Schedule First Appointment

Prospective Clients Only

Ready to Schedule a Session?

We know that families are very busy. So we are providing this page to give you all the information you need before you click the button at the bottom to schedule your first appointment. 

BEFORE you click on the button at the bottom to schedule your first session (the initial diagnostic session), please carefully and completely read this page to be sure that we are a good fit for your family.  

What to Know About Counseling with Child Therapy Chicago 

Child Therapy Chicago is a specialty psychodynamic child and family psychotherapy practice. We have a unique focus that addresses the root causes of your child’s behavior. Uncovering and dealing with the underlying reasons for the behavior is the best way to tackle these problems and have long lasting results. 

How child therapy works 

We are a play therapy and talk-based psychodynamically oriented therapy practice. 

Young children express themselves, disclose uncomfortable feelings and learn new coping skills most naturally through play. Therapeutic play with our therapists gives kids a safe space to work on and practice managing big emotions and behaviors. 

Older kids have help getting in touch with their emotional world by talking with our child therapists. They discover how feelings and behaviors interact, and they learn healthy ways to cope with various life challenges.

The structure of therapy sessions

The first session at Child Therapy Chicago is for the parents only. This “Initial Parent(s) Only Session” (Initial Diagnostic session) is an extended length session (60-75 minutes) designed to get a sense of your child’s behaviors, personality, and current coping skills, as well as an understanding of your concerns, family dynamics and history. Kids should not be at this session because we do not want them to feel “talked about” or that something is wrong with them. We want their first impression of therapy to be positive and supportive.

The second session is for you and your child together. The purpose of this 45 minute session is to give your child a chance to get familiar with the space and therapist, allow your child to ask questions and for the therapist to get to know your child. The child will not be asked direct questions about the current behavioral or emotional problems during this session. The goal is for them to begin to feel comfortable and to see that their parents support the therapy process.

The third session and all other regular ongoing sessions (all 45 minutes each) with your child will either be with your child by themselves (if they are comfortable with this) or with your child and you, depending on the issues at hand and the needs of your child. We work with families in many different ways depending on what makes the most therapeutic sense.

FREE Parent Consultation Sessions occur after approximately every six sessions with your child or child/you. These parent consultations are designed to discuss what has been happening in therapy, to give you new ideas and ways to continue the work of therapy at home, and to support you in the daily challenges of parenting.

Goodness of Fit - It is important that there is a good match between the therapist and your child. If, after the first session you are not sure that there will be a good fit between your child and the therapist, you can email and ask that the Clinical Director assign a different therapist. The first session with that new therapist will be complimentary, no charge to you.

Temperament matters

Some kids are born with more sensitive, intense, reactive, spirited temperaments. This is an important consideration in the therapy process.

These kids experience everything around them in bigger ways and their reactions seem more extreme. They tend to look highly anxious, fearful, inflexible, and easily overwhelmed or angry, aggressive and non-cooperative. 

Temperament is something to be understood, not changed. There are specific and unique ways to help kids with their temperament and learn to manage their emotions and behaviors. It is also important that we help parents understand their child’s temperament and learn how to best interact with, engage and support them.

The relationship you have with your child is key

Part of what makes child therapy successful is strengthening the relationship between you and your child. Parents play a significant role in how their children develop. They serve as models for managing and regulating behavior and they need to act as “containers” for their children’s feelings. 

Our therapists not only serve in this capacity for kids in therapy sessions, but they also help parents with their relationships with their children to help their children be better regulators of emotions and behaviors. 

Parental involvement in the therapy process is important. This is why Child Therapy Chicago gives you a FREE consultation session after every six sessions with your child.

Divorce has an impact on kids

Divorce changes everything for kids - schedules, routines, living arrangements, holidays, school events, and day to day activities.

Kids experience a roller coaster of emotions, often feel responsible for their parents separating, have mixed loyalties and different challenges in their relationships with each parent.

If you are a family dealing with divorce, therapy needs to be a neutral space where your kids can talk about how the divorce feels to them without worrying about how what they say might affect you or their custody arrangement. 

This is why Child Therapy Chicago therapists do not write court reports, testify in court or get involved in custody matters. Therapy is the protected space for your child. These other court matters are handled by specific court evaluation specialists. We can sometimes offer our thoughts to these evaluators, especially if your child wants us to, but we must stay removed from direct involvement in court matters or kids will not be willing to share with us, and that would be counterproductive to the therapy process.

When we might not be the best fit for your family

If you are only interested in obtaining specific evaluations and assessments, you will want to seek out the following providers directly:

Psychiatric Medication Evaluations Only — You will want to work with a child psychiatrist. 

Psychological/Neuropsychological Evaluations Only — You will want to work with a child psychologist who specializes in testing or a child neuropsychologist.

Pediatric Developmental Evaluations Only  (OT, PT, DT, Speech) — You will want to seek out the services of a pediatric therapy clinic or an individual occupational, physical, developmental, or speech pediatric provider in your specific area of need.

Child Therapy Chicago has close relationships with various psychiatrists, testing psychologists and child neuropsychologists as well as occupational, physical, developmental, and speech therapists in the Chicagoland area. So, if you are still interested in counseling with us with the option of obtaining any of the above types of evaluations to supplement the work of therapy in the future, your therapist can help make that arrangement at some point during your work with us when it is deemed necessary.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors or Crises — Child Therapy Chicago is a private psychotherapy practice that focuses on addressing underlying issues that influence a child’s feelings or behaviors. This takes place over the course of time. A child who is actively making suicidal comments and has a history of significant suicide attempts or hospitalizations in the past is in crisis and will likely need a higher level of care to ensure their immediate safety. In this case, you will want to consider a children’s hospital or an evaluation at a partial hospitalization or day program. While we work with kids who have expressed negative self thoughts in the past, these kids that we work with are not actively at risk of harming themselves and they are able to keep themselves safe during their time with us.

Custody or Court Evaluations — Child Therapy Chicago works with separated and divorced families. Our role is to be a neutral space, outside of the divorce proceedings and court system, where the child can feel safe to share their feelings about their family circumstances and learn ways to manage all of the change. It is not in the best interest of the child and it can be a conflict of interest for us to get involved in court matters. Courts have specific providers they recommend to help with custody evaluations, reunification, visitation, etc. Child Therapy Chicago works with some therapists who conduct custody evaluations in the Chicagoland area and we can make recommendations for this service if ever needed.

Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect — If you are concerned that your child is being abused or neglected by someone, including a co-parent, you will want to visit your pediatrician for a physical exam and talk with them about next steps, based on their findings. They may need to make a report to Child Welfare Services or they may recommend a forensic evaluation. While Child Therapy Chicago works with kids who have experienced various degrees of abuse or neglect, our role is to help them work through the emotions of that experience rather than investigate if abuse or neglect occurred.

Child Welfare Involvement — If you are involved with the child welfare system, you will want to contact your case worker since there are specific therapeutic providers that you can get access to and who can be involved with your family in various ways.

Medicaid and Other State insurance Plans - There are very specific eligible providers who are able to work with clients who have these insurance plans. You can contact your plan administrator to find a local provider in your area.

Paying for child psychotherapy

Child Therapy Chicago is a private pay therapy office, so we do not work directly with or accept payment directly from health insurance companies. When you work with Child Therapy Chicago, we require that you leave a payment card on file (credit/debit/HSA/FSA) and your sessions will be automatically billed to that card after each session.

All of our sessions are $195. This includes the Initial Parent(s) Only Session, which is an extended session (60-75 minutes) and all ongoing 45 minute sessions, whether they are individual or family sessions. Remember, you also get a FREE 45 minute parent consultation session after every sixth child or family session.

We know that money is an important consideration. 

  • When you pay directly (out of pocket) for your child’s mental health care, there are no unexpected or hidden costs. You know what the fee will be upfront. 
  • Additionally, you and your therapist have complete control over the course of your child’s treatment rather than your insurance company determining what you need. 
  • Further, insurance companies require that your child receive a mental health diagnosis. When you pay for services directly, no diagnosis is required nor will a diagnosis show up in your child's mental health history. 
  • Finally, we know you are invested in the therapy process and your involvement in your child’s treatment is important, so we also want to support you and your family by offering the FREE parent consultation sessions.

If you want to use your insurance to cover the cost of therapy sessions, there is good news! 

Many insurance companies will reimburse for psychotherapy sessions. Insurance companies typically require that you submit a claim form along with a billing statement called a “Super bill,” which shows the fees you paid for sessions. Super bills are available in our Client Portal for you to download and submit to your insurance company on the third of each month for sessions completed the previous month. Many insurance companies now offer the option of filing electronic claims. Once your claim form and Super bill are submitted to your insurance company, they may send a reimbursement check directly to you for the amount that they cover for the sessions fees you paid.

If you are considering seeking insurance reimbursement, we recommend that you call your insurance company before scheduling your initial therapy session to inquire about your reimbursement rate for 45-Minute Individual Psychotherapy Sessions (CPT code 90834). This is the primary type of service we provide. There are different codes for the initial evaluation session, family sessions and parent only sessions (CPT codes 90791, 90846 & 90847) and not all of these other session types will apply to your family.

If you need assistance navigating your out-of-network benefits, you might consider using an App such as Reimbursify. Visit for details.

If you do decide to seek reimbursement from your insurance company, it is very important that you let your therapist know during your Initial Parent(s) Only Session that this is your plan so that your therapist can be prepared to assign a diagnosis to your child and we can set you up in the Client Portal to receive the monthly Super bills. You can also decide at a later time in treatment if you want to start seeking insurance reimbursement from that point forward and we can set that up for you at that time.

Ready to schedule your first appointment? 

First review the therapists’ biographies on the About Us page to get a sense of who you and your child might like to work with at your desired office location.

Then, please use the link below to schedule an Initial Diagnostic Session at the location you are interested in.

The appointment time you choose should also be a time that could work well for future sessions. Please contact us if you have any questions.

NOTE: When prompted to select who the appointment is for, please choose “someone else” (for your child) unless you are seeking parent coaching sessions only (then select “me”). For child therapy, list yourself as the “contact” (“You”) and add your child’s information under “client” (no need to add an email address or phone number for the client/child).

If you do not see any suitable appointment times or locations when you click the button, please email us at, and we will contact you to discuss upcoming availability which may not be posted yet on our site.

Still not sure or have other questions? Or are you interested in teletherapy? Check out the FAQs page and contact us at to request a free 15-minute phone consultation.