Frequently Asked Questions & How We Approach Therapy

Here you’ll find the answers to a number of questions you may have before, during, or after meeting with one of our therapists. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to ask us either in-person or via the web form to the right.

How does counseling/therapy help?

It’s therapeutic to talk with someone about our concerns. Many of us have experienced relief after talking with a friend or family member about something we’ve been holding in. Our concerns often seem more manageable when we talk about them with someone we trust. And as we talk, our perspective on the problem often begins to change.

Therapy goes beyond the obvious to help us get unstuck. Often we know what we should be doing to help ourselves feel better, but we can’t seem to be able to do it. Counseling helps us work through the obstacles that keep us from doing what we know would be helpful.

Therapy can also help you:

    • Pinpoint your problems and understand aspects that can be improved.
    • Develop a more positive outlook by identifying negative or problematic thinking that contributes to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
    • Examine learned behaviors that may create or sustain known problems.
    • Regain your sense of control and pleasure in life.
    • Discover your strengths and learn how to use them to improve other areas of your life.

Isn't going to therapy a sign of weakness?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Change is difficult — which is why we often avoid it — and it takes courage to acknowledge a problem or difficulty. When you seek counseling, you’re taking a courageous first step toward resolving your problems.

Isn't therapy only for people with serious emotional problems?

Although therapy can be helpful to people who do have serious emotional problems, it’s also useful for people with everyday concerns, like adjustment, relationship, or phase of life issues. Coaching is a useful approach for those who feel adrift and want to establish a clear path toward their goals.

Will my therapist give me advice?

By the time many people come to us, they’ve probably already gotten more advice than they can handle—from any number of friends, family, or professionals. We believe that although our counselors are knowledgeable about the change process, you are the expert on your life. By working with someone who has training and experience with facilitating positive change, you’ll be able to set specific goals for yourself and then collaborate on developing the path toward reaching them. Your counselor will be a supportive guide throughout your journey.

Isn't therapy a last resort?

People don’t have to experience a heart attack before they can see a doctor — it’s okay to get a check-up if they just don’t feel well. The same applies to counseling — you don’t have to wait for an emotional breakdown to see a counselor. By working with a counselor as soon as things start to get bumpy, you can often get back on track more quickly and save yourself a lot of unnecessary distress.

Is counseling confidential?

The foundation of the counseling relationship is trust, and we treat every aspect of our counseling relationships with great care. All mental health professionals must maintain confidentiality, except as required by law. Please feel free to ask your counselor about confidentiality rules and laws.

How long is a session?

Your first session will take one hour, and subsequent sessions will be 50 minutes long.

Do you take insurance?

Yes, we work with most insurance companies, but before you schedule your first appointment, you should call your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage. Call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to see how many sessions your plan covers. If there is a separate number listed for mental health insurance, call that number first.

How often should I see my therapist?

This is something you will discuss with your counselor during your first session. The frequency of your sessions will depend on your need, situation, and coverage. Together we’ll determine the right frequency for you, and we can always adjust it as we go along.

What will my first visit be like?

During  your first visit we will talk about what brought you to Choices, and we’ll get to know each other better so we can develop a mutual sense of trust. We will provide a safe, comfortable environment where you can work toward achieving the goals we set together. Once we begin setting goals, we will outline a process by which you will start making changes to reach those goals. Throughout our subsequent sessions, we will refer to this plan to check in and see how we’re progressing. We will ask you questions, but we know you’ll have plenty of questions of your own  — so please, ask away!

Am I committed to working with the first therapist I meet?

Though we try hard to connect you with the therapist who we believe will be the best fit for you, only you will truly know if this is the case. You are not committed to working with the first therapist you meet; like you, we want to make sure you are comfortable with the counselor who will guide you on your journey toward healing. Please don’t hesitate to raise any concerns you have, and if you feel you would be better served by a different therapist, we will be happy to refer you to another counselor — either within or outside our practice. Working with someone you trust is incredibly important, and finding a new counselor is a better alternative than dropping out of treatment without first addressing your concerns.

Do you prescribe medication?

If, together, we determine that medication could benefit you, we can connect you with a psychiatrist appropriate to your needs and work closely with them throughout your treatment.

Where are you located?

Our offices are located upstairs from Glen Ellyn Bank at:

500 Roosevelt Road Suite 205 Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Click here for a map.

How do I make an appointment?

You may call us at  630-858-1353 or fill out the form to the right and we will follow up with you shortly.

What do I need to bring with me to my first session?

Call us at 630-858-1353 to schedule your appointment, and then take the time to download, read, and fill out the forms below. Our initial visit will be an hour long, with subsequent visits lasting 50 minutes, so please bring the following items with you to your first session so we can make the most of the hour we have together.

What to bring:

  • Insurance cards
  • Registration form
  • Questions
  • Personal history – may or may not apply
  • Family history – may or may not apply
  • IEP and report cards – may or may not apply