Answers to your Questions About IntraSpectrum Counseling

The information on this page provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about IntraSpectrum Counseling – including our therapy services, therapeutic philosophy, team of therapists, group therapy programs, insurance, in-person vs. online options, transportation, parking & much more. To get started with therapy, please visit the Get Support page and submit an online inquiry. And if you have a question that’s not addressed below, please contact us for more information. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Services

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.

To whom does IntraSpectrum Counseling 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 supporting and working with the LGBTQ+ population, we see a wide variety of clients who identify within and without the LGBTQ+ spectrum. All are welcome.

Is IntraSpectrum Counseling open for in-person counseling sessions?

Yes, all of our locations are open for in-person counseling by appointment, and we also offer online / tele-health therapy (subject to health insurance provider policies). We are happy to assist if you are not sure about your health insurance provider’s policies regarding in-person vs. online therapy. Feel free to contact us at help@intraspectrum-chicago.com. Please note that clients who are seen in-person must comply with our policies regarding masking, vaccination and pre-session health screening, see the FAQs below for more information.

Is group therapy conducted in-person or via tele-health?

The ISC Group Therapy Program offers both virtual and in-person therapy groups. Please visit our Groups page for more information on groups currently open for enrollment, as well as upcoming groups. We are happy to assist if you are not sure about your health insurance provider’s policies regarding in-person vs. online therapy. Feel free to contact us at help@intraspectrum-chicago.com.

What is your cancellation policy?

Clients can cancel or reschedule an appointment anytime without incurring a late cancellation fee by giving us 2 calendar days’ notice via email to your therapist. If you cancel an appointment with less than 2 calendar days’ notice, fail to show for your appointment, or are 15 or more minutes late for your appointment, you will be charged a $185 cancellation fee for the appointment. In addition, your insurance will not cover any missed sessions. For more information about our cancellation & rescheduling policy, please click here.

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.

Billing & Insurance

What forms of payment do you accept?

IntraSpectrum Counseling accepts major credit cards, and cash.

What are your current session fees?

The hourly fee of our therapists is $185. If you and your therapist meet more than the usual time, you will be charged accordingly. In addition to weekly appointments, we charge this same hourly rate for other professional services you may need, though we will prorate the hourly cost for work for periods of less than one hour in quarter of an hour increments. Other professional services include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than 15 minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, preparation of treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of your therapist or ISC.

Do you offer sliding scale fees?

Yes, we do. IntraSpectrum Counseling is committed to making therapy accessible and affordable, and our Sliding Scale Program is one way we do that. Sliding Scale helps us offer individual, relationship, family, and group therapy at a reduced fee based on income for qualifying individuals, making affirming mental health services possible for people who might not otherwise be able to access them. Click here for details on the sliding scale program, and information on how to apply.

Do you accept Insurance?

IntraSpectrum Counseling is an In-Network Provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) PPO, Blue Choice Illinois insurance plans, and Aetna. As part of the Intake process, our Client Services 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 you before your first session. We will also submit all In-Network claims to BCBSIL PPO, Blue Choice, and Aetna for you and follow up with BCBSIL or Aetna regarding any billing issues.

If you are covered by 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 Client Services 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 contact us for questions about insurance, reimbursement, or reduced fee options.

I have an HMO. Do you accept any HMO plans?

Currently, no, we do not work with any HMO health insurance plans. All HMO plans are out-of-network insurance plans.

I don't know if my insurance plan is an HMO or PPO. How do I figure out which one I have?

As part of the initial inquiry process, our Client Services team will also verify your outpatient mental health coverage, and whether there may be a deductible, co-pays or co-insurance, and/or yearly session limits. Please remember that we recommend you always call your insurance carrier to verify your coverage and benefits as well.

I have out-of-network insurance. May I still be seen by a therapist at IntraSpectrum Counseling?

Yes, you may. Currently, we are in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice PPO, and Aetna. If you have a different insurance carrier, we are an out-of-network provider for your health plan.

Individuals with out-of-network insurance may be seen by one of our therapists. You are responsible for paying the full session fee at time of service. As a courtesy, we process and submit all out-of-network insurance claims for our clients for reimbursement by their insurance carrier. The reimbursement check will be sent directly to you by your insurance carrier.

I have out-of-network insurance. Will you submit a claim for reimbursement on my behalf?

Yes, we will, but the process is different than for in-network insurance reimbursements. Individuals with out-of-network insurance who are seen by one of our therapists are responsible for paying the full session fee at time of service. As a courtesy, we process and submit all out-of-network insurance claims for our clients for reimbursement by their insurance carrier. The reimbursement check will be sent directly to you by your insurance carrier.

Getting Started

How do I begin therapy with IntraSpectrum Counseling?

To get started with therapy services, please complete and submit the online inquiry form on the Get Support page of our website. The inquiry form lets you share important information (regarding the type of therapy you are interested in, issues you’d like to address in therapy, specific preferences or requirements in a therapist, your availability, etc.), that will help us match you with a therapist.

Once you’ve submitted the online form, we will reply to the email address you provided on the form with any questions and with a suggested therapist & session time for your consideration. Our Client Services team will also verify your outpatient mental health coverage, and whether there may be a deductible, co-pays or co-insurance, and/or yearly session limits. Please remember that we recommend you always call your insurance carrier to verify your coverage and benefits as well.

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

We absolutely welcome any kind of request of this sort. When you initially contact us, please don’t hesitate to share 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. To learn more about our team of clinicians, click here.

What can I expect prior to my first session?

Once you complete the inquiry form on our website, our client services team will reach out confirming the receipt of your inquiry, and will provide you with information regarding your insurance coverage or will ask for any additional information needed from you before you are able to begin services. You will then be offered an appointment time, which you can either confirm or request a different time or therapist. Once you have confirmed the appointment time, we will send you a link to our client portal where you will be able to verify your information and complete necessary intake paperwork. Once the paperwork is complete, we will send you an email confirming your appointment time and scheduling you with an initial session date. PLEASE NOTE: our current electronic health system requires the legal name and sex marker to file for insurance.

What can I expect during the first session?

Therapists will review the paperwork you completed prior to the first appointment. During the first two sessions, 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. All individual, family, or relational sessions are 55 minutes long.

Many clients find it helpful to arrive a few minutes early so that they do not feel rushed at the beginning of the 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.

Sessions

What happens if I want to end my session before the 55-minute mark?

In order to bill the session to insurance, it needs to be 55-minutes in duration. You absolutely have the agency to leave a session early. Please note that if you do choose to leave early, you will be responsible for the full cost of the session. For information about our current fees, please see our Billing FAQs.

Whom do I contact to cancel or reschedule my appointment?

Clients can cancel or reschedule an appointment without incurring late cancellation fee by giving us 2 full calendar days’ notice. For example, if your session is on January 5th, notice to cancel or reschedule needs to be given on or before January 3rd.

Please contact your therapist via email to cancel or reschedule a session, as they will be most able to quickly respond to your needs and take the appropriate action. Due to our therapists’ work schedules or time away from the office, there could be a delay in their reply to you. To account for this possibility, we use the date and time stamp on the email you send to your therapist for the cancellation policy and not when your therapist responds.

I emailed my therapist to cancel, but I haven’t heard back yet. What should I do?

Clients can cancel an appointment without incurring a late cancellation fee by emailing their therapist at least two full calendar days’ in advance. Due to their work schedules or time away from the office however, there could be a delay in your therapist’s reply to emails from you. To account for this possibility, we use the date and time stamp on the email you send to your therapist for the cancellation policy — not the date and time stamp from when your therapist responds.

I emailed my therapist to reschedule, but I haven’t heard back yet. What should I do?

Clients can reschedule an appointment without incurring a late cancellation fee by emailing their therapist at least two full calendar days’ in advance. Due to their work schedules or time away from the office, there could be a delay in their reply to emails from you. To account for this possibility, we use the date and time stamp on the email you send to your therapist — not the date and time stamp from when your therapist responds. If you give less than 2 calendar days’ notice, your therapist may try to reschedule your session, if possible. If they are able to do so, we will waive the late cancellation fee. However, this waiver is not guaranteed. Your therapist has a busy schedule and other clients, so you should not assume that your therapist will be able to reschedule your appointment on short notice. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you should provide at least 2 calendar days’ notice.

What happens if I talk on the phone with my therapist for more than 15 minutes?

The hourly fee of our therapists is $185. If you and your therapist meet more than the usual time, you will be charged accordingly. In addition to weekly appointments, we charge this same hourly rate for other professional services you may need, though we will prorate the hourly cost for work for periods of less than one hour in quarter of an hour increments. Other professional services include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than 15 minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, preparation of treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of your therapist or ISC.

Client Portal

Can I message my therapist through the Client Portal?

No. Our Client Portal is unable to provide messaging with our therapists at this time. If you need to contact your therapist, please email them directly.

Can I schedule/cancel/reschedule an appointment with my therapist through the Client Portal?

No. Appointments cannot be scheduled, rescheduled/changed, or canceled on the client portal. To schedule an additional session or cancel/reschedule an upcoming session, please contact your therapist directly via email.

Please remember that in order to avoid a penalty, we require at least 2 calendar days to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Due to therapists’ work schedules or time away from the office, there could be a delay in their reply to you. To account for this possibility, we use the date and time stamp on the email you send to your therapist for our cancellation policy — not when your therapist responds.

How do I notify my therapist that I have completed forms in the Client Portal?

Our system automatically uploads your forms into your client record. The system notifies your therapist when you complete the form, and your therapist will have immediate access to any forms you complete. However, if it would bring you peace of mind, you are always welcome to email your therapist with an update.

General

What forms of payment do you accept?

IntraSpectrum Counseling accepts major credit cards, and cash.

Can I still receive virtual / tele-health therapy if I am not ready to get therapy in-person?

Yes. We offer both in-person and tele-health online therapy (subject to health insurance provider policies). If you would like, or if your therapist believes you may clinically benefit from, tele-health therapy, you will be able to do so in the future. We are happy to assist if you are not sure about your health insurance provider’s policies regarding in-person vs. online therapy. Feel free to contact us at help@intraspectrum-chicago.com.

What is your cancellation policy?

Clients can cancel or reschedule an appointment anytime without incurring a late cancellation fee by giving us 2 calendar days’ notice via email to your therapist. If you cancel an appointment with less than 2 calendar days’ notice, fail to show for your appointment, or are 15 or more minutes late for your appointment, you will be charged a $185 cancellation fee for the appointment. In addition, your insurance will not cover any missed sessions. For more information about our cancellation & rescheduling policy, please click here.

What are your hours?

Our therapists offer services seven days a week. Morning, afternoon and evening session times are available. Typically, clients will wait no longer than a few weeks from they time they submit an online inquiry form until their initial appointment.

What are your holidays / when are you closed?

Our offices are closed on the following holidays, so that our team members may spend time with their loved ones: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Please note that because our therapists offer services seven days a week, when we observe a holiday it is only for the day on which the actual holiday falls (e.g. we are open on the Friday following Thanksgiving, on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, etc.). If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with your therapist.

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.

Do I have to wear a mask while at your offices?

Yes. Everyone visiting our offices must wear an N95, KN95 or surgical mask in all common areas (waiting areas, hallways, rest rooms) and during therapy sessions. We have a supply of surgical masks in each waiting room for those who do not have one. These approved masks may be worn on their own, or over a cloth or other type of face covering. There are no exceptions to this policy for therapists, staff, clients, guests or visitors.

Do I have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to get in-person therapy?

Yes. All IntraSpectrum therapists & staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received the COVID booster shot. Adult clients who are seen in person are required to submit proof of vaccination. Additionally, adult clients who are seen in person will be required to submit proof of COVID booster shot by March 28, 2022. Children who are seen in person have been given the deadline of March 28, 2022 to submit proof of vaccination. Additionally, children ages 12-15 who are seen in person will be required to submit proof of COVID booster by March 28, 2022.

What procedures are in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID?

We have several measures in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID, including: (1) while visiting our locations, all therapists, staff, clients, visitors and guests must wear an N95, KN95, or surgical face mask in all common areas and during therapy sessions; (2) approved face masks are available in waiting rooms for visitors who do not have one, (3) therapists and staff are fully immunized (with booster) against COVID and influenza; (4) clients visiting our offices for in-person therapy must be fully vaccinated against COVID, and complete and pass a health screen (42Chat) prior to each therapy appointment; (5) all locations receive daily cleaning; and (6) hand sanitizer is readily available in the common areas at all locations.

I completed consent forms last year. Do I need to do them again?

Yes, in order for us to comply with various state and federal rules and regulations, all clients must re-sign our Informed Consent, Teletherapy Consent, HIPAA Privacy Notice, Credit Card Authorization, Emergency Contact Information, Medicare Opt-Out, and Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy each year. All policies and forms are also available on our website’s “Forms & Policies” page under “About Us,” and you can click here to view the page.

What does LGBTQ+ stand for and what do you mean by LGBTQ+ affirmative?

LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, 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.

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.