Cindy Thelen, LCPC 630-530-0405Chicago grief counseling

Chicago, IL Area Grief, Loss and Life Transition Therapy
Common Questions

What are the advantages of seeing a psychotherapist who specializes in grief/loss and transition?
Loss and change are inherent parts of being human and are at the heart of much of our pain in living. We endure so many forms of loss in the unpredictable course of a lifetime. Some losses are unambiguous: a loved one dies; we lose a job; a relationship ends. Others are less perceptible, but are experiences of loss nonetheless: we lose our physical health or vitality; our treasured dreams, hopes and ideas fade; we lose our bearings, our identity, our security, our joy. Our confidence that we can make life happen as we wish is wounded.

The magnitude and consequences differ depending on the nature of the losses you have experienced. But grief is a natural reaction to any loss. As a professional who specializes in grief and loss, I am particularly qualified to help you acknowledge, attend to and find your unique meaning in each experience of loss. Many clients report positive changes - feeling more connected to themselves and others, more energy and joy, choosing more healthy behaviors, and just feeling better in their own skin - by acknowledging their losses and allowing their grief to be fully felt.

What kind of people do you tend to work with?
My clients are people who are often successful in many areas of their life. Many begin therapy in response to unexpected changes, such as the death of a loved one, a relationship break-up, or a life-altering medical diagnosis. Others come because they are looking for help dealing with a problem area that is limiting them, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. Some people enter with a desire for healing and change based on feeling stuck, restless, unfulfilled, or disillusioned. I primarily work with women, men, older adolescents, couples and families. I occasionally work with children as part of a family system or children who are grieving the death of a loved one.

When do you see clients?
 I have appointment times weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings and some Saturday mornings.

How long are appointments and how often would I come in?
I see most clients once a week, on the same day and time each week. Consistency is an important component of therapy. A typical individual session is 50 minutes. Each person's needs are unique, and we will discuss the frequency and length of sessions over the course of our time together to best meet your needs.

What can I expect in the first session?
Our initial session is usually scheduled for 75 minutes in order to have ample time to start our work together. This initial session gives us an opportunity to explore what prompted you to contact me, clarify what you hope to gain from therapy, answer your questions, determine whether we feel well-matched to work together, and discuss privacy, confidentiality and my practice policies.

What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is the cornerstone upon which effective therapy is based. In all but a few rare situations, your confidentiality is protected by state law and by the rules of my profession. What is discussed in therapy and all matters relating to it are kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed without your written permission. Exceptions are if you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else, and in any situation in which a child, dependent adult or elderly person is put at risk, such as sexual or physical abuse or neglect.

What are your fees?
My current fee is $125 per 50-minute session and $185 per 75-minute session. Group fees vary based on the type of group and length and frequency of sessions.

What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, check, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover). Payment is due at the time of the service.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I am a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO plans and various others. If I am not an in-network provider for your plan, I can provide you with the necessary documentation that you can submit to your insurance company.

Are you accepting new clients?
Yes, I am currently accepting new clients.

How do I schedule an appointment?
Simply give me a call at (630) 530-0405. If you prefer, feel free to email me at: and I will respond promptly. I am happy to talk with you about your concerns and help you determine if we are a good fit to work together. I don't charge for 10-15 minute initial telephone consultations. If we decide that it is beneficial for us to work together, we'll schedule an initial appointment.

Once I complete therapy, does that mean that I will never need therapy again?
Not necessarily. Tending to your emotional health, like tending to your physical health, is an ongoing process. Often, clients return to therapy periodically to work on a core issue at a new or deeper level. Life tends to be unpredictable, and new challenges arise all the time, sometimes as you transition into different life stages. It is healthy and appropriate to seek additional help and support at various times throughout your life.

What if I have additional questions?
Feel free to call me at (630) 530-0405 or if you prefer, email me at I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

I provide non-judgmental, ethical treatment that is respectful of your gender, age, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, and religious or spiritual beliefs. My office in Oak Brook is wheelchair-accessible, and conveniently located close to major thoroughfares and expressways. My clients come from many parts of the Chicago area, including many western, southwestern and northwestern suburbs. My office is close to Hinsdale, Elmhurst, LaGrange, Downers Grove, Lombard and surrounding areas. I also see people who live outside the immediate area but who work in or nearby Oak Brook.

"The idea [of therapy] isn't to give people answers or lead their longing into a safe, dull, protected harbor, but to make people aware of the depths of possibility in their hearts and lives; help them remove barriers that keep them from being the people they were meant to be."
~ John O'Donohue

Contact me to find out more or to schedule an appointment

Cindy Thelen, LCPC, CT
1550 Spring Road, Suite 215
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 530-0405

~ Facilitating healing and growth in loss and transition ~

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