If you're living with a chronic illness, you're in the right place.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Another Day, Another Blog

12:09 PM Posted by Tiffany Taft
So...we've started a blog.  It's funny how I've written a dissertation and several peer-reviewed publications yet I'm feeling a bit daunted by this task.  Then again, blogs need to be interesting...candid...and contain information that you, our reader, can take in, process, and deem valuable in a matter of seconds.  No pressure.

I should first introduce myself and my colleague, Stephanie, and what we're trying to do.  We both recently completed our graduate studies, she in Social Work and I in Clinical Psychology, and decided to start a private practice dedicated to helping people affected by a chronic physical illness.  Our specific focus is on those diagnosed with chronic gastrointestinal (GI) illness, such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or eosinophilic GI diseases.  But we welcome all people with all chronic conditions, as well as those who may be struggling with their weight or considering bariatric surgery.

Both Stephanie and I have been active volunteers with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America via their outreach programs such as Camp Oasis for kids with IBD.  It was here, at a week-long camp that we both love in Waupaca, Wisconsin that we crafted our plans to start our practice.  This finally came to fruition this summer and we couldn't be more excited to get working.  Unfortunately, there aren't many mental health providers who can say they are experts in these conditions and this leaves a gap in care for so many struggling every day.  We are proud to say we are helping to close this gap by extending our services to the Chicagoland area.

Stephanie and I work with all ages of patients.  We also work with the patients' parents and families because as you well know, the person with the illness touches the lives of everyone in the household.

Before starting our practice, I spent the past 8 years researching the psychological and social effects of life with a chronic illness at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and am a leading expert in GI psychology.  If you're interested, you can read a summary of my research here.  While I truly enjoy the science of psychology, it is the individual relationships with my clients that makes this job so fulfilling.  Stephanie continues to work with patients affected by cancer at a local hospital on the north shore while conducting research.  We share our commitment to guiding our client's treatment by the most up-to-date, scientifically backed methods available.

Our plan is to use this space to share important information about life with a chronic illness and resources that help navigating the healthcare landscape a bit easier.  So thank you for reading; even more thanks if you've subscribed to us.  If you have questions about anything on our blog or about our practice, do not hesitate to email us.


Dr. Taft