New Patients

aatc_new-patients_walkingfeetWhat to Expect

Scheduling an Appointment
When you call our office, our staff will ask for a brief description of your concerns and determine the times you are available before recommending the psychologist who best matches your needs.  Often there will be a brief conversation with the psychologist before scheduling the appointment. The initial assessment is scheduled for 60 minutes to review your history and begin the consultation process.

Arriving at the Office
Upon arriving for your first appointment, please take a seat in our waiting room (children are welcome to play in the playroom) and the therapist will come out and greet you at the appointment time.  Please bring the completed patient forms to maximize the time with your clinician. For map and directions, please go to the Contact Us page.

Assessment and Treatment
The assessment phase usually takes anywhere from one to three sessions, and includes a review of treatment history, your concerns, and analysis of the difficulties you are experiencing.  Your therapist will share their initial treatment recommendation with you, and provide you with expectations for the range and length of treatment.  We use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, mindfulness training, and behavioral modification. Often treatment will often include collaboration with outside providers, psychiatrists, or school personnel as part of an effective treatment plan.  We promise you the most clinically effective, action-oriented therapy that will enable you or your child to conquer your fears and overcome anxiety.

aatc_new-patients_3onmountainCost of Therapy


General: We charge an initial assessment fee of $254 for the first 60-minute session, and $180 for each 45-minutes session. Sessions that are not conducted within the standard time-frame are pro-rated correspondingly in 5-minute increments for longer and shorter duration services. Payment is expected at the time of service, and may be made by check, cash, debit or major credit card. We require a credit card on file for forgotten payments, missed appointments, and out of office appointments. This is also a convenience for children or teens who may attend a session without their parents.

For Off-Site Appointments: Exposure Sessions that occur outside the office are billed at the same rate as treatment that is provided inside the office. Therapists also charge for travel time to offsite locations, including your home, pro-rated in 5-minute increments. All efforts will be made to minimize travel expenses by matching you with a therapist who lives or works closest to your location.

For Intensive Treatment: We recognize that payment for patients undergoing intensive exposure therapy protocols may pose a financial hardship for some patients or their families. If this is true for you, you have the option of negotiating a payment plan with your therapist. The two of you will work together to decide upon a monthly amount that you will pay until your balance is paid in full.


Appointment times are reserved especially for you. If you are late, we will have less time together and you will still be billed for the entire session. If you need to cancel – please provide at least 24 hours notice. Except in the case of emergency, cancellations without 24 hours notice are charged at the standard rate.



The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago does not participate in any insurance networks, including Medicare or Medicaid, however many insurance policies provide out-of-network reimbursement for licensed psychologists. While we do not bill insurance directly, we will provide you with a statement that includes all the required information that can be submitted for reimbursement.

If you would like to use your insurance, we recommend that you verify out-of-network mental health benefits before submitting a claim. We are also happy to complete any necessary paperwork that your insurance company provides.  If an extensive report is needed, we will charge you our hourly fee prorated according to the time required.

Many patients use their Flexible Healthcare Spending Accounts to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for their therapy. Check with your plan about its rules and policies.

Why don’t we contract with insurance companies? After much deliberation, we have chosen not to contract with any insurance companies, including Medicare.  This allows us to make optimal treatment decisions regarding length and type of therapy without the limitations imposed by third party payers. Extended, more frequent, or intensive treatment team services may be more cost-effective in the long run, though insurance may not reimburse for such services.  We are committed to providing you with the best, most effective treatment available without having to fit into generic constraints often imposed by insurance companies.  Although our initial fee may be higher, ultimately we believe that our method of cost-effective, results-oriented therapy will result in shorter treatment cycles and lower out-of-pocket costs for you.



 Release of Information

 Intake Information Form

 Authorization for Credit Card Payment of Fees

 Psychological History Form (Child/Adolescent)

  • Testimonials

    My daughter struggles with anxiety and trichotillomania. As her mother, I felt completely helpless and didn’t know where to turn. When my daughter started working with Dr. Schmaus, I quickly noticed a difference in her behavior and her overall anxiety. He helped her build coping strategies that she has been able to use to handle challenges in her everyday life. I am so grateful for the support we all have received at the Anxiety Treatment Center and specifically from Dr. Schmaus.
    Mother of an 8-year old girl
    I had encountered problems with anxiety and depression in the years since becoming a graduate student. My anxiety issues really put my education and career goals at risk and, indeed, threatened to end the pursuit of a career I love. With a lot of diligent work, and the advice and techniques provided by Dr. Schmaus, I am happy to say that I am in the last months of graduate school and am on track to graduate with very high marks from my teachers and instructors. I could not have done this alone and am very appreciative of Dr. Schmaus for all his efforts on my behalf.
    45 Year Old Man
    Working with Dr. Cassiday was a pleasure, she has a very calming and soothing demeanor.  She immediately ‘got’ my child and made him feel as though his feelings and needs were all that was important when actually she was really trying to change his behavior. She was also great with me as a parent, knowing I had my child’s best interest at heart, but showing me different ways to get the same results. I feel very fortunate to have Dr. Cassiday as part of our life!
    Grateful Parent
    Our son has gone from an anxious child who refused to go to school to a confident college sophomore who has the tools to manage his own anxiety.  The psychologists at ATC led us down this path with humor, sensitivity, and positive techniques, teaching us how to support our child and enabling our son to feel like he can confidently control his own symptoms.
    Parent of a College Student
    I had sought help for my phobias, anxiety and related problems for so long that when I started therapy with The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago I knew right away that someone finally “got it”.  Their doctors have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of anxiety, and they effectively applied their knowledge to help guide me from clarification of my problems to management and resolution.  I never left their office without a specific plan on how to move forward.
    Patient Who Had Previously Tried Many Different Therapists
    My children have been able to gain the necessary skills to manage their OCD at times of crisis because of the knowledge, caring, and expertise of Dr. Cassiday.  She was able to guide us through some very difficult times and help give our family the skills (using cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure and response prevention) so that our family could get back to normal. She was always there with us, and she still is.  She is so kind and so gifted in her field!
    Parent of 2 Children with Anxiety Disorders
    I really appreciate how The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago has helped me to face my anxiety. When I started treatment, my anxiety was taking over, making simple tasks very difficult.  The doctor diagnosed my specific anxiety disorder and built an individualized plan to help treat it by using exposure therapy and other techniques.  Working with her has given me the confidence to face a situation head-on and overcome its challenges.
    Confident Female Patient
    Dr. Cassiday changed my life.  She took me on “field trips” to wherever was necessary to deal with my OCD triggers. She never hesitated to get down in the trenches with me and teach me new ways to respond. She was truly a partner in my healing.  We laughed a lot together, so what could have felt pretty miserable, actually was often quite fun. And after we extinguished the rituals, we worked on changing my thought patterns.  So now I am less anxious and more productive than ever before in my life, including before I developed OCD.  And the techniques I have learned help me in ALL aspects of my life, not just with the OCD.  I couldn’t be more grateful to her.
    Susan Richman, J.D.Co-founder, Honorary Chair and Board Member, Beyond OCD
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