CHOOSING SOMEONE TO SUPPORT YOU IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION.
To help you decide if you would like to work with Chicago’s Lincoln Park Therapy Group, we’ve provided some answers to the most common questions people have when considering therapy with us.
WHAT IS THERAPY?
Therapy can help you identify and strengthen your positive qualities, provide support during a transition, help you understand and break negative patterns, help you gain perspective on a situation, solve a problem or heal from emotional wounds or upsetting experiences. Therapy can also help you understand yourself better and become more conscious of how your history, perceptions, feelings, attitudes and behavior patterns influence how you relate to others and move through the world. Therapy can help you understand yourself better, grow as an individual and within the context of your relationships.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED THERAPY OR WHEN I SHOULD SEE A THERAPIST?
A good indicator that you might want to begin therapy is when you’re having difficulties at in your relationships, at work, having a hard time concentrating, if you feel unhappy more days than not, if you cannot sleep, have a hard time figuring out what is important in your life, or just cannot manage daily stress anymore. If you are currently questioning if you should seek counseling or therapy, that is probably the best indicator that you may want to try it and see if the support of a therapist is helpful. Everyone can benefit from counseling or therapy. Some begin therapy for more insight into themselves and the world around them. Others may be experiencing difficulties at work, in relationships, having issues with concentration, are feeling unhappy more often than feeling happy, are not sleeping well, unable to figure out what is important in life or cannot manage daily stress. If you are experiencing any of these things, you may want to give therapy a try. You may find that the support of a therapist is beneficial to you. If you are committed to making personal changes for greater life satisfaction, then you are ready for therapy.
I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THERAPY. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
It is totally understandable that your first therapy session may be scarier than the problem that is causing you to seek therapy. The first session starts with you and your therapist getting familiar with each and building a comfortable and trusting space together. Your therapist will explain confidentiality and that most everything that is discussed in counseling is confidential. You are protected by strict rules that prohibit discussing anything that goes on in session or even that you are coming to counseling. There are some very specific exceptions to this rule, which will be discussed in the first session as well. Your therapist will want to get to know you and what brought you to therapy, so you can identify where you are and what are some goals or things you’d like to work on together. Your therapist will gently ask you some open ended questions and give you some reflections, observations, feedback and a summary of what you said. You may be encouraged to look at things from a different perspective. The intention is for you to feel heard, understood and the work in session is done collaboratively with your therapist.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOING TO THERAPY + WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO ACHIEVE?
There are many benefits to engaging in therapy! Including gaining a better understanding and insight of yourself, identifying your personal values and what’s important to you, improving your personal relationships–intimate, friendships and work– identifying and developing coping skills, enhancing problem-solving abilities, making positive changes to problem behaviors, and boosting self-esteem. Your therapist will have an unbiased and objective perspective to situations, relationships and events in your life. Your therapist will work with you throughout this process and offer new insights to challenges that you have been struggling with. The benefit that you obtain will ultimately depend on how committed you are to the work together both in and outside of sessions.
DOES COUPLES COUNSELING REALLY WORK?
Couples counseling is helpful for couples who experience relationship challenges such as repetitive arguments, feeling distance or emptiness in the relationship, feel angry, resentful, and unhappy or negative communication patterns. Working with a therapist you and your partner have the opportunity to go beyond surface emotions and express deeper feelings. The goals are for the couple to communicate effectively, learn healthy conflict resolutions skills and to re-build intimacy and trust. For couples in long-term relationships, ongoing issues can be more safely discussed in the presence of a neutral and compassionate couples counselor. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, research indicates that couples counseling is helpful for relationships. At the end of couples therapy, than 75% of couples were better off than those in the same situation that did not receive counseling. 65% of couples reported a “significant” improvement in relationship satisfaction. You and your partner can make couples counseling more effective if you make a commitment to counseling, acknowledge that challenges and the need for greater relationship satisfaction exist, be open to the process and the idea that change takes some time.
HOW LONG DOES THERAPY USUALLY TAKE?
There is no specific time frame when working on personal development and growth. It depends on the type of changes that you are looking to make and the variety of issues that you are attempting to work on. Some find therapy to be extremely beneficial and choose to make it a long-term process — part of their overall self-care. Some people start feeling better right away after just a few sessions. The number of sessions depends on your goals, your history, the type of problem, the quality of the client-counselor relationship, and your ability to engage in the process during session and out of the session. Most clients schedule weekly appointments and some, if they are in the midst of a crisis, come in two times a week. We recommend committing to weekly appointments for two months to establish a trusting relationship with your therapist, build the rapport that facilitates the change process and begin to notice shifts in your life. We will review your goals and treatment on an ongoing basis to assess frequency of sessions and progress towards your therapeutic goals.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEES FOR THERAPY?
Intake appointments are 55-60 minutes long and fees range from $155-$180 per appointment based on the experience level of the therapist. Individual & Couples sessions are 45-55 minutes, fees range from $135-$155 per session based on the experience level of the therapist.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
We are In Network with Blue Cross Blue Shield & Blue Choice insurance PPO plans. We are considered out-of-network with some insurance providers, however using those benefits is simple. To use your out-of-network benefits, you pay the fee directly at the time of service and we will provide you with a monthly “Superbill” to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement or we can submit directly to United Health Care, Aetna & Cigna. The reimbursement is paid directly to you. Please call your insurance provider for more information about coverage for my services. We are happy to help you complete any additional paperwork. Please visit the secton on this page (above) about using your out-of-network benefits.
DO YOU PRESCRIBE MEDICATION?
Therapists at Lincoln Park Therapy Group are not psychiatrists and therefore we do not prescribe medication. Research shows that in some cases medication can be valuable in combination with therapy. If your therapists believes that you could benefit from meeting with a psychiatrist, we can assist you by referring you to someone we trust in our network of referrals.