Creating a safe space

Sankofa Psychological Services is a Chicago-based psychological service center that provides a range of psychological services, including psychological assessment, neuropsychology service, and psychotherapy. Part of fostering a productive therapeutic environment is allowing clients to feel safe,accepted, and respected.

While it is important to maintain structure and evaluate progress, we also attend to each client’s growth and emotional connection to the experience. Our clinicians set the stage for treatment by maintaining awareness of certain topics which may shut down clients thoughts and feelings 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 rather cultivating the ability in each client to understand how problems began and how to manage them.

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 130 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.