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Insight’s Illinois 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

President and Founder

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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

Vice President of Clinical Operations

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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, Residential Services and Mood & Anxiety Programming

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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

Director of the CORE (Compulsive Overeating Recovery Effort) Program

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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 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, CYT

Vice President of Clinical Operations

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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 Operations, 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 trained at the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Specialists (CEDS). Dr. Derrick regularly presents on related topics at national and international 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.

Michelle Gebhardt, PsyD

Program Director of Eating Disorder Services

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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.