Inner Sun Psychotherapy & Coaching


LGBTQ counseling, therapy and support in downtown Chicago. Barry Shaeffer specializes in therapy for gay men dealing with depression, relationship issues and anxiety, including panic attacks and social anxiety.


Therapy for Gay Men, in Illinois and Abroad

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • you regularly feel overwhelmed by negative thought cycles, and need extra support or new skills to help you find relief.

  • you feel like you are drifting—you want more from life, but you are not sure what that looks like.

  • you have thoughts or beliefs about your sexuality that don’t feel affirming, and you want to break free from them.

  • you express your sexuality in ways that don’t always feel good to you, and you want to feel better, healthier, or more authentically you.

  • you find yourself in difficult or imbalanced relationships, or you feel disconnected from your community—you want deeper connection and a sense of belonging.

In therapy, our work is to help you heal the inner & outer conflict that keeps you from living authentically.

“Living authentically” means moving away from identifying with negative thoughts and moving toward relating to ourselves in a wholehearted and compassionate way. Therapy helps us to know ourselves more deeply, which then allows us to express ourselves in ways that are rooted in our values and driven by purpose. This doesn’t mean that everything then comes up roses, but it does help us cultivate the confidence to live our lives more fully.

How We’ll Approach What You Want to Change

Together we will identify the thoughts, belief systems, and behaviors that are keeping you from having the life you desire. We’ll work to change your relationship with thinking from identifying with thoughts as your reality to observing your thoughts in the present moment. We will also clarify your values (what is important to you) and you will use these values as a blueprint to create the life you desire.

I do this work because I know it works. I engage in it personally and I’ve seen it work for many clients over the years. As confident as I am in in how helpful therapy can be, I also know that it isn’t a quick fix. It can be a lot of work. We meet for a short time each week, but the vast majority of the work will happen as you live your life outside of therapy. The folks who I’ve seen make the longest strides have been willing to not only to do the work in session, but carry it out into their lives.

How We’ll Meet

I specialize in online therapy. If you’re new to online therapy, the only difference between online and in-person is where we meet. We’ll have your sessions in a private video conferencing room, designated solely for your appointments. Otherwise, my approach to both online and in-person therapy is identical.

Meeting online could be an especially good match if you:

  • are unable to find an LGBT-affirmative therapist in your area*.

  • travel often (for work or pleasure), and want an online therapist who can support you no matter where you are in the world that week.

  • are an expat, diplomat, or digital nomad who lives outside the United States, but want support from a therapist who understands your home culture.

  • would prefer to skip commuter traffic, and have therapy in the comfort of your home or private office.

*As an Illinois-licensed therapist, please reach out to connect with me if you live in Illinois, or outside of the United States. Unfortunately, I am not licensed to provide therapy to US-based clients who live in other states.

Rates & Insurance

50-minute session: $150

I am not in-network with any insurance carriers, so you will be responsible for the session fee at the time of each session. I am happy to provide you with an electronic statement to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.

Connect with me to Get Started

If you’re ready to get started or have any questions,
contact me to schedule a free 20 minute consultation.