Counseling Basics & Scheduling
We highly encourage you to reach out to your therapist of choice or fill out a general inquiry. Simply getting to talk to a therapist over the phone can help you know if they seem like a good fit. We're happy to answer any questions you have, and if you're ready, schedule a session and send you initial paperwork to fill out.
As noted above, feel free to reach out to us first for a quick ten-minute consult to answer questions and schedule an appointment. At that time, we'll gather some basic information then send you the initial paperwork to fill out before your first session. If using insurance, we can also gather your insurance information and check on your benefits for you. In your first session, we'll go through some questions about what brings you to counseling, your history and background, your story, and goals.
We have appointments available now both daytime and evenings (in person or online). Generally we can get new clients in within a couple of days to a week out depending on their availability and urgency of need. Contact us and we'll generally respond the same day or within 24 hours. If calling by phone, please leave a message so that the therapist can call you back when they are not in a session.
Our therapy sessions are generally 55 minutes long. You may attend weekly, every other week, or more or less depending on your degree of need and/or finances. If cost is a concern, attending bi-weekly or monthly can be a good way to save money without having to avoid getting help entirely. How long you are in therapy is different for every person and largely up to you. Some people attend therapy for only a few months, some for a year, and others choose to receive counseling long term. Therapy often starts with addressing immediate issues, but over time helps you become aware of deeper rooted areas for healing that can have more long-lasting benefits.
We offer online counseling to many of our clients. Online counseling can be useful for adults who can't find childcare for their kids, people living in areas with limited available counselors, teens and adults who feel more secure and comfortable talking from within their own home, individuals with limited availability during the week, and more. Research studies have shown that online counseling can be equally or surprisingly even at times more effective than in person counseling, however, much likely depends on an individual's unique preferences, needs, and comfort.
Our hope is that counseling will feel like talking to a close friend who hears you, genuinely cares about you, but is also trained in how to listen, ask good questions, and give you practical, helpful advice. A good counselor should leave you feeling safe, respected, and not judged. Different people need different levels of incentive to change and heal, but a good counselor should never over push you to do things or talk about things that you aren't ready for. Healing sometimes requires remembering and bringing up the hurt, but our hope is that you find relief in being able to share and grow from the things that are a burdening you.
We support our client's decisions. We personally believe in a conservative approach towards the use of medication in therapy, but also believe it can be a useful and recommended tool in certain situations. Many medications have unpleasant or at times even worsening side effects, but medication is particularly useful in treating more intense and debilitating conditions. However, therapy may be better able to uncover and help address root issues and ultimately provide longer-term healing that isn't dependent on medication. We encourage clients to work with both a psychiatrist and therapist when pursuing medication as a tool.
We offer Christian counseling to individuals who specifically request it, but otherwise work with everyone regardless of their beliefs. Counselors are carefully trained not to impose their own beliefs and values on clients.
Counselors abide by specific guidelines to carefully protect patient confidentiality, including protections for adults and protections set by the State of Illinois for minors and teens aged 12-17. Details about confidentiality and limited scenarios when information may be disclosed are outlined in the initial intake forms. Don't hesitate to bring up any specific worries to your therapist for clarification.
Finances & Insurance
Costs for therapy can be very confusing, especially for people trying to use their insurance. We're happy to help you figure out your specific cost, and what your insurance company covers for in-network and out-of-network counseling. What you pay will depend on the type of counseling and any insurance you may be using. Contact a therapist or our business manager for a full breakdown of rates or to have us check your insurance benefits.
Clients have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much their medical and mental health care will cost. Learn more here:
We are in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO plans. Contact us to learn more and have us check your insurance benefits.
We will also work out-of-network with all major insurance providers and are happy to help check your out-of-network benefits and provide super bills for reimbursement. PPO plans typically have the best out-of-network reimbursement rates, and many still cover a portion or even most of the cost. Contact us to learn more about your rate.
You may prefer the privacy of not having an official diagnosis that is shared with your insurance provider. You may also desire counseling for an issue that is not covered by your provider. Not being In-Network allows our counselors to take on fewer clients, focus more on personally knowing the clients that they see each week, and for us to more easily offer reduced rates for clients with financial need.
You will likely pay out of pocket regardless of whether or not a counselor is in-network with your insurance. In cases like this, using your insurance with an in-network provider will generally only benefit you if you expect to have considerable medical expenses during the same year.
If your issue is not serious, one of the best ways to reduce costs is to attend therapy bi-weekly or monthly instead of weekly. This may slow the speed that you find relief, but is still much better than not getting any help at all. Seeing a counseling intern may be a more affordable option than a therapist with an advanced license and degree. For issues or support that doesn't require a licensed therapist's help, a coach or mentor may also be a more affordable option. We also offer limited sliding-scale rates for individuals with financial need. Feel free to inquire.