Methods & Modalities

Learn more about the various methods utilized at Next Steps.

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Accept & Commit Therapy (ACT)

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Helps accept the difficulties that come with life but still live in service of your life goals and personal values. ACT helps you overcome negative thoughts/feelings without the impulse to act on them using mindfulness and acceptance techniques. ACT also assists in reducing avoidant coping styles and your commitment to make change.

Attachment-Based Therapy

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Research shows that our attachment styles as children and the care we received from our caretakers creates a template that has a significant impact on our attachment styles as adults, particularly in romantic relationships, as well as our ability to regulate our emotions and connect and relate to others.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

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CBT emphasizes the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do and the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our positive or upsetting feelings. We’ll help you identify dysfunctional and self-defeating thoughts and beliefs and reshape them into a positive and more productive mindset.

Couple & Marital Therapy

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Therapy that helps couples together or individually to gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict, improve communication and improve positive aspects of the relationship and repair unhelpful aspects utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions.

Culturally Sensitive Therapy

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Our therapists incorporate cultural sensitivity into all our work! We work with diverse groups of people and understands that racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual identities interact with one’s beliefs and behavior. We also recognize and understand our own culture and how it influence our individual relationships with our client’s.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

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Mindfulness-based approaches are designed to help you focus on what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without judgement, to relax the mind and body. This is achieved through a variety of techniques in which our counselors, if you’re interested, will help you figure out which techniques work best for you.


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Focuses on what clients would like to achieve through therapy and is present and future focused rather than past-oriented focused. We’ll help you envision a desirable future, map out the necessary changes, find solutions, and encourage you to build on your strengths.

Brené Brown Methodologies

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We love Brene Brown and use a lot of her philosophies and research on courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy to help clients feel happier, increase self-esteem, get through difficult experiences and improve relationships with others and oneself.

Gottman Method & Emotionally Focused Therapy

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Gottman Method: Couples will increase closeness and friendship behaviors, address conflict productively, and building a life of shared meaning together. The Gottman Method involves customizing principles from years of research to each couple’s particular patterns and challenges. Gottman – Learn More

Emotionally focused couples therapy works with couples to take control of the dances of disconnection and conflict and increase security, closeness, and connection in intimate relationships. EFT – Learn More

100% of Client Reviews Gave Next Step Counseling

A Perfect 5 Star Rating on Yelp

“I have been working with Corey for more than 3 years and I am so grateful that I found her. She has helped me transform the way I think about myself and others and my quality of life is infinitely better than it was a couple of years ago. I know that she hears what I'm saying, believes that my story matters, and cares about me. She has made such a positive difference in my life and I absolutely recommend her to anyone looking for a therapist.”

Emily W.via Yelp

“Alexandra is warm, attentive, and I knew I could come into sessions and express myself fully or explore my thoughts without judgement. I can't overstate how valuable that dynamic was. Alex asks challenging, thoughtful questions which force you to think deeper about your feelings and motivations. A great therapist - someone you're comfortable with, listens, and challenges you, is a tremendous asset in life and I found that with Alex.”

Payton M.via Yelp

“My experience Next Step Counseling has been absolutely incredible. My counselor is supportive, empathetic, professional & has helped me navigate through some significant life challenges. From relationship & life transitions to working through death and illness in my family... she always makes me feel like I am in a safe place to share while offering helpful tools to use in everyday life. I highly recommend any therapist on the Next Step team.”

Krystie R.via Yelp

“Ilene listened so well that she was sometimes able to sense my feelings/emotions better than I could. She could read between the lines of what I was saying and sense if I wasn't feeling great about something. She wouldn't let me get away with being unfair to myself and would always challenge me when I was. I feel so lucky to have found her and to have spent time working with her. I wouldn't be as happy and healthy as I am today if it weren't for Ilene.”

Emily K.via Yelp

Contact Us. 

Pay Us a Visit

70 E Lake St #222
Chicago, IL 60601

Serving Chicago, Streeterville, Gold Coast, West Town, West Loop, River North, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Bucktown, Ravenswood and surrounding areas.

Common Questions

Do you accept insurance?

We are in network with the following insurance carriers:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice Advantage
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice Preferred
  • United Behavioral Health, aka United Health Care
  • Optum Veterans Affairs Community Care Network

However, if you have a carrier that we don’t accept we can still work together! Using your out of network benefits, many insurance companies will provide you with 20% to 80% reimbursement for sessions. We provide you with an invoice, you send it into your insurance company and they mail you a check. If you’d like to know what your out of network benefits are call the number on the back of your card and ask, “What are my out of network benefits for mental health counseling?” Please contact us to provide you with additional information about this.

Is there parking available at your office?

All el lines are within 1-2 blocks, and, there are two parking garages nearby at 60 E. Lake St. and 20 E. Randolph.

I tried therapy and didn't like it. How's this different?

Therapy varies depending on the personalities of the counselor and client, as well as the particular concerns brought forward. Sometimes the chemistry between the counselor and client or the counselor’s style or approach just isn’t a good fit. The relationship between the client and the therapist is of utmost importance. Therefore, we work to create a safe environment where open and honest communication is encouraged so that concerns or questions about treatment or the relationship can be addressed in session. This often benefits the therapeutic process and deepens the therapeutic relationship.

What can I expect from the first few sessions?

During the first and second session, we will gather information about what has brought you into therapy including your concerns, what you’d like to work on and information about your current and past emotional health and life history. This information helps us gain a deeper understanding about your situation, you as a person and how to best help you. As noted earlier, since it is important that clients feel comfortable with their counseling, we encourage clients to also use the first session as an opportunity to assess if this is a good fit for you as well.

What can I expect during a typical therapy session?

During therapy you will begin to discuss and share your feelings, thoughts, and reactions in order for you to begin to gain insight, develop new thinking patters, coping skills and overall improved quality of life. It is natural to feel uncomfortable about opening up at first but this process because much easier after a few sessions. Since self-growth is possible through commitment and work I will encourage you to practice the things you discuss and learn outside of session.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

The number of sessions needed is different for everyone depending on a number of factors including but not limited to your goals, severity or intensity of your concerns or symptoms, how long you’ve been dealing with your concerns, current levels of stress, and the progress you make towards reaching your short or long-term goals.

Is what I say in therapy confidential?

In general, all communications between a client and counselor are confidential and can only be released with the client’s written permission. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • When there is a reasonable suspicion of child/dependent abuse or of an elder adult.
  • When the client communicates a threat of bodily injury to others.
  • When the client is suicidal.
  • When disclosure is required pursuant to a legal proceeding.