Meet The Founder

Lara Effland, LICSW, CEDS-S

Founder & Executive Clinical Director

Lara is the founder of Clinician Development Collective, a concept that was brought to life during the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lara, a licensed independent clinical social worker in the states of Washington, Illinois, and Texas saw the increased need for supportive therapy as the pandemic raged on – and notices that clinicians were facing a new level both personal and professional stress. Mental health clinicians would require a new form of support now that they have become the new front line workers. 

The Clinician Development Collective was born.

In 2009, Lara was called to develop a mood and anxiety program in Chicago, IL.  Since 2009, this program has become a nationally recognized resource for those struggling with mood, anxiety, and trauma disorders.  For the past 12 years, Lara has overseen mental health programs for higher levels of care, such as residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services.  She has supervised, trained, and presented on multiple topics related to mental health across the nation: eating disorders, complex trauma, high risk co-occurring disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  She has been a dedicated, servant leader focusing on building cohesive and clinically excellent programs and teams.  Her last position held before starting the Clinician Development Collective was Regional Clinical Director for mental health programs in Washington and California.  

Lara believes that clinicians deserve an opportunity to grow and thrive.  She wants to empower clinicians to confidently contribute to the clinical world by sharing their knowledge, strengths, and learning moments. Professionally, her goal is to ensure that clinicians can provide effective clinical care, without burning out and while maintaining energy and passion for this complicated and at times exhausting work.

The Clinician Development Collective took root in 2021 as a way of providing transparent, collaborative, and individualized support to therapists to help them find a specialty or niche, achieve their dreams, and feel a sense of mastery over their work. With a focus on evidence-based practices, Lara focuses on inclusive treatments at all levels of care for people struggling with mood, anxiety and eating disorders as well as trauma. 


Clinician Connection

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Training and Experience

Specializations and Contributions

Over 15 years of advanced level specialties, certifications, national presentations, and program development.

Advanced Specializations

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Exposure and Response Prevention
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
  • Written Exposure Therapy
  • PE-DBT Protocol
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Radically Open DBT
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Emotion Focused Family Therapy
  • Family Based Therapy
  • Mindfulness Theory and Practices


  • Certified Exposure and Response Therapist
  • Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Supervisor

National Speaking Topics

  • Mood, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • High Risk, Co-Occurring behaviors and treatments
  • Higher-levels of Care
  • Group Therapy
  • Temperament
  • Mindfulness

Highly Respected Trainings

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Written Exposure Therapy
  • Exposure and Response Prevention
  • Radically Open – DBT
  • PE-DBT Protocol
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