Frequently Asked Questions
Decoration

How can therapy help me?

People come to therapy for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people need help managing mood disorders, like depression or anxiety, or other concerns, like eating or adjustment disorders. Others may be experiencing interpersonal difficulties, stress, significant life events, family of origin issues, low self-esteem, stress from systemic dysfunction and/or oppressive systems, or want to experience personal growth. In general, psychotherapy has proven to be effective with most mental health concerns. Therapy can offer support, deepen your self and relational awareness, teach you about your emotions and feelings, widen your perspective and understanding, increase your problem-solving and coping skills, identify and enhance your strengths and positive qualities, adapt and change unhelpful thinking or behavior, and help you grow as an individual. While there are many reasons and benefits to come to therapy, it is an individualized process where you and your therapist will work together to create goals and develop a treatment plan tailored to you and your needs. 

How do I choose the right therapist?

The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important aspects of therapy and one of the key predictors of your success in treatment. Some things you might want to consider when researching therapists are their identities; what treatment approach(s) they follow; and their specialty areas, education, and experience. You can find information about our therapists on our “About Us” page.  In addition, we are happy to offer a free 15-minute consultation for you to ask preliminary questions to see if we might be a good fit for you. It’s helpful to note that finding the right therapist may take time and you might have to try several therapists before you find someone you feel comfortable with and trust. Ultimately, the goal of finding the right therapist is to feel safe, understood, challenged and connected. 

How much does therapy cost?

The out-of-pocket cost (if not using insurance) for each clinician varies on their level of experience, education, and professional license. Initial intake appointments range from $150-$200 for individual, couples, and family therapy and $100-$160 for an individual pre-group meeting. Individual therapy sessions range from $130-$175, couples and family sessions range from $150-$200, and group therapy sessions range from $40-$60.

Can I use my insurance for therapy?

CCC clinicians are in network with most Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and Choice plans as well as Cigna and Aetna plans.  We also have providers who are in network with USHIP UChicago student insurance plans.  To find out if we are in-network with your insurance provider and what your cost, co-pay, or deductible  we encourage you to contact your insurance provider directly. 

 

If you have insurance and are not covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, or Aetna you may be able to use your out-of-network benefits for psychotherapy services. In most instances, to use your out-of-network benefits you will be responsible for paying the full fee for each session and submitting a “Superbill”, or invoice of our services, to your insurance provider for reimbursement. CCC will provide a monthly Superbill for you to submit. Please check with your insurance provider directly to see if your plan has out-of-network benefits and what percentage of the fee is covered. 

 

When considering whether or not to use insurance, please keep in mind that insurance companies require clinicians to submit a mental health diagnosis as part of a claim. If this is not something you’re comfortable with, self-pay may be a better option.

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy is therapy conducted via phone or online video. It allows you and your therapist to meet in real time from the convenience of your home. Teletherapy has been proven to have an equivalent outcome to in-person therapy for a wide range of concerns.  

 

In line with CCC’s value of providing inclusive and accessible therapy services, CCC is proud to offer HIPAA compliant teletherapy services. All of our services – individual therapy, couples therapy, and group therapy – are offered virtually to help you feel safe, supported, and connected. 

 

Many insurance plans cover telehealth services. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider directly to find out if teletherapy is covered under your plan.

How long are therapy sessions?

 Therapy sessions vary in length depending on the type of appointment. An initial intake appointment will last 60 minutes. Typically, individual sessions are 45-53 minutes, couples or family sessions are 50 minutes, and group sessions are 75-90 minutes.

What can I expect during the first session?

The first session will be different than the rest of your therapy sessions as it focuses on information gathering and relationship building. In this session, your therapist will explain the process of therapy and provide information about their background and approach to treatment. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about therapy as you are also gathering information about your therapist and if they are a good fit for you. Much of this session will focus on you and your therapist getting to know one another to begin building a safe space for you to explore your feelings and experiences. Your therapist will ask about your presenting problem(s) or symptom(s) that brought you to therapy. They will likely also ask about your family history, support system, previous mental health history, medications, etc. You and your therapist may discuss your goals for therapy, set up your next appointment, and determine the frequency of your sessions moving forward.

How frequent are visits?

Research has shown that individuals typically benefit from meeting once per week for therapy; however, the frequency of visits varies for each client. The frequency of your visits may be dependent on what your schedule is, what works for you financially, and how quickly you’d like to meet your goals. You and your therapist will work together to determine what frequency is right for you. It’s helpful to note that the frequency of your visits is fluid and can be changed at any time depending on your progress and needs.

How do I cancel or reschedule an appointment?

If you are unable to attend or need to reschedule your appointment, please let us know at least 24-hours in advance. If you do not let us know 24-hours in advance, you will be expected to pay the full session fee. Please note that, unfortunately, insurance companies do not cover or reimburse for missed sessions.

What if I need medication?

 If you and your therapist agree that medication may be helpful, we are happy to provide recommendations for psychiatry.  

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a proven and powerful tool to address a wide range of mental health concerns. Under the facilitation of a therapist or therapists, clients in a group setting are able to discuss and reflect upon their experiences with others who have similar concerns. This type of therapy is especially helpful for those who may have concerns related to mood, emotions, anxiety, relationship problems, and identity development. Group therapy offers members with a unique opportunity to hear multiple perspectives and give and receive support and feedback from others. 

What are the different types of group therapy?

What are the steps to becoming a member of a group?

Potential group members will meet with the group facilitators to determine if group is the best treatment option for you. During this initial meeting, group facilitators will share more details about the nature of the group, what you can expect from group therapy, explore possible goals you can set for yourself for group sessions, and answer any questions you may have. 

Common Group Therapy Myths

You may be familiar with common misconceptions about group therapy. Listed below are common myths about group therapy and what you can actually expect from this process.

Group Myths

Group therapy can vary in topic focus and level of structure. Structured groups may have a central focus and will involve an education component in which members are provided with information on the topic and useful skills are reviewed. Unstructured groups are referred to as process groups. There are no set topics in process groups; however, salient themes or experiences from group members will become the focus. In process groups, members can initiate new topics that they feel are important and members are encouraged to reflect as session topics emerge. 

How is group therapy helpful?

The helpfulness of group greatly depends on how you use your time as a group member. One of the highlights of group therapy is the opportunity to use interactions within the group to address issues. This in-the-moment work allows members and facilitators to share reactions and take time reflect on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This offers an amazing opportunity to notice any recurring patterns for members, elicit feedback and support, and try out new ways of resolving difficulties. 

 

If you are curious to see what group could look like, Dr Elliot Zeisel PhD, a group therapist, is featured in a video series, GROUP, which depicts the powerful experiences of a process group therapy. Check out the series trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVaz1EfIpBQ