Now offering online therapy for Chicago & Illinois residents

Online Therapy for Individuals & Couples

This unprecedented time is an epic transition for every part of our lives including our emotional, mental and psychological well-being. We are being called to take care of ourselves and possibly those closest to us in a different way than ever before.

Next Step Counseling is committed to being a support for you in navigating the impacts of coronavirus together. Fortunately, WE SPECIALIZE in LIFE'S TOUGHEST TRANSITIONS and are now offering special stress and anxiety management counseling for Covid-19. Our expertise is rooted in navigating life transitions, so we are here for you now more than ever.

Next Step Counseling is a boutique multi-specialty group practice so this means while we all specialize in relationship and life transitions our counselors have expertise in various areas and are trained to meet your unique needs.

We’re well-trained, warm, and thoughtful clinicians who thoroughly enjoy getting to know our clients. Our therapy is based on working with you in a collaborative, holistic, genuine and productive manner.” Ilene Kastel, CEO

Ilene Kastel, M.A., LCPCNext Step Founder

Relationship Transitions

Evaluate. Empower. Improve.
  • Breakup & Divorce Recovery
  • Couples & Marital Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Date Smarter
  • Self-Relationships
  • Relationship Uncertainty

Life Transitions

Survey. Strategize. Strive.
  • Stress & Anxiety Counseling
  • Depression Counseling
  • Grief & Loss
  • Phase of Life Challenges
  • Trauma Counseling
  • LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Counseling
We make it easy

How it works

Your therapist and you will meet virtually at the same time, without distraction, and interact in real-time on a secure and confidential video platform, Clocktree. Clients have found Clocktree to be incredibly easy and user friendly. Your clinician will send you a link and you’ll log-in at your session time.




Flexibility in scheduling and saves time from commuting to and from appointments

Live Video

Our video platform is easy to use and works on all devices: phone, laptop, tablet and computer


Convenient and aids in not missing appts due last min hiccups like inclement weather, car difficulties, work travel, etc. It can be difficult to wait days or weeks until your next appointment.

Save time

Saves money on child care, CTA, parking or late cancellation fees.

Get Comfortable

Potentially feeling more comfortable in a familiar setting, enhancing vulnerability and disclosure


Eliminates fears of running into known others in waiting area of therapy office

Insurance coverage for Telehealth

Most Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Health Care insurance plans cover synchronous telehealth services and we can check your benefits for you. During Covid-19, please allow extra time for benefit checks. You can also check with your HR department or call your insurance to get mental health and telehealth benefit coverage information. We also accept self-pay clients for online therapy.

Acceptions for Online Therapy:

There are a few exceptions when virtual therapy or our practice may not be best fit. It’s important to us that you receive the best care possible! We will work with you to find referrals if you’re struggling with the following:

Schedule an Appointment

    Mornings before 11amAfternoons between 11:30a-3:30pEvening 4p-8pSaturdays

    Chelsea CooksChris EdwardsLakeitta HarrisBrian HowardEsther KimMackenzie MullerBIPOC therapistPair me with best fit

    Relationship Transitions:

    Life Transitions:

    Location for session *

    Virtual TherapyIn the OfficeFlexible

    Select your Insurance *

    Date of Birth*

    (Max file size:10MB and allowed file types .pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, .png)

    (Max file size:10MB and allowed file types .pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, .png)