Counseling FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling
Why do people go to counseling?

People seek counseling services for a variety of reasons including feeling depressed, anxious, angry, or overwhelmed.  Clients also seek out counseling when they are experiencing some type of relationship conflict and would like help changing behaviors that affect their relationships at home, work, or school.  Parents often bring their children to therapy when they notice behavior changes or conflict happening at home or school.  Some people seek counseling because they have a life goal that has been eluding them and they are ready to explore their barriers.  Other people seek out counseling because they know they are going through a difficult time or facing a difficult decision and they desire a place to sort through their feelings and move forward in their life with intention and clear thinking. 

Our approach to therapy primarily focuses on solving problems in relationships. These problems may be between spouses, co-workers, parents and children, siblings, in-laws, extended family, former spouses, or friends. Family therapy often includes other family members in therapy.

How does counseling help?

When a counseling relationship is working well, clients experience new problem-solving strategies, clearer thinking, increased energy, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves.  Therapy is a process, and a working partnership develops between client and therapist.  Therapy is not always comfortable or straightforward as difficult emotions and ways of being often have to be sorted through in order for new energy and change to appear.  Clients should feel comfortable with their therapist and be able to ask about whatever is on their mind regarding the process.

What service area do you cover?

To be eligible for counseling services you must live in Maine Township or attend a Maine Township school (Districts 62, 63, 64, 207). Maine Township includes parts of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles, Morton Grove, Glenview, and Rosemont. The specific township boundaries are Mt. Prospect Avenue to the west, Central Road to the north, Harlem Avenue to the east, and Devon Avenue to the south.

What types of clients do you work with?

We work with a wide-variety of ages and concerns. We see children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults. One of our primary objectives is to improve the health of relationships between people. Because we are all involved in a multitude of interactions, anyone could benefit from family therapy.

What if my spouse, child, or family is unwilling to attend?

The most necessary ingredient for therapy to be successful is at least one person who is committed to work on solving the problem. The participation of other family members is helpful, but not essential.

Do I need to attend if the problem is with another family member?

In most situations, the therapist will want to work with anyone who is concerned about the problem. For instance, parents are usually the most knowledgeable party in regard to a difficulty involving their child. You don't have to be part of the problem to be part of the solution.

Do I have to come to your office for sessions?

We offer clients the option to be seen in the office or virtually via telehealth (video or phone). If you are unable to make it into the office due to transportation issues, illness, etc. you may choose to switch to a telehealth appointment instead if this is communicated in advance to your therapist.

What happens during the first session?

You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history.  You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you.  You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out if you haven’t already e-signed this.

Your therapist will work with you to establish realistic goals to address the problem(s) you or your family want to address in counseling. The strengths and resources of each individual and family are utilized to help achieve these goals.

How long is a counseling session?

Sessions last for 45 minutes. Sessions are typically scheduled weekly to start, with greater time in between as the situation improves.

How long will counseling take?

The answer to this question depends on your specific situation. Some people start feeling better right away after just a few sessions; for others, it takes longer. The number of sessions depends on your goals, your history, the type of problem, the quality of the client-therapist relationship, and your ability to engage in the process both during sessions and out of sessions. Because we do not want clients to become overly dependent on the counseling relationship, therapy is not prolonged when you have met your goals.

How much does it cost?

Fees are determined from a sliding scale chart based on household income and the number of dependents reliant on that income. Consideration is also given to special circumstances which might prevent payment of the designated fee. We do not accept insurance.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call Arielle Kalvelage, MaineStay Assistant Director, at 847-297-2510 x273. She will request information from you about how to contact you, the times you are available for an appointment, and a brief description of the problem. You may also fill out our online intake form instead. A therapist will then contact you when they have an opening in their schedule which matches your availability. Morning, afternoon, and evening appointments are available throughout the week. We are closed on weekends.