals. For this reason, Zanita offers tele-therapy and consultation services in the state of Oregon to help support both these individuals and their local network of providers.
Zanita has extensive experience sharing her knowledge through professional trainings and treatment based workshops. Zanita is a fierce believer in the power of both connection and knowledge and uses these opportunities to facilitate both.