How do I know if I need psychotherapy or counseling?
There are many reasons you may choose to start treatment, and every patient has different needs. When experiencing challenging events, relationships issues, or life changes, it can be helpful to have extra support in the form of psychotherapy or counseling. Generally, if you have considered meeting with a psychotherapist or counselor, there is something (or some things) you wish to change that may feel overwhelming, confusing, uncomfortable, or otherwise unclear. Our psychotherapists at The Aspen Center can help you find clarity, feel supported and understood, and work with you to reduce distress through a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
How can psychotherapy or counseling help me or someone I care about?
At The Aspen Center, our psychotherapists or counselors are available to provide support, education, and resources, to clarify your concerns, and to develop a plan for the treatment of you or someone you care about. Our goal is to offer guidance and clinical expertise to help you find relief from your presenting concerns. Participating in psychotherapy offers you many potential benefits including:
a better understanding of yourself
more positive self-esteem
new ways to deal with your stress/anxiety/tension
better control over your emotions
more restful sleep
new ways to problem-solve and cope with day-to-day hassles
Will medication be a part of my treatment?
At The Aspen Center, we recognize that everyone is unique in his or her biology, psychology, and life context. For many patients, psychotherapy or counseling without medication addresses their concerns and achieves their goals. We view medication as one “tool” among many treatment options that may be beneficial for some patients under certain circumstances. If we recommend a medication evaluation, we will offer a referral to a specialist and request your consent so that we can communicate with your prescriber, ensuring that you receive the very best care. We believe the best treatment is coordinated through strong communication with everyone on your treatment team.
How do I make my first appointment at The Aspen Center?
You can choose the method of scheduling your first appointment:
To reach us by telephone, call 312.263.9400. You will speak with our receptionist or be directed to leave a message. Our Intake Coordinator will return your call quickly to gather additional information, answer your questions, and to schedule your initial session.
You can email us at . Our Intake Coordinator will reply to your email quickly to gather additional information, answer your questions, and schedule you with one of our psychotherapists.
You can also book online through our website by clicking on the MindBodyConnect Icon or via the MindBodyConnect app on your mobile device or smartphone. You can select your appointment date, time, and psychotherapist. If you choose to book online, our Intake Coordinator will contact you to gather additional information and to confirm your first appointment.
What will my first appointment be like at The Aspen Center?
For your first appointment, please arrive 10 minutes early to fill out paperwork. Your psychotherapist or counselor will review this paperwork with you, discuss patient rights and privacy, and provide an overview of the process of psychotherapy. Most of your first session will be spent discussing your concerns, symptoms, stressors, and personal history as we learn more about your life to help us understand your unique circumstances. We encourage you to ask questions. Usually, your psychotherapist will conclude your first appointment with a summary and recommendations. Together, you and your psychotherapist will decide on an appropriate approach or plan for moving forward.
How will I know if my psychotherapist or counselor is a good match for me?
At The Aspen Center we believe that the path to wellness is a co-constructed journey. We view the working relationship that we develop with you as key to your success. Our Intake Coordinator carefully considers your presenting concerns when she recommends a psychotherapist best suited to your needs. We have also provided information about the style, training, and experience of each of our psychotherapists on our About Us page (add link). With a “good match” you will feel heard and understood, and better able to create a collaborative working relationship in which you can comfortably and openly express yourself. While it is normal to experience some nervousness when beginning to work with a psychotherapist, after three or four sessions this should dissipate and you should begin to feel that you can speak freely and that you will be understood. We encourage you to ask any questions and provide us feedback regarding your care at The Aspen Center. We encourage you to bring any concerns directly to your psychotherapist. You are also free to contact the Assistant Director or the Director at any time. Your comfort throughout this process is extremely important to us.
How long will I need psychotherapy or counseling?
Every patient has unique needs, and we will work with you to create a tailored treatment plan, which includes the length of treatment. It is important to remember that people have different goals, begin at different places in their lives, and work at their own pace. You are encouraged to speak further with your psychotherapist regarding her recommendations during your first appointment and as you continue treatment.
Are my therapy sessions confidential?
The Aspen Center is committed to maintaining the privacy of all communications with our patients and/or regarding our patients.
Information about you and/or your treatment can only be shared when you have provided us with your written permission. There are a few legal exceptions to this that are important for you to know.
We are legally required to release information about you and your treatment without your permission in the following situations:
Child/Elder Abuse – If there is reasonable cause to believe that you are abusing or neglecting a child or vulnerable elder, or if you provide information about someone else doing this, we are legally mandated to report this to the appropriate agencies.
Serious Threat to Health or Safety of Another Individual – If you provide statements or there is reason to believe that you plan to harm another person, we have a legal duty to warn him or her. We will attempt to inform that person of your intentions and contact the police so they may intervene and protect that individual.
Serious Threat to Health or Safety of Self – If you provide statements or there is reason to believe that you are in imminent danger of harming yourself, we have a legal duty to keep you safe. We will explore all options with you regarding securing your safety, but may be required to contact the police for your protection.
Will my health insurance cover a portion of the services I receive at The Aspen Center?
The Aspen Center is committed to protecting your privacy and providing quality mental health treatment. As such, The Aspen Center is only in-network with insurance plans that share these values. We will not partner with insurance carriers that require intrusive access to your protected health information or require the use of case managers to dictate the course of your treatment.
To honor this commitment, The Aspen Center is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield Preferred Provider Plan Organization (BCBS PPO) insurance plans. Patients with BCBS are billed for services in accordance with their specific insurance plan.
If you have an insurance plan other than Blue Cross Blue Shield, many plans will provide coverage allowing you to utilize out-of-network providers. We are happy to contact your insurance plan to obtain the details of your out-of-network benefits. As a courtesy to our patients with out-of-network insurance plans, we can submit claims electronically to your insurance carrier, which will typically speed up the time it takes for your insurance company to reimburse you.
What if I am unsure about using my health insurance for services at The Aspen Center
Whether or not you use your health insurance to cover psychotherapy is an important decision. Due to increasing concerns regarding the use of personal health information by insurance companies, many patients elect not to use their health insurance to maintain the highest level of privacy regarding their treatment. We are here answer questions and/or provide any additional information you need to make this decision. We are happy to review the specific information your particular insurance company will require for reimbursement.
Does The Aspen Center offer sliding-scale fees for services?
In accordance with the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002), all of our psychotherapists contribute a portion of their caseloads to working with patients who are in financial need of a sliding-scale fee. If you require a sliding-scale fee, please ask for further information when speaking with our Intake Coordinator. Our Assistant Director will discuss sliding-scale fees with you, including which of our clinicians currently has sliding-scale openings on their caseload.
What forms of payment does The Aspen Center accept?
Payment for services can be made with Visa, Master Card, Discover, or cash. Payment is expected at the time services are received.