Frequently Asked Questions
Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago
737 North Michigan Avenue - Chicago
By Appointment Only


Couples Counseling Associates
Call or Text 312-416-6191
infocouples@gmail.com
All inquiries and sessions are strictly confidential


Frequently Asked Questions 

Answers to the most frequently asked

questions that we hear from prospective clients


What are the benefits of couples counseling?

Couples counseling can help you and your partner:

  • Learn communication skills present in successful relationships
  • Decide on best next steps for your relationship
  • Better manage and resolve conflicts
  • More smoothly merge families and/or co-parent
  • Stay connected during a transition or major life change
  • Much more! Read more about couples counseling

What makes Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago different from other offices?

Every associate on our staff specializes in couples and relationships. 80% of therapists in private practice work with couples, but only a handful have the appropriate training and experience for helping distressed couples. When it comes to professional help, be sure to choose a well trained expert for your couples counseling experience.

Watch this 30-second video message from Couples Counseling Associates founder Sara Schwarzbaum to learn why choosing a relationship expert is so important.

About our founder: Sara has over thirty years of experience in family, marriage, and couples therapy. She has a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University and, for more than 15 years, taught the next generation of couple and family counselors in the Couple & Family Counseling Master’s program at Northeastern Illinois University.

She has written two books and published articles in Psychotherapy Networking, Counseling Today, and the Journal of Multicultural Counseling, among other publications.

Although she retired from her teaching position at Northeastern in 2016, Sara continues her work at Couples Counseling Associates, speaks at couples counseling workshops for social service agencies and professional organizations, and runs supervision groups for therapists working with couples. You may have also heard Sara on the radio in the Chicago area!


You can read about each of our associates on our About Us page


What services does Couple Counseling Associates provide?

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about your specific situation and whether we may be a good fit.


Who benefits from this type of counseling?

Couples counseling can be helpful for all types of relationship situations: if you are married, living together, thinking about getting married, considering separation, or in a same-sex relationship.

Regardless of your relationship “status,” couples counseling is also beneficial for individuals in relationships who feel distant and less connected to their partner than they used to be, have had or are thinking about an affair, or deal with anger.

If you’ve thought about couples counseling—whether on your own or with your partner—we recommend considering its benefits. The longer you wait to get help, the harder it is to repair a relationship.


How do I choose the right therapist for me?

This is a really important question! Here are a few questions to ask when choosing a couples counselor:

  • What credentials do they have?
  • Are they associated with professional marriage, couples, or family therapy organizations?
  • Have they attended specific training or continuing education sessions on marriage and relationship counseling?
  • Have they conducted research themselves? Or, do they use evidence-based approaches to therapy?
  • Do they have expertise in couples, relationships, and marriage?
  • What is the therapist’s opinion on marriage? At what point do they consider divorce the right option?
  • What are the therapist’s values?
  • What is the therapist’s personality? Do you think they will mesh well with you and your partner?

It’s important to get the answers to these questions—and feel good about them—but also to trust yourself when evaluating therapists. It’s not uncommon to go to a few sessions and determine that someone is or isn’t the right fit. There’s nothing wrong with moving on to find the best possible therapist for you. The productivity of your sessions for your relationship is the most important outcome.


Who should attend sessions?

Couples can attend sessions together or individually. Couples counseling works best when both partners have a desire to improve the relationship.

However, even if your partner or spouse is not interested in working on the relationship at this time, you can still benefit from attending sessions by yourself. Having a caring and knowledgeable person to talk to can often result in improvements at home.

Sometimes couples start out together and also benefit from individual sessions. In fact, we often recommend some one-on-one sessions as part of the couples counseling.


How long do sessions last?

Sessions typically last either 50 or 75 minutes. Longer sessions are available for couples who need a more flexible schedule. Sessions shorter than 50 minutes are not recommended.


How many sessions does it take to see results?

It really depends! Most couples we work with come until they feel like they can continue moving forward on their own. This can take between four and 12 sessions. A lot can be accomplished in a few sessions of couples counseling.

Some couples come for a longer period of time, depending on how useful they find the sessions, how much they can or want to invest in their relationship, and how much time or money they have available.

Most couples start by coming once a week for four to six weeks and then space out the sessions. More rarely, couples come in twice a week.

We do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Our job is to help you find the solutions that help you move forward. Our goal as couples counselors is to eventually remove ourselves from the job of helping you with your relationship.

Discernment counseling, which helps couples decide if they even want to work on their relationship, usually takes just three to five sessions.


What about rates, payments, and insurance?

Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card. Full payment is due at the time of each session.

Fees: Varies according to the length of session and range from $140 to $250 per session, depending on the associate. A limited number of low cost sessions are available.

Insurance: We only bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance. Keep in mind that all insurance plans are different and you are responsible for meeting the requirements for your plan.

You can find detailed information on our finance pages about all your cost and insurance questions. We’re happy to answer all your questions about our fee structure and insurance coverage. Please call 312-416-6191 to inquire.


What's Next?


More Resources for You and Your Partner

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In our efforts to bring value to your life, or if you are not in the Chicago area, Couples Counseling Associates has developed a series of lessons that could have a major impact on effectively improving your relationship. We encourage you to dive into the series and discover how these resources can benefit you and your partner.

Remember, it's the positive habits we develop that guarantee us success in all areas of our lives. Discover the seven healthy habits that improve relationships or get in touch with us to learn more about Couples Counseling Associates.

Click here to send us an email message or to make an appointment.

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Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191

© 2018 Couples Counseling Associates


 Associated Therapists


Sara Schwarzbaum

sara_schwarzbaum_headshot

Founder, Couples Counseling Associates 

sescounseling@gmail.com


Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 202

Liz Garvey

liz_garvey_headshot

Associate

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 207

lizgcounseling@gmail.com


Linda Lazzara

linda_lazzara_headshot

Associated therapist

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 205

Also in Arlington Heights

637 E. Golf Rd Suite 201

Arlington Heights Il 60005

Llazzaracounseling@gmail.com



michael_villarreal_headshot

 Associated Therapist

Michael Villarreal:

michael@semillascounseling.com

773 789-9775




Associated Therapist Giulia Casani MA,LMFT

500 North Michigan ave - Suite 600 Chicago, Il 60611
Phone 773 580 0152
www.giuliacasani.com



Associated Threapist

Kate Engler, LMFT, LPC 

10024 Skokie, Blvd. Suite 207Skokie, IL 60077(224) 233 - 1036 ext. 418 (office)(844) 546 - 6642 (mobile - PLEASE NOTE: this number does not accept text messages)

kecounseling@gmail.com

www.kecounseling.com


All the mental health professionals practicing at 737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2130, Chicago, IL 60611 or any other locations, are individually licensed by the State of Illinois and practice independently and separately. They have no legal relationship to the practices of each other and do not incur in liability for services of one another or to Dr. Sara Schwarzbaum.