Our Philosophy

We are committed to providing an affirming therapeutic environment for the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex) population and beyond that supports the development of a strong professional relationship between clients and their therapists. The safety and strength clients draw from that solid therapeutic relationship allows them to feel more freedom to examine, embrace, and express who they really are.

IntraSpectrum literally means “the spectrum within” – IntraSpectrum counselors serve as guides and companions in the process of exploring with our clients their unique internal spectrum of identities, thoughts, feelings and desires. In our work together, we endeavor to help you become more you.

Our philosophy is based on the notion that our inner dialogue is complex and is comprised of various parts of the self that may not co-exist harmoniously. If unaddressed, these internal conflicts can significantly compromise authentic self-expression, fulfillment, healthy coping and the quality of interpersonal relationships.

It is sometimes difficult to fully appreciate the degree to which relationships and our desires to please or appear a certain way to others have shaped the self that we present to the world. One of the main reasons why this is a struggle for so many of us is that we are constantly subject to messages about how we should think, feel, and act, and we may be pressured in various implicit and explicit ways to fit molds dictated by our environments. Those “rules” and “shoulds” about how to be “good” and “successful” often limit genuine self-expression, which then causes emotional distress.

IntraSpectrum’s therapists help you safely discover your growth edges so that you can develop more adaptive, effective coping mechanisms for life stressors. Through individual, couples, and group counseling, we assist clients in making better distinctions between their own authentic voices and the voices or parts of themselves they’ve internalized from their relationships. Our counseling services facilitate forward momentum, symptom relief, and help our clients form healthier relationships with themselves and with others.

Our Services

Therapy

Our impressively trained and talented staff members provide individual, couples, family and group counseling sessions. From your first contact with our Intake Coordinator throughout your experience with us, your treatment will be individually-tailored to meet your unique and evolving needs.

Expertise

The staff’s distinguished educational backgrounds enable the practice to offer multiple areas of specialization in addition to LGBTQI-affirmative therapy, including depression and bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and body image, addiction and self-harm, trauma, relationships and intimacy, and sexual functioning.

Outreach

Our team serves as a resource to other groups and organizations in the Chicago area, offering expert consultation, presentations, and sensitivity trainings on a wide range of LGBTQI topics.

Your FAQ’s

What services does IntraSpectrum Counseling provide?

IntraSpectrum provides individual, couples, group, and family counseling to a wide range of clients in the Chicagoland area. We are highly collaborative and empathic, and we employ a variety of therapeutic strategies tailored to meet clients’ unique needs, which can (depending on our clients’ treatment goals) pull from a variety of philosophies and treatment modalities. All of our therapists work from a trauma-informed, strengths-based, relational perspective and you can expect your therapist to help you explore the past while collaborating with you to create meaningful change in the present.

We are an inclusive practice and strive to create a safe and affirming environment for all gender and sexual identities. We also identify as a sex-positive practice, creating a supportive environment for those in non-traditional relationships, such as kink, poly, and other non-monogamous identities.

What does LGBTQI stand for and what do you mean by LGBTQI-affirmative?

LGBTQI is an umbrella term for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer and/or Intersex (also called Differences in Sexual Development, or DSD). The “Q” also stands for those who are questioning or in a state of flux with their gender and/or sexual identity.

At IntraSpectrum, we strive to create an inviting and inclusive space for the vast spectrum of gender and sexual identities, as well as creating a sex/pleasure-positive space for non-heteronormative sexual expressions such as kink, poly, and open relationships.

To whom does IntraSpectrum provide services?

We are a generalist practice, well trained and skilled in working with a wide range of presenting concerns. We also offer several areas of specialization, including trauma, depressive and bipolar disorders, anxiety and eating disorders, body image, sexuality, coming out, gender identity, self-harm, and addiction. We work with clients of ages ranging from young adolescence through older adulthood.

While all of our clinicians specialize in the LGBTQ population, we see a wide variety of clients who identify within and without the LGBTQ spectrum. All are welcome.

What is IntraSpectrum's stance on Black Lives Matter, institutional and anti-racism?

Black Lives Matter. IntraSpectrum Counseling adamantly believes in and supports the Black Lives Matter movement and Black Liberation. IntraSpectrum Counseling condemns police brutality and the over-policing of Black communities. As healers, we can no longer be silent on the harm and trauma happening in our community. Further, we condemn systemic racism and the oppression of people of color. We recognize queer Black, Indigenous, and People if Color have unique experiences and needs. BIPOC individuals are at a unique risk of harm in our community.  We strive to honor and celebrate the needs and experiences of our BIPOC clients, staff, and community members. We acknowledge that Black trans people have always been leaders in the LGBTQ+ community.

We are committed to dismantling systems of oppression by cultivating a community of accountability, educating ourselves and the people with whom we connect, speaking out against racism, examining our own internalized biases, and amplifying oppressed/marginalized voices. For some time now we have been working to amplify BIPOC voices within our practice to reallocate power more equitably and have been exploring more active engagement in anti-racism work that reflects our values.

Toward this goal, we invited input from an anti-racism organization and solicited feedback from our staff about their needs and wants for the practice and their perspectives about anti-racism work that we can do as a practice together.  We recognize the emotional labor that has been and continues to be done by our staff of color both in and out of work and invested in a healing circle for our staff of color to support them and sustain them. In addition, staff members have volunteered to participate in an ongoing white accountability group to ensure that we can call each other in and unburden our BIPOC colleagues from some of the emotional labor that occurs in any workplace.

Anti-Racism Commitment. Our mission to offer LGBTQ-affirming services is bolstered by our commitment to acknowledging the diversity and intersectionality we have in our community. Although we have always had significant racial diversity within our clients, we are incorporating feedback from our staff to ensure that we are serving a broader range of diversity within the LGBTQ community, specifically, marginalized QPOC who may not typically be able to access our services. In response, IntraSpectrum Counseling is launching a free Queer People of Color support group co-facilitated by trained psychotherapists. Additionally, we are introducing a new sliding fee service for QPOC that deserve access to our support and expertise.

Our work towards anti-racism is an ongoing journey and one that we are staunchly committed to. We deeply value the support and ongoing trust that the LGBTQ community and our clients have given IntraSpectrum Counseling over the past 10 years. We seek to continuously earn that trust by being responsive to the moment, open to feedback, investing in staff and leadership that is representative of the intersectionality and diversity of our clients, and taking assertive steps to align our actions with our anti-racist values.

Do you take Insurance?

IntraSpectrum Counseling is an In-Network Provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) PPO and Blue Choice Illinois insurance plans. As part of the Intake process, our Billing Director will verify your outpatient mental health coverage, whether there may be a deductible, co-pays, or co-insurance, and if there are yearly session limits. This information will be given to your before your first session. We will also submit all In-Network claims to BCBSIL PPO and Blue Choice for you and follow up with BCBSIL regarding any billing issues.

If you are covered by a different a different insurance carrier, you may still be eligible for Out-of-Network coverage at IntraSpectrum Counseling, but the process and reimbursement rates are different. As a courtesy to potential and current clients, we will also verify Out-of-Network benefits and provide you with this information prior to your first session. You would be responsible for paying our fee at the time of your session. In an effort to make your therapy experience as stress-free as possible, our Billing Director is also able to submit a “superbill” (a receipt with diagnostic codes and dates of service) to your insurance company to facilitate reimbursement upon request. Once the insurance company processes the claims, they would then send reimbursement directly to you at whatever rate your out of network benefits stipulate. The amount of reimbursement you can expect depends entirely on your specific plan, whether you have a deductible to meet, the amount of that deductible if you do have one, etc., and it may not be possible to determine the amount of reimbursement you will receive until after the first session(s) begin to process.

*Please note that, as of January 1st, 2016, BCBSIL will be moving all individual PPO plans (plans not purchased through your place of employment) to the Blue Choice Network. IntraSpectrum Counseling is now In-Network for Blue Choice plans as well.

Please contact us for questions about insurance, reimbursement, or reduced fee options.

Which forms of payment do you accept?

IntraSpectrum accepts major credit cards, checks, cash, or money orders.

What are your hours?

Our therapists offer services Monday through Saturday. Morning, afternoon and evening appointments are available. Typically, clients will wait no longer than 1-2 weeks from the first time they call or email until their initial appointment.

Can I make a request for a certain type of therapist?

We certainly welcome any kind of request of this sort, but we may or may not be able to accommodate it, depending on Staff availability. When you initially contact us, please don’t hesitate to share with us your preferences, and we’ll do everything we can to attempt to match you with the therapist who seems like they’d be the best fit for you.

What can I expect during the first session?

Therapists will provide a few minutes of paperwork for clients to complete at the start of their first session, which lasts 55 minutes. Please bring a valid photo ID and your insurance card, as we will need to make a copy of these documents. Clients may also consider bringing contact information for any other past or current treatment providers with whom they feel it may be helpful for IntraSpectrum therapists to communicate. For the intake, clients can expect their therapist to talk with them about a number of aspects of their history, current functioning, reasons for seeking help, and to provide initial recommendations for treatment. Individual sessions thereafter are also 55 minutes long unless you have specifically spoken with your provider about a different arrangement.

Many clients find it helpful to arrive a few minutes early so that they do not feel rushed at the beginning of session. It is helpful to take a moment to breathe and consider what things you might want to address with the therapist during your time together.

What if I am taking or will need to take medication? Do you offer psychiatric services?

When clients are already taking medication when they start working with an IntraSpectrum therapist, that therapist will communicate on a regular basis with the client’s medicating provider to ensure coordinated care and that providers are working as a team. Alternatively, if clients are not currently taking medication and decide with their therapist at any point that they would like to consider pharmacotherapy, IntraSpectrum provides referrals to local psychiatrists with whom we maintain strong working relationships.

Can I take public transportation? What about parking?

Our Loop location is located in the 180 N. Michigan Ave building (Suite 1830), right across the street from Millennium Park, between Lake and Randolph streets. For those taking public transport, we are a couple of blocks from the Lake St. El stop (most of the El train lines run through this station), as well as the Randolph St. Metra Station. For those traveling from the suburbs, we are just a little over a mile from the Ogilvie Metra stop. There are also a variety of bus routes that stop right in front of the building, via Chicago Transit Authority.

If you are driving, there are a number of parking garages in close proximity, and you can also find metered parking on nearby side streets; be sure to leave yourself extra time to search for a parking space if you decide to drive. (Pro-tip-Smartphone apps such as SpotHero and ParkWhiz can sometimes provide discounts for garage parking.)

Our Andersonville locations are located at 5340 N. Clark St., on the corner of Clark St. and Summerdale Ave., and  1511 Berwyn Ave. Clark St. bus routes and the Red Line El train (Berwyn stop) are the best public transport options. If you are driving, there is ample parking (some metered(Berwyn Ave), some not) available on Clark St., Ashland Ave., and several nearby side streets. Additionally, there is free parking in the US Bank parking lot behind the building (entrance on Summerdale Ave.) weekday evenings after 5:00pm, and on Saturdays after 1:00pm.

*Please do not park in the small lot behind the bank. This lot is reserved for bank and IntraSpectrum Employees.