At Your First Appointment

It’s normal to be nervous about your first counseling appointment, and many people have a lot of initial questions. What do I need to know before I start teletherapy? Can I find the office? Will I like the therapist? Will the therapist like me? Will the therapist help me? What do I talk about first? How long do I have to wait until I can expect some improvement? While the answers may be somewhat different from situation to situation, there are some generalizations we can make that may help in getting started.

In general, whether doing teletherapy or an in-person appointment, it is a good idea to be ready to begin your session early, a few minutes before your appointment time.


If you are utilizing teletherapy, you will receive instructions regarding your session directly from your therapist. If you have not received instructions from your therapist by the morning of your first appointment, please email them directly. Also, please see our Teletherapy webpage for more specific information about how to prepare for working with your therapist in this way.

Evanston Office

Our Evanston office is located in Suite 302 of the Shand Morahan Plaza at 1007 Church St. Evanston, IL 60201. Paid parking is available in front of the building and on the north and south sides of Church Street.

When you arrive at our building, take the elevator up to the 3rd floor and follow the signs for Suite 302. Upon entering the door of our offices, please find a seat in our waiting room and your therapist will be out to greet you at the time of your appointment.

Chicago Office

Our Chicago office is located in Suite 430 at 645 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611. Paid parking is available along Erie and Ontario Street. When you arrive at our building, take the elevator up to the 4th floor and follow the signs for Suite 430.

Upon entering the door of our offices, please find a seat in our waiting room and your therapist will be out to greet you at the time of your appointment. If your appointment is before 7:30am, after 6pm, or during a weekend or holiday, please check in at the front desk of the building before accessing the elevator.

Other Considerations

If you are planning to use insurance, please either email or include your insurance card and information along with your completed electronic paperwork prior to your first appointment. If you are meeting in-person with your therapist, please bring your insurance card with you to your first appointment. If you have questions about your insurance benefits or the possible implications of using insurance, your therapist will be happy to discuss these questions with you. Our Office and Billing Manager can also be reached at Also, please see our Client’s Guide to Verifying Insurance which can be helpful for understanding many questions about insurance coverage before getting started.

At your scheduled time, your therapist will either call you, start your online meeting, or greet you in the waiting room and then show you to his or her office. A session is approximately 55 minutes long. Your therapist will want to learn about you and why you have decided to come for counseling. It will be helpful for you to provide a brief description of the issues that have brought you to counseling. Your therapist will ask follow-up questions to fill in some of the background and enrich his or her understanding of the issues.

At the beginning of the session, it may be helpful to remember that your therapist has literally spent years of training in listening and asking questions. You are not doing this alone. Your therapist is here to work with you in making this process a helpful, comfortable, and productive experience. We believe that counseling is a collaborative effort between you and your therapist.

The length of treatment depends on the problems being addressed, your personal style with respect to change, the strength of rapport between you and your therapist, and the frequency of meetings which can affect the pace at which you and your therapist can work on problems. All of these things can be talked over with your therapist.

At a minimum, counseling can provide at least two things. First, counseling provides a safe place to talk over your difficulties with someone with experience helping people. Second, counseling generally adds some clarity about decision-making options and provides a healthy place to brainstorm ideas about what to try next. Whatever the case, counseling can be tailored to your situation and together with your therapist, you can sort out the goals that will make counseling meaningful and helpful for you.


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1007 Church St, Suite 302,
Evanston, IL 60201