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Insight Behavioral Health Centers Leadership

Insight’s Illinois eating disorder and behavioral health treatment centers have been developed and are overseen by a compassionate team of experts across many behavioral health disciplines, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, mental health counselors, dietitians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, obesity medicine specialists and other patient support staff. Together with Eating Recovery Center’s internationally renowned leadership team, Insight’s experts deliver evidence-based care to meet each patient and family’s unique recovery needs.

Susan F. McClanahan, PhD, CEDS

Chief Development Officer of Eating Recovery Center, President and Founder of Insight Behavioral Health Centers


Dr. Susan F. McClanahan is a licensed clinical psychologist and the President and Founder of Insight Behavioral Health Centers, an accredited clinical center with a commitment to leadership, teaching, training, research and advocacy. Having specialized in the treatment for anorexia and bulimia, well as treatment for binge eating disorder for over 20 years, Dr. McClanahan is a leading expert in the field. Additionally, she frequently works with clients struggling with depressive and anxiety disorders and has expertise in the psychological aspects of pregnancy and infertility.

Dr. McClanahan is active on the boards of several professional organizations, including iaedp, where she is the past-Secretary for the Heartland Alliance Chapter.  She is a Board Member on the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium and is a founding member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.  Dr. McClanahan also recently joined the Executive Board of Eating Recovery Center, where she helps to drive decisions related to growth and expansion of clinical services.  Specific to her leadership contribution to iaedp, Dr. McClanahan is an Approved Supervisor, providing ongoing mentorship and supervision to two of her top clinical staff who also hold leadership positions within iaedp: Michelle Gebhardt, President of the Heartland Chapter, and Anne Kubal, Insight’s Director of Clinical Training.

Dr. McClanahan holds an Assistant Professor position at both Rush Medical Center and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  She coordinates and supervises the training of medical and psychiatry residents and post-doctoral fellows and interns.  Under her direction, Insight has developed a large and well-regarded training program and last year became a clinical training site for Northwestern University interns. Additionally, Dr. McClanahan’s expertise is sought out for local and national presentations. Recently, she was invited to speak on panels at the annual Academy for Eating Disorders’ ICED conference and at the Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders conference.  In 2014, she was invited to join an elite group of female businesswomen to participate in the Women’s Business Symposia in Chicago.

Dr. McClanahan has designed and implemented a study at Insight’s residential treatment centers in Illinois to elucidate factors that predict positive responses to treatment, including therapeutic alliance, motivation, DBT skills acquisition and ERP engagement to outcomes.  The results of this study have important implications for the design and implementation of residential treatment services at Insight and elsewhere in the field.  Additionally, Dr. McClanahan recently spearheaded a research collaboration with Dr. Daniel Le Grange examining the inclusion of DBT in certain cases of FBT in order to improve treatment outcomes.

Dr. McClanahan has also proven to be an advocate for mental health treatment and Chicago eating disorder treatment in particular.  In 2010 she raised local awareness of discrepancies in an insurance company’s interpretation of parity laws and was instrumental in making changes on a state level to ensure proper care for Illinois residents.

Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, PhD, CEDS

Executive Clinical Director


Dr. Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher has a wealth and breadth of experience treating patients with eating, mood and anxiety disorders. She is Lecturer at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has over 20 years of clinical and teaching experience in the field of eating disorders and women’s mental health issues, and has taught and supervised Psychiatry residents and fellows as well as Clinical Psychology interns and externs for many years.  She was named Teacher of the Year by the Clinical Psychology Internship and Fellowship Program at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2013.

Dr. Astrachan-Fletcher is a nationally recognized expert in the field of DBT, is functionally trained in the FBT (Family-Based Treatment) model, and is a frequent presenter at national eating disorders conferences. She co-authored The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life (2009), which is used at eating disorders treatment facilities throughout the country.

“Our focus is on helping create change from the inside out – and not simply from the outside in.”

– Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, PhD, CEDS

Lara Schuster Effland, LCSW

Vice President, Clinical Operations


A licensed clinical social worker and formerly the Director of the Mood and Anxiety Program, Ms. Effland earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College and later earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University with a concentration in clinical practice. She specialized in mental health, women’s issues and evidence-based practices. Ms. Effland completed graduate practicums in community-based mental health treatment at Heartland Health Outreach and outpatient family and individual therapy at the Family of Nazareth Outpatient Clinical Services at Resurrection Behavioral Health Care.  She focused her care on mood and anxiety issues, skills training, trauma and grief therapy. Ms. Effland has extensive experience in treatment of individuals, groups, families and couples, who suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, non-suicidal self-injury, PTSD, eating disorders and co-occurring disorders.

Ms. Effland joined the Insight team in 2006 as a DBT therapist specializing in eating, mood and anxiety disorders.  A valuable leader in the development of Insight’s mood and anxiety treatment centers in Chicago, she worked alongside founder Dr. Susan McClanahan to launch the Mood and Anxiety Program in 2008. Prior to joining Insight, Ms. Effland served as a Behavioral Counselor at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in its residential eating disorder program.

Ms. Effland has received training in evidence-based treatments such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, Zen and Vipassana meditation practice and Relational and Feminist Theory of trauma treatment.

She teaches and regularly speaks on the topic of DBT, non-suicidal self-harm, mood and anxiety disorders and the Chicago dual diagnosis treatment of eating, mood, and anxiety disorders within the Chicagoland area and nationally.

Julie Kabat Friedman, PhD

Vice President, CORE (Compulsive Overeating Recovery Effort) Program


Dr. Julie Friedman is a health psychologist whose specialties include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Night Eating Syndrome, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, pre- and post-bariatric surgery behavioral care and obesity and weight management. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Friedman is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Obesity Society and the Academy of Eating Disorders. She received her BS in Psychology from Northwestern University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Illiniois Institute of Technology. She completed a fellowship in sleep disorders at Rush University Medical Center and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in obesity medicine and eating disorders at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Institute.

Dr. Friedman provided an invited address on Night Eating Syndrome at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society. She currently supervises psychiatry residents and psychology interns at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Angela Picot Derrick, PhD, CEDS, CYT

Vice President, Clinical Services


Dr. Angela Derrick joined Insight in 2005 and has been actively involved with both the clinical and administrative operations of Insight Behavioral Health Centers since the early years of development.

As Vice President of Clinical Services, Dr. Derrick oversees Insight’s clinical programs and works to ensure the delivery of high-quality services.  She specializes in individual and group psychotherapy with patients struggling with eating, weight and body dissatisfaction, and has a particular interest in the role of mindfulness-based interventions in the treatment of eating disorders.

Dr. Derrick received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and a member of the Special Interest Group Oversight Committee in the Academy for Eating Disorders. Dr. Derrick enjoys presenting at local and national events and conferences.

Dr. Derrick is an Assistant Professor at Rush Medical College and a Health System Clinician at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.  She oversees the training and supervision of medical residents, postdoctoral fellows and clinical interns and is a member of the Intern Training Committee at Northwestern University. Additionally, Dr. Derrick is a Certified Yoga Teacher and the coordinator of yoga services at Insight.

David Cohen, LCSW, CADC

Vice President, Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders


David Cohen, LCSW, CADC, is Vice President, Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders at Insight. Cohen oversees the delivery of compassionate care for Insight patients struggling with co-occurring substance use disorders. A compassionate therapist, interventionist and recovery coach with over 10 years of experience treating chemical dependency and mental illness, Cohen holds several relevant certifications, including Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Board Registered Interventionist. In addition to his role overseeing substance use and co-occurring disorder recovery programming at Insight, Cohen is an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago, where he educates Master’s-level students in addiction treatment.

Prior to joining Insight, Cohen served as Clinical Director for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a leading provider of addiction recovery services. In this role, he provided clinical leadership to ensure established standards of care, including integration of the multidisciplinary team, delivery of clinical supervision and implementation of quality improvement initiatives. In addition to strategic planning and management of a 16-member clinical treatment team, Cohen facilitated client education through workshops and individual information sessions. Prior to becoming Clinical Director, he spent seven years providing direct chemical dependency recovery services at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation with emphasis on patient and family education, case management, milieu oversight and continuity of care. Cohen has also worked in private practice for nearly a decade, providing individual and family therapy, recovery coaching and intervention services to adolescents and their families struggling with addiction and mental illness.

Cohen speaks regularly on the topics of substance use disorders, addiction and mental illness in professional and consumer-facing circles alike, including several appearances on Chicago and national broadcast outlets. Cohen earned his Master of Social Work from the  University of Michigan, and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois.

Michelle Gebhardt, PsyD

Program Director of Eating Disorder Services


Michelle Gebhardt, PsyD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Program Director of Eating Disorder Services at Insight.  She has extensive knowledge and training in the treatment of adolescents and adults struggling with eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury and co-occurring conditions. She has treated both males and females across the lifespan in individual, group and family therapy.  From 2012 through July 2014, Dr. Gebhardt was the Director of Residential Services and was instrumental in creating Insight’s Residential Program for eating, mood and anxiety disorders.  Prior to joining the team at Insight, she helped to develop an inpatient eating disorder and non-suicidal self-injury program and served as the program’s coordinator for approximately nine years.

Dr. Gebhardt is the founding and current President of the Heartland iaedp Chapter, which serves and supports eating disorder professionals in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio. In 2014, iaedp named Dr. Gebhardt as Member of the Year for her dedication to the chapter and ongoing growth of iaedp. Dr. Gebhardt holds membership in iaedp, the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) and the Illinois Psychological Association.  She co-authored Self-Injury: Simple Answers to Complex Questions, and has spoken at various international conferences and other settings on the topics of eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury and co-occurring conditions.

Audrey Grunst, LCSW

Senior Director of Northern Satellites and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Programs


Audrey Grunst, LCSW, became the Senior Director of Northern Satellites and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Programs in the summer of 2015 and has instrumental in developing the Northbrook satellite. She has a strong understanding of adolescent and family treatment in the highest levels of care. Audrey helped establish Insight’s first adolescent Partial Hospital Program and has assisted in the development of the Family Based Treatment (FBT) for Anorexia Track within the Partial Hospital Program. Audrey began working as a treatment coordinator in 2012 and took the Northbrook management position in 2013. From 2013 to 2015 Audrey was the Clinical Site Director, overseeing the adolescent and adult Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospital Programs. In June 2015 Audrey became the Senior Director of Northern Satellites and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Programs.

Prior to joining Insight’s team, Audrey received her MSW from Loyola Unversity Chicago in Mental Health. She has various experiences at inpatient, residential and group homes, and group practice focusing on group therapy and program evaluation. Her passion is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), individual therapy, group therapy and teaching others how to build a life worth living. She has presented in several different forums, focusing on complex adolescent behaviors, DBT training, and mindfulness in the workplace.

Anne Kubal, PhD

Director of Clinical Training


62Dr. Anne Kubal is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Director of Clinical Training at Insight.

She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Northwestern University and received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Her clinical and research interests include eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury, perfectionism, relational issues and supervision and training.

Dr. Kubal is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) and serves as the Student Liaison Chairperson for the Heartland iaedp chapter.  She has presented at national and international conferences, and teaches a graduate course on the treatment of eating disorders in the Certificate of Graduate Study in Eating Disorders and Obesity program at Northern Illinois University. She is a Health System Clinician at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, and serves on the Intern Training Committee at Northwestern University.