Our Training

At Oak Park Behavioral Medicine we are committed to training advanced students in clinical psychology and social work on how to work with patients living with chronic medical illness, with emphasis on psychogastroenterology theory and approaches. Trainees allow greater access to our specialized services when our clinicians are unable to accommodate new patients.


Common questions…

Why do you have trainees?

If you spent some time looking for a psychologist or social worker who specializes in working with patients with chronic digestive illness, you may have noticed there aren’t a lot of us. As a pioneer in the field of psychogastroenterology (“Gastro Psych”), Dr. Taft is committed to expanding access to these specialized services and recognizes the dire need for more properly trained clinicians. By having our training program we are able to add 3 to 4 therapists per year to our growing field.

Where do your trainees come from?

We have active training agreements with clinical psychology programs at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine, and Loyola University. For social work, we accept students from the University of Chicago and Aurora University.

If I see a trainee, how will it work?

Each trainee is assigned to a primary supervisor who is responsible for your care. They meet once a week, and as needed should issues arise, to go over your treatment and progress. In some instances, a trainee will have a secondary supervisor if very specialized knowledge is needed. In most cases, your medical insurance can be used to see a trainee. If this is not the case, we offer services on a sliding scale.

What if I don’t want to see a trainee?

We understand not everyone will feel comfortable with a trainee. Due to high demands for our services and limited schedules for Dr. Taft and Dr. Edlynn, we often have wait lists for new patients. To minimize wait times, seeing a trainee is your best option.

How much therapy experience do your trainees have?

Training in clinical psychology and social work requires anywhere between 1,200 to 4,000 hours of direct therapy service in order to graduate. An advanced trainee has a minimum of 1,000 direct patient care hours prior to starting with our practice. We only accept advanced students in our practice.

What if I’m not done with therapy and the trainee finishes their year with your practice?

We take steps to prevent abrupt ends to therapy by stopping referrals to students 8 weeks before their completion date. Some people are able to meet their therapy goals in 2-3 months, but others need more time or ongoing support In these situations, we prioritize your transition to a member of our permanent clinical team for a seamless transition.

I’m interested in training with your group, how do I apply?

We accept clinical psychology PhD and PsyD students, and Masters in Social Work students from accredited graduate programs seeking experience working with patients with chronic medical illness. We require some coursework in medical social work or health psychology, and experience working with chronic illness populations. Access to public transportation is recommended if you live in Chicago, or a car if you live in the suburbs.

To apply, email: info@opbmed.com

2022-2023 Trainees

We do not have any incoming trainees for 2022-2023.


Past Trainees

NameTraining RoleCurrent Position
Anjali Pandit, PhD, MPHPost-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical PsychologyCo-Director, Behavioral Medicine Program in GI
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Devin Lincenberg, PsyDPost-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical PsychologyGI Psychologist
Mayo Clinic
Jessica Naftaly, PhDPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical PsychologyGI Psychologist
University of Michigan
Alix KramerSocial Work Intern, Medical Social WorkSocial Worker
Oak Park Behavioral Medicine
Emily Hahn, MSWSocial Work Intern, Medical Social WorkSocial Worker
Oak Park Behavioral Medicine
Lindsay Bugno, PhDPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical PsychologyPost-Doctoral Fellow
Elizabeth Rea, MSPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical Psychology
Lindsay Durkin, MSPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical Psychology