Getting Started With Counseling
So you are interested in therapy?  Here are 3 useful bits of information when beginning therapy:
1.   Privacy, privacy, privacy

In reality, rule 1 is location, location, location.  In therapy, it’s privacy, privacy, privacy.  The information you share with your counselor is between you and your counselor.  Which means if you want to divulge your habit of eating cake at 2 am or your concern about that co-worker who is giving you dirty looks, therapy is the place to do this.  Much like Vegas, what happens in therapy, stays in therapy.  Now with every rule, there are a few asterisks. 

The asterisks are: thoughts of active suicide are mandated to be reported, thoughts of active homicide are mandated to be reported, progress notes to an insurance provider (though minimal information is usually provided), mandated reporting of child or elder abuse.  Otherwise everything is totally, completely and massively confidential.  This means that your spouse, best friend, neighbor, milk man, etc will NEVER be privy to therapy discussions.  This is supported by federal law and mental health best practices.
 2.  Fit

Fit is how well you and your therapist work together.  It is completely ok to acknowledge concerns, fears or other feelings you have with your therapist.  Your counselor wants you to feel comfortable in session.  Sometimes we experience an incompatibility with who we have therapy with for reasons that are not clear, yet are pronounced.  If this happens, then it is ok to bring that up and discuss moving onto someone who is a better fit.
3.  Honesty

Honesty IS the best policy.  Honesty in therapy is the best way to work through the junk that is bothering you.  We, as therapists, are here to accept you for your good, bad and anything else you need to process.  Your best self can only come to light when your counselor has the best information possible.  Imagine, if you will, taking your car into the mechanic and telling the technician only some of the problem, part of the issue needing resolved and nothing more.  The car will never run as well as it could.  Counselors can help the best when as much information is available.  Sometimes talking about stuff is hard, especially the emotionally hard stuff.  Therapists understand this.  That being said, the sooner the tough stuff can come to light, the sooner solutions can be discussed.

4.  Making your first appointment.

When you are ready to get started, give us a call ( 224-436-7392 ) or email ( [email protected] ).  We will have some questions to understand what you are looking for and how we can help.  If you prefer, click the link below to meet our counselors and you can choose who you feel is a good fit for you.  Otherwise, we will assign you to a counselor based on your needs and our areas of expertise.  We see clients at our office in Palatine (across from the Palatine Public Library), in assisted/supportive/nursing living communities, as well as in your home (for homebound clients).  At your first appointment, your counselor will obtain background information about you, discuss the goals you have for seeking treatment, and collaborate with you to develop your treatment plan.