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

2021-2022 Trainees

Elizabeth Rea, Clinical Psychology, Loyola University
Liz Rea received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Loyola University in December of 2020, where she is currently pursuing her doctorate. Her research focuses on how health behaviors including sleep and physical activity influence well-being. Liz works with children and young adults with a variety of medical conditions, and their families. She uses cognitive and behavioral approaches, mindfulness and relaxation strategies, and play therapies. Treatment is tailored to each client’s individual needs and clients are invited to actively collaborate throughout the process to set meaningful goals that are in line with their unique needs.

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Liz is an avid Wisconsin sports fan (go Pack!). In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping, and playing with her golden retriever, Luka. 

Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays
Location: OAK PARK and VIRTUAL

Lindsay Durkin, Clinical Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University
Lindsay is an advanced graduate student studying clinical psychology with a focus in pediatric health psychology. She has obtained her Master’s degree in clinical psychology. Prior to joining Oak Park Behavioral Medicine, Lindsay worked in therapeutic day schools, outpatient clinics, children’s hospitals, and private practice settings.

In her therapy approach, Lindsay utilizes evidence-based practices to serve the children and families she works with. These strategies include cognitive and behavioral approaches, mindfulness and relaxation strategies, among other techniques. Therapy is tailored to each client’s individual needs and clients are invited to actively collaborate throughout the process to set meaningful goals that are in line with their unique needs. Lindsay works with children with a variety of medical conditions and their families. She has a special interest in parent-child relationships, parent and family adjustment to a child’s diagnosis, and navigating transition periods (e.g., changing schools, living situations, relationships).

Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Location: OAK PARK and VIRTUAL

Past Trainees

NameTraining RoleCurrent Position
Anjali Pandit, PhD, MPHPost-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical PsychologyAssistant Professor of Medicine
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL
Devin Lincenberg, PsyDPost-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical PsychologyDirector of Behavioral Health
Scottsdale, AZ
Jessica Naftaly, PhDPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical PsychologyPost-Doctoral Fellow
University of Michigan
Division of Gastroenterology
Ann Arbor, MI
Alix KramerSocial Work Intern, Medical Social WorkAdvanced Social Work Intern
Lurie Children’s Hospital
Chicago, IL
Lindsay Bugno, MSPre-Doctoral Extern, Clinical PsychologyPsychology Intern
University of Indiana
Indianapolis, IN
Emily Hahn, MSWSocial Work Intern, Medical Social WorkSocial Worker
Oak Park Behavioral Medicine