Date coaching to help you date smarter.

Our experts help you date smarter and more effectively.

We specialize in helping clients be strong and single, while managing the overwhelming world of online dating for a more successful experience. Clarify what patterns you don't want to repeat, what you're looking for, and how to find it.

Navigating the complexities of

Dating in the New Digital Age

Dating is different now, and with technology and dating apps things move much faster, and we expect more from our partners than in past generations. With the sex-positive movement, arbitrary rules to follow, ghosting, social media, and backing out of the first dates due to loss of interest, there are so many moving parts to juggle.

Ilene KastelNext Step Founder

Our licensed counselors will help you date smarter by:

1

Identify Needs, Wants, Boundaries & Preferences

Clarifying what you are looking for and how to find it. Plus, improve your boundary setting and choice of prospects + partners
2

Acquire Helpful Skills

Gain more effective skills to navigate online dating and improve your profile
3

Learn From the Past

Identify past unhelpful relationship patterns and diligently avoid repeating. Then, clarify relationship values, deal-breakers, and non-negotiables in a life partner
4

Communicate Healthily and Helpfully

Improve communication and your ability to set healthy boundaries
5

Identify Your Love Language

Identify your love languages and attachment style as well as better understand who you're drawn to
6

Identify Your Love Language

Identify your love languages and attachment style as well as better understand who you're drawn to
7

Clarify Deal-Makers & Deal-Breakers

Clarify relationship values, deal-breakers, and negotiate who you're looking for in a life partner
8

Manage External Input

Process uncomfortable emotions and experiences associated with perceived pressure from social or family network about singlehood

Contact Us. 

Pay Us a Visit

70 E Lake St #222
Chicago, IL 60601

Serving Chicago, Streeterville, Gold Coast, West Town, River North, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and surrounding areas.

Common Questions

Do you accept insurance?

We accept Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Blue Choice and United Healthcare/Optum. However, if you have another type of insurance we can still work together. We can provide you with a bill that you may send into your insurance company with partial reimbursement. Please contact us to provide you with additional information about this.

Is there parking available at your office?

All el lines are within 1-2 blocks, and, there are two parking garages nearby at 60 E. Lake St. and 20 E. Randolph.

I tried therapy and didn't like it. How's this different?

Therapy varies depending on the personalities of the counselor and client, as well as the particular concerns brought forward. Sometimes the chemistry between the counselor and client or the counselor’s style or approach just isn’t a good fit. The relationship between the client and the therapist is of utmost importance. Therefore, we work to create a safe environment where open and honest communication is encouraged so that concerns or questions about treatment or the relationship can be addressed in session. This often benefits the therapeutic process and deepens the therapeutic relationship.

What can I expect from the first few sessions?

During the first and second session, we will gather information about what has brought you into therapy including your concerns, what you’d like to work on and information about your current and past emotional health and life history. This information helps us gain a deeper understanding about your situation, you as a person and how to best help you. As noted earlier, since it is important that clients feel comfortable with their counseling, we encourage clients to also use the first session as an opportunity to assess if this is a good fit for you as well.

What can I expect during a typical therapy session?

During therapy you will begin to discuss and share your feelings, thoughts, and reactions in order for you to begin to gain insight, develop new thinking patters, coping skills and overall improved quality of life. It is natural to feel uncomfortable about opening up at first but this process because much easier after a few sessions. Since self-growth is possible through commitment and work I will encourage you to practice the things you discuss and learn outside of session.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

The number of sessions needed is different for everyone depending on a number of factors including but not limited to your goals, severity or intensity of your concerns or symptoms, how long you’ve been dealing with your concerns, current levels of stress, and the progress you make towards reaching your short or long-term goals.

Is what I say in therapy confidential?

In general, all communications between a client and counselor are confidential and can only be released with the client’s written permission. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • When there is a reasonable suspicion of child/dependent abuse or of an elder adult.
  • When the client communicates a threat of bodily injury to others.
  • When the client is suicidal.
  • When disclosure is required pursuant to a legal proceeding.
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