From time to time, circumstances may arise that impede the usual practice of in-person face-to-face psychological services. Situations may necessitate the use of Phone or Video Chat sessions to support consistent, uninterrupted care. Clients and clinicians may discuss the option of utilizing telehealth technology to conduct sessions based on the unique circumstances of each client-clinician relationship. All of our clinicians are able to have telehealth sessions, including our sliding scale providers. We offer telehealth services for adults, children, and families.

The state of Illinois has issued an executive order starting March 19th, 2020, and continuing for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, stating that all health insurance issuers regulated by the Department of Insurance are required to cover the costs of all telehealth services rendered by in-network providers for clinically appropriate and medically necessary services and treatments. This order includes clinical psychologists and other mental health providers. Outside of this executive order, most major in-network insurances companies have telehealth benefits. Our office will contact your insurance for benefit information.

You may have a phone or video chat sessions when you are in Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska or Missouri. Generally state laws require that the psychologist be licensed in both states: the state where the psychologist is and the state where the client is, but legislative efforts are underway to allow practice between states, and the above states have passed this legislation.

SPS uses HIPAA compliant technology as a conduit for information in sessions. No method of communication is completely confidential. However, standard for phone and video chat services is end-to-end encryption and to save only the metadata (who was called and how long the call lasted).

SPS utilizes Facetime and Google Duo to initiate video chat services. Your clinician must call you on a free Google Duo or Facetime account of your own creation to initiate the connection. For video chat services you will need a smartphone or computer with video capabilities.

Telephone services (cell, landline, or Facetime) are permitted for audio calls if preferred. You will discuss communication preferences with your clinician prior to your first telehealth appointment.

SPS reserves the right to make final decisions on whether telehealth sessions are appropriate for any given set of circumstances.

Potential benefits to phone/video chat sessions:

  • You may be able to meet your clinician at times when meeting in person sessions may not be practical. Changes in your work or childcare schedules should not leave you without mental health services.
  • Your clinician may be able to be more accessible to you in case of emergency
  • If you are unable to leave your home due to disability, injury, or illness, your mental health services can continue as normal
  • For some individuals, there is stigma associated with mental health services. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed seeking services if you have never had a therapy session before. A phone/video chat session may lessen some of these initial challenging feelings.

Potential risks and costs to phone/video chat sessions:

  • There may be less nonverbal communication than for an in-person session.
  • With any technology, there is always the risk of being inadvertently disconnected. If your call or chat session is disrupted at any time, please feel free to call back or email your clinician about another time to call, if the calling technology appears to be dysfunctional.
  • You will need to assume responsibility to maintaining confidentiality on your end of the session. You accept responsibility to secure any phone or computer you may use for our session.
  • As with any health care services, you are ultimately responsible for payment. Please discuss payment methods, including insurance and private pay, with your clinician prior to engaging in telehealth sessions.

Teletherapy sessions can help with many challenges you may be facing including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief/Loss
  • Trauma
  • Health Anxiety

March 22, 2020: Update for out of state patients/clients:

The Licensed clinicians at Sankofa Psychological Services, LLC, have received permission to see clients from the following states via Telehealth, in order to meet the needs of states with mental health provider shortages.  If your state* is listed below, please email info@sankofapsychology.com or call 312-344-1081 to set up an initial appointment for Phone or Video Chat.

Alabama

Arizona

California

Colorado

Delaware (video chat only)

District of Columbia

Georgia

Illinois

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Texas (limited to locales which have been declared disaster areas)

Utah

*If your state is not listed, please call us or check back for updates.  State governors are making changes daily to their emergency declarations. If you request an appointment, we can contact you when your state allows for interjurisdictional practice.

Interested in our telehealth services? Give our office a call at 312-344-1081 for more information.