FAQs

You don’t need to do any special preparations for the first session. After you request your session online, you will receive a request to fill out your paperwork.  After we receive that information, we’ll confirm your appointment. All you need to do after that is show up.

Most of the first session is one of our therapists asking you about your goals, history, experience, and what changes you want. Just like a doctor wouldn’t prescribe you medication without taking your blood pressure and listening to your heartbeat, we need to understand you before making any recommendations. Then we’ll talk about what it might look like to get you to your destination, and answer any questions you have.

Usually it’s from the second session onward that we’re digging in with skills and strategies to get you moving.

Most of the first session is one of our therapists asking about your relationship, history, experience, and what changes you want. Just like a doctor wouldn’t prescribe you medication without taking your blood pressure and listening to your heartbeat, we need to understand your relationship before making any recommendations. Then we’ll talk about what it might look like to get you to your destination, and answer any questions you have.

If most of your distress is coming from interactions with your partner, generally that means couples work. Often couples work is more productive if one or both partners are in individual counseling as well. You can absolutely do both.

The same therapist doesn’t do couples and individual therapy for the same client; that compromises my objectivity. We’re happy to give you recommendations if you’re looking for another counselor, and if you want to sign a release of information, that will authorize me to coordinate care with them.

Psychiatrists are doctors or MDs who specialize in treating mental conditions, often through medication and recommendations about nutrition, exercise, sleep, and more. Many psychiatrists recommend “talk therapy” in addition to medication; most do not do counseling or talk therapy themselves.

You can get counseling or “talk therapy” from a licensed counselor, social worker, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist. None of these professions prescribe medication. For instance, Nikki Jovicilo is an LCPC, or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, meaning she has a Masters degree in counseling psychology, and she’s licensed to practice independently in the state of Illinois.

Please click here to learn more.

We charge a no-show fee of $65 for missed sessions and cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice.

If you are sick and possibly contagious, please either reschedule (if it’s more than 24 hours in advance) or contact us to set up a HIPAA-Compliant video session.

  • When you’re sick, you need to rest or see a doctor.
  • Trauma, anxiety, and relationship stress weaken the immune system. The next clients coming in to see us are sitting in the same waiting room and therapy room. Please don’t put them at risk for getting sick.
  • If we get sick, especially if we lose our voices, then clients for the next several days miss out on the therapy they need.

Chemistry is an important part of therapy, because therapy is a collaborative relationship. If my bio and specialties look promising, that’s a good indicator. Generally people know within a few sessions if we’re a fit. We are open to feedback, and if you don’t like an exercise or a recommendation, we can talk about it. You get a vote in how we work together.

However, if you don’t feel that we are “clicking,” you can tell us so and it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings or upset them. Your needs are far more important than our egos, and it’s not personal! In fact, we do know many great therapists in the Chicago area, and we would be more than happy to give you a few options based on your feedback. Every relationship, including therapists, teaches you something about what you need.

Email is never guaranteed to be 100% confidential. Of course we would never breach confidentiality or share your information with unauthorized persons. You can feel free to email us with questions, or if there is something you want to make sure we process in session. However please know that there is always a chance with any email to anyone that someone at the web hosting company, your email server company (Google, Yahoo, etc) the NSA, etc could see it.

If you are in crisis, please call, don’t email or text.

Absolutely. Some clients like to make notes during the week to remind themselves what to discuss in therapy. Some like to take notes during session to review during the week. Both are great.

We use the HIPAA-compliant program through our client portal for e-therapy when needed. It’s very easy: you’ll get a reminder link from the scheduling portal to click on, and that will start your session.

March 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are conducting all sessions via video therapy until April 30th 2020. 

We generally recommend e-therapy only when someone is sick or if there is a blizzard, especially for couples work. It’s not something we offer on a consistent basis, but if that’s the mode you need, we are more than happy to provide you with a recommendation for professionals we trust.

We generally do not do phone sessions, and insurance does not reimburse for them. If you need to discuss something with us by phone, we will charge for conversations over 10 minutes. We pro-rate those fees based on 15-minute increments of our standard $135 session fee.

Our office is next to the Jefferson Park Transit Center, so the Metra, Blue Line, and several bus routes are steps from us.

We have a free parking lot in front of our office.

You can come in the front door and take the elevator up to the 5th floor. The front doors lock at 8pm, so if you have an 8pm session, please plan on arriving by 7:55.

50 minutes, plus about 3-5 minutes to review and wrap up, for a total of 53-55 minutes.

When you schedule online, you’ll enter your payment information, and we will process the payment when you arrive for therapy. When we have the information in advance, we’ll go over the co-pay etc. with you before you arrive.

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