Thanks for your curiosity about working with Heather! Check out the answers below and let us know if you have remaining questions by using the “Contact Us” form on the right. If you’re interested in working with Heather, go ahead and select the “Book Appointment” button above. If you are having a hard time finding an appointment slot, please click the “New Client Waitlist” button and we’ll let you know when something opens up!
Heather is both a psychotherapist AND a coach, so which one should I choose?
Great question! Both options will help you work towards goals, get some 1-on-1 support and learn something about yourself in the process.
Psychotherapy is meant to address mental health concerns. If you plan to use insurance, psychotherapy must be deemed “medically necessary”, which means that your presenting problems are getting in the way of your functioning either personally, socially or in your work setting. Examples might include sexual dysfunction, attachment disorders, adjustment disorder (trouble with transitions) or social anxiety. Sessions are generally conducted in-person or occasionally via teletherapy (but you must still be in the state of Illinois where Heather is licensed and your insurance might not cover teletherapy). If you are not using insurance, your presenting problems don’t need to be medically necessary, but this option could still make sense if you’re looking to explore your psyche in depth.
Coaching is action-oriented. It is meant to help people who are already functioning in a normal, healthy range to address goals and get support and accountability in doing so. Examples of presenting goals for coaching include developing a health and wellness plan for yourself, strategically improving sex & relationships, developing your spirituality or advancing along your career path. Coaching does not require licensure and is not limited by state lines, so can be conducted via phone or Skype from anywhere in the world. Coaching is not covered by insurance since it is an unlicensed profession and not medically necessary.
What goals will Heather help me work on?
It would be impossible to list them all here, but Heather’s main clinical interests are sex and relationships. This may include dating anxiety, exploring attachment styles, creating healthy boundaries in relationships, increasing emotional intimacy, managing relationships with difficult people, difficulty orgasming, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, exploring kink, exploring monogamy and non-monogamy, infidelity, sex/porn addiction, gender exploration, gender transitioning, sexual trauma, etc.
Heather also works with LOTS of clients addressing concerns related to anxiety in all forms and helps clients generally creating a holistic, healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.
What approach does Heather take?
Heather is very person-centered and rather than focusing on a specific technique to use with all people who come into her office, she focuses on what feels like the right fit for you and your goals. That said, she has a few favorites in her toolbox!
- Holistic Health. Heather’s approach is rooted in holistic health and taking a mind-body-spirit approach. Specifically, she knows way too much about genetic mutations and digestion (both of which impact mental health a lot!) and will probably refer you to a functional medicine doctor at some point if you have health complaints–get ready!
- Mindfulness. Heather has been a meditator since 2005 and officially Buddhist since 2009. She loves to incorporate elements of mindfulness into her work including meditation and compassion practices as well as non-judgment and acceptance.
- Hypnosis. No you will not quack like a duck! Hypnosis can be a great way to relax (while fully aware of what’s going on) and let your intuition take the reigns.
- Attachment. Heather believes many of our concerns are related to underlying attachment wounds we’ve accumulated throughout life. She loves to educate clients about attachment and help them understand why they are the way they are and help them learn how to make better choices.
- Positive Psychology. Heather is a major cheerleader for her clients and loves to help people recognize and focus on what they’re good at and enjoy. Plus, research shows you make WAY more progress that way!
- Internal Family Systems. Also called “parts work,” IFS helps clients get a better understanding of how various parts of themselves may be at odds, creating a sense of frustration or stuckness. Healing the relationship between our various parts can lead to great improvements in how we feel and function.
Who is a good fit to work with Heather?
Heather has a particular passion for working with other “Type A” folks, entrepreneurs, leaders, creatives and highly sensitive people. Clients that tend to be a good fit like to “go deep” with their personal growth work and may be described as out-of-the-box thinkers, intelligent and spiritually inclined. All ages, races, sexual orientations and gender identities are very welcome!
What is Heather like?
Heather is pretty casual and likes to make new clients feel welcome and at home in therapy. It doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating process–you can expect some humor during sessions! She can be described as progressive in her views and incredibly open-minded (top 1% on Openness on the Big 5 Personality Test), so you can expect a non-judgmental attitude no matter what you bring to sessions.
Heather is a serial entrepreneur and owns a full-time AirBnB listing in addition to her private practice. She loves learning and trying new things and is currently taking drum kit lessons and planning a SCUBA trip to get her Advanced Open Water PADI certification.
What is Heather’s background?
Heather’s undergrad is in Finance, so suffice it to say she’s a career changer! In 2004, Heather got her Master’s in School Counseling and worked as a High School Counselor for 6 years, starting her private practice at the end of 2011 and going full-time into private practice in 2012.
Heather dedicated significant time to learning about and spreading the message of holistic health. She earned a 10-month health coaching certificate in 2011 and has also completed formal training in how genetic mutations impact mental (and physical!) health. She served as Chairperson of the wellness committee at East Leyden High School and Co-Chair of the Health Coaches of Chicago. Heather also authored a blog for the American Counseling Association and has published a textbook chapter on nutritional stress-management strategies for Stress in the Modern World by ABC-CLIO Publishing.
Heather’s post-degree professional development training includes topics such as: Integrative Eye Movement, Solution-Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory, Embodied Wellness, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Internal Family Systems, Mental Health First Aid and Gottman Level I Couples Counseling. Other “unofficial” professional development includes many mindfulness courses and countless hours of self-education on digestive disorders and testing. Currently, Heather is receiving supervision for sex therapy and will be participating in the University of Michigan Sex Therapy and Sexuality Education dual track program April 2019-April 2020.
How does payment work and what are my options?
In order for sessions to be covered by insurance, they should be deemed “medically necessary.” Relationship concerns and couples counseling are not covered by insurance unless the person whose insurance is being used has a diagnosable condition. Sessions are conducted in-person unless your insurance covers teletherapy, which is still rare and in which case you must be in the state of Illinois where Heather is licensed. Your insurance company receives your diagnosis code and session dates. In cases where more sessions need to be expressly authorized (such as for City of Chicago employees), your insurance management system will ask about how treatment is going and why you may need more sessions covered, so this information will also be shared with them. Insurance sessions are typically limited to 1 hour and 1 per day per client, so you may run into issues if you see your individual counselor and couples counselor in the same day (check with your policy) or if you want to see your individual counselor while you’re in an IOP or PHP treatment program.
Many clients choose to self-pay because they want to work with a particular therapist who is not in their insurance network. These clients may get a superbill and potentially receive reimbursement directly from the insurer if they have out-of-network benefits. Additionally, clients may choose this option even when they have insurance that will cover sessions because they are concerned with privacy regarding the diagnostic or clinical information being shared with their insurance company or 3rd-party insurance management company (i.e. Telligen). If you’re a self-pay client, there is more leeway with your presenting concerns and they do not need to be considered “medically necessary.” Self-pay sessions can be conducted via phone or HIPAA-compliant video software as long as the client is in Illinois. Self-pay sessions also have the flexibility to be longer than 1-hour or to have more than one session in a day.
Coaching sessions are all out-of-pocket and not billable to insurance. They can be conducted anywhere in the world via any method that is convenient to us. There is no limit on session length or frequency.