A space for your whole self

Sankofa Psychological Services is a Chicago-based psychological service center that provides a therapy, psychological assessment, neuropsychological assessment, and KetaTherapy. Part of fostering a productive therapeutic environment is allowing clients to feel safe, accepted, and respected.

Our name Sankofa is inspired by the Adinkra symbol San-Ko-Fa from Ghana.  Before starting this practice, one of our founders completed dissertation work in Ghana and the spirit of Sankofa became an influence and inspiration for this practice.

All of our team members feel a personal and unique connection to our name.  The Sankofa symbol has many meanings.  The word literally translates from Twi to English as Back Go Fetch (San, Ko, Bra or Fa), meaning that in order to take a step forward, you must bring your past with you.  In other words, meaningful progress must honor and reconcile our roots.

Another meaning of Sankofa is: It’s never too late to make amends.  Throughout the history of our practice, the weight of this name in a practice founded by a pair of white psychologists has been heavy.  As a team, we have examined our name many times over the years.  This discussion only becomes more relevant as time goes by.  Rather than change our name, we seek to continually improve our practices to revere the meaning of Sankofa and hold ourselves accountable to the responsibility of this name.

In individual therapy, our clinicians set the stage for treatment by maintaining awareness and openness around cultural, religious, spiritual, ethnic, or gender values. We encourage clients to bring up their reactions to the material in therapy, as these are likely to mirror issues they encounter in daily life. Our treatments are not about “curing” a disorder, but instead cultivating understanding of external forces of dysfunction and the ways our coping skills can be recalibrated to handle them more effectively.

Research and real life

Psychology is a living field. Today’s psychology shifts in accordance with social changes and attends to people’s individual experiences. However, some people have negative impressions about mental health therapy, in part because the psychology and psychiatry of the past emphasized that the therapist was the “expert” and the patient was “sick.” This approach can shut down some people’s willingness to engage in therapy, and invalidate diverse viewpoints. At Sankofa Psychological Services, we hold the position that the living psychology field can develop to incorporate new ideas. Our counseling center staff works together through weekly training meetings to keep current with the latest research and best practices. Psychology began as a radical idea 140 years ago, and we seek to explore how it interacts with the complex lives of our clients in the present.

Encouraging critical thinking and problem solving

Often, clients explain that they want to make changes in their lives; but they don’t know where to begin. Our approach helps clients identify their most important issues, prioritize problems, and capitalize on their strengths to find solutions. We utilize psychological evaluation services judiciously in a stepped care approach to screen for problems first then recommend further testing when appropriate. Our assessments are designed to answer your specific questions and maximize your comprehension of the results. We do not simply provide a report or a diagnosis; instead, we will work closely with you and your healthcare providers to develop questions and treatment goals, then examine your results to create relevant recommendations that your data demonstrate are likely to be the most beneficial. Our integrated approach carries this work to the next stage for each client, whether that be in individual therapy, psychotherapy, group counseling, executive coaching, or ideas for self-applied changes in the person’s daily life.