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About Us

About Mind Your Body

We're Dr. Tiffany Taft and Stephanie Horgan, LCSW.  Two therapists in the Chicago area who work with kids and adults living with chronic medical illnesses.  We like to address the other stuff that comes with life with any kind of illness, the stuff that often gets missed in a medical visit, like feeling overwhelmed with treatments, dealing with family and friends, feeling alone or isolated, grappling with anxiety or depression.

We believe in the sheer importance of how mental and physical well-being interact, and how one can influence the other.

We also believe that all people can make healthy changes in their lives through education, self-reflection, and becoming aware of the power of their self-talk.

About the Bloggers

Dr. Taft is a licensed clinical psychologist and expert on the psychological and social aspects of life with chronic digestive conditions. She has over 10 years of extensive experience and has published several articles on the psychological aspects of these conditions. Dr. Taft is Clinical Research Associate at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and a leading expert on the psychosocial issues people living with chronic digestive conditions face. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship within the Center for Psychosocial Research in GI at NU. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2009 after completing a 1-year internship at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

Ms. Horgan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her master's degree at Loyola University Chicago. In addition to our practice, she works as a counselor for adults with cancer at North Shore Hospital. Her true passion is working with those suffering from chronic illness, especially Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Stephanie volunteers each year at a camp for kids with IBD and is involved with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Stephanie formerly was a special education teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. She has a passion to help the families of students with special needs, and enjoys seeing those on the Autism Spectrum. She serves on the board for the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers as well as the IL Clinical Social Work Society.

Popular posts from this blog

Game of Crohn's

There are 2 days left in 2017 and I've considered writing this blog post for most of the previous 363.  It's on a topic that nobody wants to talk about. Ever.

Let me start by saying Crohn's disease is a stigmatized disease.  A recent study found it's more stigmatized than HIV/AIDS and genital herpes among the general public.  And this topic, I think, takes that stigma and multiplies it by about 8.

Most people who know anything about IBD know it involves a few main issues:  diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes blood in said diarrhea.  Because Crohn's is a giving disease, it also comes with a slew of other problems including joint pains, eye inflammation, skin inflammation, bone density loss, mind-numbing fatigue, and fuzzy toenails.

Ok maybe not that last one. 

Around 1/3 of us develop "fistulizing disease."  Or what I like to call body termites.  Fistulas aren't unique to IBD and can happen for other reasons, but IBD is a main source of the fistula…

The Long Shot

I don't even know where to begin as my head is still spinning with the news I received today.  So I'm just going to put it out into the ether:

Entyvio (vedolizumab), which I started for my Crohn's disease about 6 months ago, did what no other approach has:  cleared my eosinophilic esophagitis. 

But wait, isn't Entyvio a drug for inflammatory bowel disease?  Yes.

Is Eosinophilic Esophagitis a type of inflammatory bowel disease?  Nope.

Are IBD and EoE related at all?  As far as we know today, no.  There are very few overlapping cases.

So WTF happened?

Without getting into the biomechanics of a drug that's way over my pay grade in medical understanding, my gastroenterologist had a theory that the way Entyvio works would block the cascade of eosinophils (a part of your immune system, a type of white blood cell) through it's magical way of selectively keeping my immune system from attacking my digestive tract.

She was fucking right.

Since being diagnosed with EoE in ear…

Bubbles

I've been thinking a lot about how we live in an era of infinite access to infinite information (thanks, internet tubes!) yet we still fall into many of the well-established psychological laws, if we can call them that, of human behavior.  Don't worry, this isn't going to be some drawn out post on social psychology. Wikipedia is great for that.

I want to talk about bubbles.  Information bubbles, that is. And how each one of us lives in one to some extent, no matter how educated or enlightened we see ourselves to be. And even if we know we live in said bubble, it takes being shown information that directly conflicts with how you think things are, or should be, and the result is you feel kinda ew - the technical term for "ew" being cognitive dissonance.

I live in a bubble.

In my bubble is the world of academic medicine, academic health psychology, and a circle of psychologists dedicated to people living with chronic digestive illness.  I live in Chicago, a major me…