Frequently Asked Questions

Clinical Services, Fees & Insurance

Can I use my health insurance for services at Live Oak?

All staff psychotherapists at Live Oak are able to bill insurance plans and are “in-network providers” with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) of Illinois PPO, Northwestern University’s Student Health Plan through Aetna, and the School at the Art Institute’s Student Health Plan through AHP/Cigna. We do not accept BCBS HMO plans. Some of our staff psychotherapists are also in-network providers with the University of Chicago’s Student Health Plan (U-SHIP) and the University of Chicago’s Health Plan (UCHP). Please contact the intake team at for verification of the providers who accept these University of Chicago plans. 

Many of our therapists can also submit claims on your behalf to other PPO insurance plans as “Out of Network Providers.” (Please see below for more details). However, while our psychotherapists can submit claims to your insurance provider on your behalf, you would be responsible for the full cost of the session at the time of your appointment.

Before beginning services at Live Oak, we recommend that you first call your insurance carrier to check eligibility and benefits prior to completing an intake with Live Oak. You can usually find your benefit information through your provider’s website or access it by phone using the numbers provided on the back of your insurance card. Follow prompts or inform a representative that you want to check your mental health benefits, and ask the following questions:

For insurance plans Live Oak accepts (in-network): 

  1. Do I have outpatient behavioral health coverage? 
  2. What is my annual deductible amount and how much is remaining?
  3. When does my deductible reset?
  4. What is my co-pay and/or co-insurance amount(s)?
  5. Is pre-authorization needed prior to beginning services?
  6. Is there a per year session limit?

For insurance plans Live Oak does not accept (out-of-network):

  1.  Does my health plan allow outpatient, out-of-network behavioral health coverage?
  2. If so, do I have a deductible? How much is my deductible? (note: sometimes deductibles for behavioral health are different) When does it reset?
  3. If my provider’s fee is $160 per session, how much can I expect to get back for CPT code 90837?

Does Live Oak offer a sliding scale (reduced fees)?

Yes. However, services are available on limited availability. Each psychotherapist and postgraduate fellow on our staff reserves a portion of their caseload specifically for individuals who require a sliding scale, or reduced fee. In addition, services provided by graduate level interns currently receiving their master’s degrees are offered at a standard reduced rate.

Live Oak is committed to increasing access to psychotherapy services for underserved communities and folx who require access to reduced fees. Given that we receive many inquiries about our sliding scale rates, we understand that we fall short in this commitment daily, as we’re unable to match every person who inquires about reduced fees.

If you are interested in learning more about our sliding scale, we encourage you to reach out to our Intake Team through the online intake form to inquire about current availability.

A member of our Intake Team will respond to you within 1 week. If you are able to connect with us and work with one of our clinicians at a sustainable rate for you, we celebrate that. And if it isn’t possible at this time, our intake coordinators will respond to your intake inquiry with referral resources to aid you in your continued search in finding therapy services at a sustainable rate for you.

Does Live Oak charge the same for relationship therapy and family therapy as they do for individual therapy?

Yes, you will be charged the same fee regardless of whether you are seen individually or as a relationship, couple, or family

How long does it take to see a therapist? Do you have a waiting list?

We respond to all requests and/or questions about appointments and psychotherapist availability within 1-3 business days. We do not keep a waiting list, but rather work closely with you to identify a psychotherapist that will match your specific scheduling needs and other personal preferences. If we are unable to identify a potential psychotherapist  for you at Live Oak, our Intake Team will provide referrals for other therapy practices in the Chicagoland area. We are committed to identifying a potential psychotherapist or outside referral within a 2-5 business days from your initial inquiry.


Do you offer weekend and evening appointments?

Yes. However, since evening and weekend requests are the most popular, we may not have openings that fit your exact scheduling needs, but we will do our best!.

Live Oak offers appointments during the following times:

Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 9 PM

Saturdays and Sundays: 8 AM – 5 PM

Does Live Oak offer the services of a psychiatrist (M.D.) who can prescribe medication?

We don’t have a psychiatrist on our staff, but we have relationships with many psychiatrists in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. If you would like to see a psychiatrist while you are working with us, your therapist can work with you to identify a doctor and coordinate our services with them.

How does Live Oak communicate with my doctor, my other providers, and/or other people of my choice?

We believe it is important for those who are caring for you to communicate and coordinate services. We will share information with others only after discussing this with you and only after you have signed an authorization for us to share information. You may also decide what type of information we will share and how frequently.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, checks and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover).

Can I bring a pet?

Building policy prohibits animals such as dogs or cats from being inside the building, unless you rely on the animal for assistance and the animal is a certified service animal.

Can I specify identities (gender, sexual orientation, etc.) of the therapist I wish to see?

Yes. We have many qualified therapists and we will make every effort to connect you with a therapist who can best meet your needs.

What should I do prior to my first appointment?

Before arriving for your first appointment, it may be helpful for you to do a few things:

First, if you plan on using insurance, please make contact with your insurance company to be sure you understand your benefits including any individual and/or family deductibles, and/or co-pay/co-insurance amounts. Please also bring your insurance card with you to your first appointment.

Second, you may choose to familiarize yourself with our approach to therapy and policies related to clinical services. You may download our Statement of Agreement and print it for your reference, though your therapist will also review it with you during your first session.

Download Statement of Agreement

Third, you may download our “Privacy Policies” for your information. Your therapist will also provide you with a copy of these policies at your first session.

Download Notice of Privacy Practices

Fourth and last, take a moment to think about what questions you might have for your therapist during your first session. It may also be helpful to think about what you would like to accomplish through your participation in a therapeutic relationship. Please remember that you do not have to tell your therapist “everything” during your first session. Rather, it is an opportunity to share enough to determine the fit between you and your therapist. As you continue in therapy, you will continue to shape and clarify your goals.


Getting to our offices

Is there parking?


You may park against the rail in the parking lot directly west of the building after 5:30 PM on weekdays, and Saturday all day. At all other times, both metered and free street parking are available.

Is Live Oak accessible by public transportation?


Yes. We are five blocks west of the “L” stop at Belmont (Brown, Red and Purple lines), and about 6 blocks south of the “L” stop at Southport (Brown line). The CTA #77-Belmont bus stops at the corner of Belmont and Lakewood, across the street from our building.

Are the Live Oak offices physically accessible to all persons? (entering the building and once inside the building)


Yes. We have a wheelchair lift by the rear door of the building and a large, accessible elevator to reach our offices on the fourth floor. All bathrooms in the building are wheelchair accessible and meet ADA requirements. At the front of the building, there are five stairs from the sidewalk to the building entrance. If you have requests or questions about accessibility, please ask your therapist prior to your first appointment.


Trainings & Workshops

How do I sign up for an online or in-person training?

Here is the list of online and in person trainings we are offering. Once you have selected the training you want to attend, scroll down, and fill out your information. Once you have done this, click the submit button and you will receive an email confirmation to the email address provided. Please make sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.

Where can I see the upcoming online and in person trainings?

Can I register more than one person to an online or in-person training?

Yes, once you click on the training you want to attend, you will scroll down to begin entering your information. You will see an option for registering more than one person. If you are registering more than 3 people, please contact our Training Program Coordinator, Andreina Phelan at:

Are CEUs included when I attend an online or in-person training?

Yes, we provide CEU certificates which will be emailed to you after the training. For our 3-hour trainings you will receive 3 CEUs. CEU’s will be given accordingly to the time you were present during the training. Live Oak is an approved CEU provider for social workers, clinical counselors, and marriage and family therapists through the Illinois Department of of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDPFR).

How do I get access to an online training?

In order to access an online training, please make sure you have downloaded the free zoom app or created a free zoom account here

A week prior to the training, you will receive an email with a zoom registration link for the training. Once you have completed this registration you will receive the zoom link with the meeting ID and password needed for the day of the training. Click here to join a training by copying and pasting your meeting ID number and password. 

If the online training has already started, you might have to wait a few minutes in the virtual waiting room. Sometimes the facilitator is in the middle of doing an exercise, and may not be able to let you in until the exercise is over (approx. 5-10 min). 


How can I prepare before accessing an online training?

  • Make sure you have created a zoom account or downloaded the app. You can do this by clicking here
  • You will receive an email with a zoom registration link. Please make sure to register the day before or at least 30 minutes before the training begins. 
  • Test your microphone and camera prior to the training.
  • Login to the training 10-15 minutes before it begins.  

Can someone else attend an online or in-person training in my place if I can’t make it to the training I registered for?

Yes, however, you will need to contact our Training Program Coordinator, Andreina Phelan at 48 hours prior to the training to confirm the registration change.

What is the cancellation policy for online and in-person trainings?

If you cannot attend a training, you can use your registration for a future upcoming training of your choice within 6 months of the original training date. We can also refund you your money if you cancel your training 48 hours in advance. Unfortunately, if you do not attend the training or you cancel within the 48 hours of the training, your registration fee is non-refundable.

Who should I contact if I am having problems logging into an online training session?

Please email if you have any additional questions or concerns.

What if I have additional questions or concerns?

Please email if you have any additional questions or concerns.