Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do you offer free services?

No, none of our services are free. However, we do minimize the cost to our families as much as possible. We accept all forms of the Illinois Medical Card, which covers therapy services. We also accept most major private insurance plans, and a few of our providers are credentialed with additional insurance companies. If you do not want to use your insurance, we offer a negotiated rate for families who want to pay out-of-pocket. This is based on your income to ensure it is fair and reasonable (providing proof of income is required). Finally, if you need services but the listed options are not affordable for you, we have a limited scholarship fund that helps subsidize the cost. This is available by application only. Call Scott at (309) 451-9495 to find out more.

I am a teenager and I don't want my parents to know I'm going to counseling. Can I come to ABC?

The short answer is "Yes." The law in Illinois says that youth 12 years old and older can receive up to three 45-minute counseling sessions without your guardian's consent. However, you may need to provide proof of insurance in order to get your services paid for, and if your parents receive a bill, they may find out several weeks or months later. Please call us if you want to know more, and we can discuss your options. We want you to get the help you need! *If you are pregnant and want to discuss your options regarding adoption, this service is free. Click here to find out more.*

I was referred to you by DCFS/the court. Do I have to come to ABC Counseling?

Services at ABC Counseling are voluntary, and we will not administer ANY negative consequences if you choose not to engage in services with us. However, if you have a service plan through DCFS, or a probation order or diversion program agreement through court, you may have consequences through the state or the courts if you do not comply with their recommendations/orders. Talk to your caseworker or court services officer to find out more.

I think my child was sexually abused. Can you find out what happened?

We are not investigators,  nor are we affiliated with DCFS, the police, or the courts. We focus on evaluating a client's presenting symptoms and needs, and providing the necessary therapeutic services to help them achieve their goals and improve functioning in their life. We may find out, through the course of our evaluation and treatment, that a child has experienced abuse or neglect. We are mandated reporters and would follow mandating reporting laws (you can find more information about mandated reporting here and here).

My partner and I are getting divorced. Can you testify in our custody case?

We are trained to provide services to children and families impacted by sexual abuse and trauma. Sometimes, a parents' divorce is extremely difficult for children (and parents!) to cope with, and our counseling services can be a valuable support through the divorce and custody process. However, our reports are not designed to be used as evidence in custody cases, and we do not make custody, visitation or parenting time recommendations. If we are subpoenaed by a judge, you will be responsible for paying our hourly rate of $130/hour for the time we are in the courthouse, for a minimum of three hours.

I am an adult who committed a sexual offense. Can I come to ABC Counseling?

No. We only provide services to youth who have engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior,  not adults. We are happy to provide referrals to other providers in the area who offer the services you need. If you are between the ages of 18-21, you may be eligible for our services. Please call us to schedule a phone consultation.

My child was sexually abused or engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.  I thought I was handling it okay, but now it's bringing up stuff from my past. Can I get my own counseling?

YES! Unfortunately this is very common, and you are not alone. Most adults who experienced sexual abuse as a child did not receive the help and support they needed at the time. Our culture has progressed in many ways, and now we are more aware of how common and how traumatic sexual abuse can be. Please read our page, "Help for Me," and contact us to schedule an appointment to talk with a therapist. You are not alone.

What is it like to come to ABC Counseling for the first time?

We hope you will find that ABC Counseling is a place where you can find unconditional acceptance and the support you need to find healing and make change in your life. Our offices are safe spaces where we respect confidentiality and empower clients to take control of their lives.

More concretely, when you first call us to schedule an appointment, we will gather some information from you regarding your need for services, how you will be paying for services, and your contact information. We will send you some paperwork to complete, and when we receive that paperwork back, you will be added to our waitlist. Some of our offices have a shorter wait (1-2 weeks) while others have a longer wait (1-2 months). We will do our best to give you an accurate estimate of your waiting time, but be advised that it may be a shorter or longer time than we expect.

When a therapist is available to meet with you, you will receive a phone call to schedule your initial parent interview. During this one-hour appointment, we will gather additional background information, including family history, as well as the symptoms/behaviors of concern for you or your child. Then, ongoing sessions will be scheduled, typically on a weekly basis for one hour.

Most children receive an evaluation first, either for sexual abuse/trauma or inappropriate sexual behaviors. The evaluation typically takes 6-12 weeks, depending on the child, during which time we complete many specialized assessment tools to gather a complete picture of your child's needs. After that time, we will meet with you to review our report and recommendations, and then we can begin counseling.

Do you only work with children impacted by sexual abuse?
No.  While ABC Counseling specializes in working with children impacted by sexual abuse, we also offer general counseling services.  Some children come to us due to experiencing bullying, having fears or worries beyond what would be expected for their ages, grief and loss issues, school difficulties, as well as many other issues.  
How long will my child be coming to ABC Counseling?

The evaluation and the counseling are a long, intensive process, and most clients come to ABC Counseling for one to two years. If the issues are not related to sexual abuse or sexual behavior, some clients may have achieved their goals in six months. Some of our clients have been coming, "off and on," for many years, because they see our agency as a place where they can return for help and support. We hope to be a valuable service to our communities throughout the lifespan.

Do you accept credit cards as payment for services?

Yes, if you owe for your sessions or reports, we accept cash, credit or check made out to ABC Counseling. You can pay by credit card by calling our front office or by using the PayPal link below.