A counseling practice treating general psychological issues while specializing in
Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology
"Research clearly demonstrates the importance of a collaborative relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider. Patient's self-knowledge and understanding of their concerns and unique life situation, coupled with trust in a highly qualified healthcare provider is paramount in achieving treatment success." - Raymond C. Baker, PhD
Dr. Baker has over 25 years experience in treating a wide variety of behavioral, emotional and psychological issues. He also has decades of experience in the fields of behavioral medicine and health psychology.
Dr. Baker's training at Northwestern University Medical School and the University of Chicago Hospitals (both ranked in the top 20 "Best Medical Schools: Research" by US News and World Report) provided him outstanding clinical and research opportunities to develop a unique skill-set and expertise to help patients resolve a wide variety of difficulties that inhibit them from functioning at their optimal levels of wellness.
For patients with medical conditions, Dr. Baker works directly with their physician to develop a treatment approach that includes each patient's unique health and medical issues. All treatment is based on the "best practice approach" that incorporate the latest empirically-based research findings from the fields of clinical psychology, health psychology and behavioral medicine.
While Dr. Baker is primarily a clinician these days, Google Scholar indicates that Dr. Baker's clinical research in the areas of heath psychology and behavioral medicine is referenced in more than 450 scientific journal articles, academic and self-help books.
Anxiety, Depression, Family Conflict, Marital/Relationship Issues, Men's Issues, Parenting Help, Stress Management, Trauma
Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating, Body Dissatisfaction, Obesity/Weight Control
Cisgender, Gender Dysphoria, Gender Fluid, Gender Free, Gender Questioning, Intersexed, Non-Gendered, Pangender, Polygender, Transsexual, LGBTQ+
Erectile Dysfnction, Premature Ejaculation, Inhibited Sexual Desire, Anorgasmia, Vaginismus
Dr. Baker has specialized training in Hypnosis, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and conducting Presurgical Bariatric Evaluations
Military Service, Natural Disaster, Personal Tragedy, Physical Violence/Abuse, Sexual Trauma
Dr. Baker treats individuals with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and consults with clinicians working with this unique and resilient population.
Dr. Baker’s scientific research on weight management has been:
Published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including:
•The Behavior Therapist
Referenced in numerous scientific journal articles, such as:
•The New England Journal of Medicine
•The Annual Review of Nutrition
•Journal of the American Dietetic Association
•International Journal of Obesity
Highlighted in over 35 scholarly books, including:
•The Healthy Obsession Program: Smart Weight Loss Instead of Low-Carb Lunacy
•The Nine Truths about Weight Loss
•Weight Loss Through Persistence: Making Science Work for You
•Losing Control: How and Why People Fail at Self-Regulation
•The Prevention Get Thin, Get Young Plan
•10 Steps to Your Perfect Weight and
Featured in many newspapers and magazines, such as:
•The New York Times
Click here for a selected bibliography of Dr. Baker's published research on weight control.
Healthcare practitioners are too frequently caught in a system that makes it difficult for them to spend the amount of time they would like with each patient. Double-booking and long wait times have almost become the norm.
However, Dr. Baker's practice is set up so that the patient is the number 1 priority. Dr. Baker had the good fortune of training at both Northwestern University Medical School and the University of Chicago Hospitals. His Predoctoral Internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals is currently ranked in the top 20 Internships by the American Psychological Association.
During his training at these nstitutions, patient-centered care, the development of a collaborative relationship and clinical mastery were emphasized, values that Dr. Baker holds dear.
In order to provide each patient the attention and specialized treatment they deserve, Dr. Baker sees only a limited number of patients. Far too often, counselors and mental health practices focus on the quantity of patients they see rather than the quality of the treatment they provide.
Dr. Baker learned early in his training that the quality of treatment is more important than the number of billable hours a practitioner can generate.
Privacy and confidentiality are paramount in Dr. Baker's practice. There is no receptionist or secretary involved in making appointments and obtaining patient information; all communication occurs directly between Dr. Baker and the patient.
Because Dr. Baker's practice has no office staff, he is the only one person privy to your clinical and personal information except what is required by HIPPA and necessary for insurance purposes.
Research clearly demonstrates the importance of a collaborative relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider.
A patient's self-knowledge and understanding of their unique life situation, coupled with trust and confidence in their healthcare provider is paramount in achieving treatment success.
Treatment with Dr. Baker is based on the "best practice" approach that incorporates the latest empirically-based research findings.
Dr. Baker closely collaborates with with his patient's Primary Care Physician (PCP), Medical Specialists (e.g. Oncologists, Psychiatrists) and other healthcare providers (e.g. physical therapists, pharmacists) to provide comprehensive care.
Dr. Baker is originally from the Peoria area. He attended Bradley University and graduated with honors in 1983 with his bachelors degree in Psychology. Rather than choosing a minor field of study, he earned enough hours to twice major in Psychology.
After graduation, Dr. Baker began his Master's program in the Psychology program at Bradley, completing his coursework in 1984. Following completion of his coursework, he completed his master's internship working in a community outpatient mental health program which included general outpatient counseling with special emphasis on relationship counseling and crisis intervention services.
In 1986, Dr. Baker worked in a community based outpatient mental health Stress Management and Biofeedback program where he worked with individuals with anxiety disorders (panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety) mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), and stress-related medical issues (eg, migraine headaches, TMJ).
It was during this time that Dr. Baker also began working in the field of eating disorders, treating patients at the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Eating Disorder Program (1986 to 1987).
The Chicago Years
Exceptional Clinical and Research Training
In 1987, Dr. Baker began his PhD program in Clinical Psychology in the APA approved program at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. During his rigorous training to become a clinical psychologist, Dr. Baker received additional specialized training in the fields of Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology.
As a doctoral student, Dr. Baker was a research assistant at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) for 3 years working on the Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for Stance and Ambulation project with spinal cord injured patients and also studied the association between alcohol and drug use in spinal cord injured patients. In 1989, he presented research on the Psychological Outcomes of FES at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA) in New Orleans, LA.
During this time, Dr. Baker was also a research assistant at Children's Memorial Hospital studying the incidence of left-handedness in children with scoliosis.
Dr. Baker returned to his clinical interest in eating disorders in 1988 when he received additional specialized training inth e People at Risk (PAR) program in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School for 3 years (1988-1991), a sister program to the eating disorders program, under the direction of Dr. Daniel Kirshenbaum.
After completing his doctoral coursework in 1991, Dr. Baker completed his APA approved clinical internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals (1991-1992; currently ranked in the top 20 Clinical Psychology Internships by the American Psychological Association). During this year of intensive training, he received specialized training in treating the psychological, emotional and behavioral aspects of medically related issues through his completion of a year-long rotation in the Neuropsychology Program and a six-month rotation in the Oncology Program. He also completed six-month rotations in the Sex and Marital Therapy Program and the Inpatient Group Psychotherapy Program for patients with concomitant psychiatric and medical issues (e.g. Parkinson related dementia).
During this time, Dr. Baker had the rare clinical opportunity to work with transgendered individuals, including those working through the process of gender reassignment. Dr. Baker has continued his work in the area of LGBTQ + issues for the past 20 years and has kept up with the latest research and empirically based evidence in this burgeoning area.
Dr. Baker returned to Peoria after completing his Internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals to serve as the Clinical Director of the newly developing Health By Design (HBD) program at Associated Internal Medicine Physicians of Illinois (1992-1999), which later joined the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
The "Health By Design" program helped patients with medical conditions caused and/or exacerbated by lifestyle issues that contribute to health problems such as: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypercholesterolemia, Hypertension and physical and psychological impediments to exercise to achieve significant improvements in their health. Click here to see data regarding the efficacy of this program.
During these seven years, Dr. Baker published several peer-reviewed research articles that have been widely referenced in numerous scholarly journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Annual Review of Nutrition, The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and the International Journal of Obesity. (Click here to see these articles).
According to Google Scholar, this body of research has also been cited in over 35 books and many newspapers and magazines and has been presented at annual meetings of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT).
While at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Dr. Baker was an adjunct instructor at his alma mater, teaching Human Sexuality, a course he taught at Bradley from 1992 until 2004.
In 1999, Dr. Baker went to Bradley University to direct the Center for Wellness and Counseling (CWC). During that time, he developed the Center for Wellness & Counseling's "CWC Wellness Web" that offered over 150 wellness and health topics as well as confidential and anonymous psychological tests for issues like anxiety, depression, alcohol, eating disorders, and post traumatic stress. Numerous university counseling centers linked their webpages to the CWC Wellness Web to make the information available to their students.
While directing the CWC, Dr. Baker taught additional courses in the Psychology Department including: Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Health Psychology, Human Behavior in the Environment, and an advanced Seminar entitled Understanding Obesity and Eating Disorders.
While at Bradly, Dr. Baker had the opportunity to work with the Leadership Development Center (LDC) which is part of the Foster College of Business. LDC works with businesses and corporations providing training in nn leadership and team dynamics. LDC provides feedback to employees based on their answers to a number of psychometric instruments. In that capacity, Dr. Baker was trained to interpret these instruments and served as a "feedback coach" for four years. This was a wonderful opportunity to explore the area of leadership development; Dr. Baker currently serves as a job coach for a number of business executives.
In 2004, Dr. Baker pursued his desire to establish an independent Clinical Psychology Practice in Peoria Heights. While Dr. Baker has a generalist psychology/counseling practice treating anxiety disorders, depression, and general life stress issues, he specializes in the treatment of obesity/weight management, eating disorders, chronic illness, pain management, fibromyalgia, sexuality and transgender issues, oncology related issues, and psychological trauma. He also works with couples on relationship issues .
Dr. Baker is currently accepting new patients. Please call if you are interested in scheduling an appointment or to arrange a consultative appointment.