We offer counseling services for all members of Chicago’s LGBTQIA community

Our LGBTQIA-friendly counselors understand the importance of creating a safe space to share and communicate.


There are laws now about discrimination and marriage equality. And, yet, there are still moments and places that make you feel uncomfortable just for being yourself.

You want to be able to live your truth and express yourself without having to worry about what the consequences might be. This type of vigilance is not only exhausting, but over time can cause you distress and shame.

You deserve to feel seen and heard!

Your gender and sexual identity can play a big role in your life. And you get to declare what identities feel right for you. Knowing that you’re going into a safe space regarding this can make all the difference when it comes to sharing other challenges that you may be having, like anxiety, depression, or family conflict. Some of these challenges can intersect with your identities.

LGBTQIAYou may find that the discrimination you face has made it difficult to feel comfortable on the bus as you aren’t sure if someone will be staring or commenting on how you look. You may find that you’re struggling to feel comfortable in your body. Or, you might have family that are not as supportive as you wish they were.

When having to cope with these challenges, isolating yourself from others may be a choice. Identity feelings can affect sleeping or eating. Lacking in self-confidence can cause you to struggle to go after your goals whether they are personal or work-related. These challenges are holding you back. But they don’t have to anymore!

You can feel comfortable being yourself and live your best life!

Meet our LGBTQIA+ Affirming Clinicians

Stephanie Grunewald, PhD

I am dedicated to exploring the layers of shame, guilt, and fear that have prevented you from living the life you desire.

Read more about Stephanie.

Katie Jackson-Griffin, LCPC

I am passionate about guiding you to love yourself and build up your resilience to take on all of life’s challenges.

Jordan Meehan, LCSW

I provide a safe environment where you can develop insight into your experiences, behaviors, and relationships, as well as build healthy coping habits, self-care skills, and positive self-regard.

What to expect during your counseling journey

We create a unique counseling process that is tailored to each person’s strengths and experiences.

Counseling is meant to be a time of self-exploration and growth. Your clinician will tailor treatment to your specific needs based on your goals and what you would like to achieve. Counseling has the potential to be short-term or long-term based on your individual needs.

Sustained progress can be made in as few as 8 weekly sessions, but most people find that they need treatment for a minimum of several months. We encourage you to attend weekly sessions, as this allows you to establish a close working relationship with your clinician and to make progress more quickly. Our hope is for you to reach your goals sooner rather than later so that you can live the life you desire.

Intake (First 1-2 Sessions)

Both before and during your first session, you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your reasons for seeking counseling. During the first session, your clinician will briefly review Restorative Counseling’s policies so that you are aware of your rights as a client and can ask any questions you may have. The primary focus of the intake process is to discuss your personal, social, family, and educational history to help give your clinician an overall picture of who you are. Goals for treatment will be discussed and your clinician will provide insight into how they conduct counseling sessions.

In addition to learning about you, the Intake process is a time for you to learn about your clinician. It is important that you feel they are the right fit for your style and needs. We encourage you to ask questions so you can be clear on what to expect from your clinician.

The intake session(s) typically lasts 55-60 minutes.

Ongoing Sessions

Working with you, your clinician will help you explore the sources of your difficulties and develop helpful strategies to address your concerns. Your clinician will provide a space for you to identify your strengths and difficulties. You will be empowered to decide what works best for you and what changes you are ready to make.

Ongoing sessions are 45-53 minutes, depending on your insurance plan.

Ongoing sessions are 45-55 minutes, depending on your insurance plan.

Discharge (Final 1-2 Sessions)

As you move through the counseling process, you and your clinician will discuss your progress. Once it has been decided that you have achieved your goals, you and your clinician will discuss terminating services. These final few sessions will focus on reviewing the progress you have made and how you can continue to maintain these changes moving forward.

We can help!

At Restorative Counseling, we are here to give you the support and validation that you need and deserve in a safe, affirming and non-judgmental space. As a result, we can help you process how the discrimination you may have faced as part of the LGBTQIA community is impacting you currently. We’ll share our knowledge of tools and strategies to manage your emotions in the moment and heal from the past challenges.

There is hope for you to be able to love yourself and navigate life’s challenges.

Contact Us

Read some frequently asked questions about counseling and accepted insurance plans.

Your privacy is important to us, and confidentiality is an important piece of the therapeutic process. All your information is kept strictly confidential. However, there are specific exceptions:

  • With your signed permission, we may collaborate with other providers such as your psychiatrist or primary care physician
  • By law, we are required to break confidentiality and report to the appropriate authorities if we learn that you are a danger to yourself or others or if we learn of actual or threatened harm to those who are vulnerable such as children, elderly, or those with special needs.

Our paperwork details the limits of confidentiality, and we will discuss this more fully during our first appointment.

Often, people think they must be in crisis or that things must be “really bad” before they go to counseling. Counseling can help offer support and validation, determine if and how to make necessary changes, and achieve goals.

Maybe you worked with a counselor in the past but feel like things are becoming difficult again. This happens; life happens.

Just as with many things in life, we, too, may require ongoing maintenance to deal with new struggles or to continue managing ongoing stressors.

We work together to learn about your experience and determining what may be most useful for you.

We offer counseling services only, not medication management. However, we are happy to refer you to psychiatrist, or you can ask your primary care physician to assist you with medication management.

With your written consent, we can collaborate with your psychiatrist or physician regarding your mental health care.

We are in-network with a variety of insurance options. As an “in-network” provider, we have a contract with the insurance company so you are able to utilize your in-network health insurance benefits. There are many types of insurance plans within a network, so it is advised to call your insurance company to see if Restorative Counseling is covered in your network. A few of the many plans accepted by Restorative Counseling are:

  • Aetna
  • Aetna Student Health (Northwestern University students)
  • BlueChoice PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO
  • Golden Rule
  • Meritain (not Meridian)
  • Optum
  • Oxford
  • United Behavioral Health
  • United Healthcare
  • United Healthcare Student Resources (for Loyola University Chicago students and University of Chicago students)
  • United Medical Resources (UMR)